The prevalence of crime in higher institutions in Nigeria has been on the increase in recent years, this has not only become a concern to the government, but to the university authorities and members of the society. The menace consequently, is crippling the entire educational goals as insecurity, which is a product of crime, disrupts the curriculum. It is quite obvious that crimes like stealing, rape, cultism, examination malpractice, murder and many more has come to stay on campus.
This study focuses on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in crime detection and safety in Nigeria Universities. It reveals ways of implementing ICT facilities to curb these heinous crimes that intercept our educational goals.
The study made use of cross sectional survey with validated structured questionnaire as method of data collection from two selected universities in Enugu state (Godfrey Okoye University, and the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus). In the analysis, mean table was used to present result while frequency table and simple percentage were used to analyze each questionnaire item. The findings revealed major challenges and solutions to the use of ICT facilities for crime detection in Nigeria universities. The challenges includes unavailability of sufficient ICT facilities like metal detectors, biometric finger print identity system, electronic detectors, bomb detectors, car trackers, faraday cage, phone signal jammers and so on; lack of student awareness and usage available tools; poor functionality of available facilities; lack of implementation of newer technologies; poor perception of student on the use of some ICT tools for crime detection, etc.. Findings from the research suggests that as a matter of urgency, the government, university authorities and stakeholders in education should collaborate to make necessary ICT tools available in schools to ensure school safety. Proper orientation to freshers could also curb awareness challenge.
It is hoped that the findings in this research work would help in curbing the problems of crime in our tertiary institutions. The study would also help to stimulate further research in this area of study.
Background to the study
Today’s college and universities are faced with many challenges in the attempt to provide a campus that is safe and secure. The college campus has traditionally been known as a safe haven for students, but recent tragic events have left the leaders of higher education with the challenge of preparing for tragedies that could happen on their campuses (Carrico, 2016).
Nigerian university society is faced with many crimes that go undetected but undeniable. Crimes like stealing, robbery, rape, cultism, vandalism, open threat, homicide etc. have come to stay on campuses. These crimes has turned school environment from the peaceful conducive and safe place it used to be, to an insecure, fearful and uncomfortable place.
Safety of the students both physical and psychological is central to their academic performance. Every person desires to feel and stay safe for maximum performance. Security is a first-order or necessary precondition for the development of human beings and societies (Etannibi, 2016).
Crime is not a concept of concern only to Nigerian educational institutions. It is universal, with a very long and difficult history to trace. Many universities in all parts of the worlds have their fair share of crime which has become an issue of national concern. Crime impacts on the society in a variety of ways according to the nature and extent of crime committed. It constitutes a problem when its incidence is so rampant in the society as to constitute a threat to the security of persons and property, as well as social order and solidarity (Adebayo, 2013).
School security has become an increasingly high priority for higher institutions. Since crime introduces insecurity, detecting crime situations through machines and data mining approaches can be used to promote school safety.
Crime is growing uncontrollably in Nigeria universities despite the enormous effort of university administrators to prevent and control them. Crime is an act committed or omitted in violation of a law for which punishment is imposed upon conviction.
In the past few decades, there has been a revolution in computing and communication, and all indications are that technological progress and use of information technology will continue at a rapid rate.(Konsbruck, 2018). One of the most striking technological developments of recent years has been the emergence of digital technology as a powerful tool in our lives. Information Communication and Technology could play a great role in crime detection and enhancement of school security. ICT tools like Closed Circuit Television(CCTV), emergency call systems, metal detectors, GPS tracker, biometric scanner, bomb detectors are useful technologies for improved security. These tools reduces crime by giving criminals the thought that they would be seen, identified and possibly be caught if the engage in crime. Since most students don’t want to be known for crimes like rape, stealing etc. because of their law penalty and personal reputation, these tools helps to keep the school environment secure. Students perpetrate most on-campus crime and are the highest victims of such crimes. Crimes among university students could be prevented, detected and enhanced using technologies of ICT.
The tragic situation of Nigeria universities having rapid increase of seemingly uncontrollable criminal acts and the pressure it places on school administrators gave ground for the exploration of Information Communication and Technology tools and how they can be used to detect these heinous crimes and at larger level propagate school security.
Statement of Problem
University community in recent years has witnessed alarming increase at the rate which crime thrives on campuses. Criminal acts like rape, breaking of offices, stealing, snatching of cell phones and cars, cultism have become the order of the day in our tertiary institutions. Crimes of stronger impact like murder, assassination and group rebellion on campus is germinating and will soon become high ranked crimes if neglected. People no longer feel safe with others. Crime has become borderless in nature and this makes fight against criminals more complicated for law enforcement agents. To successfully tackle crime, African leaders need to gain knowledge from the steps taken by most developed countries in using ICT to combat crime (Akinola and Ogunobi, 2015). Advancement in technology has also benefitted criminals by providing sophisticated tools and making networked-crime possible on campuses and society. People can now invade bank accounts illegitimately, buy guns and other weapons for their selfish uses, and even hack databases. The earlier days of universities has no record of this category of crime. It used to be a true “citadel of learning, garnished with peace and tranquility, where zealous men are changed to sound men and champions”. Unfortunately, crime has striped the university environment of its savour. Crime is outrageously handicapping the curriculum. The learner being an indispensible factor in the evaluation of the effectiveness of the curriculum is also the major victim of crime and violence on campus. If students fail to learn, the curriculum has invariably failed. Governor Deval Patrick asserted that;
“No child will be able to succeed academically if they don’t feel safe in school. No teacher would be able to teach at their best if they aren’t confident there’s a plan in place to ensure their school is well prepared for an emergency”
Governor Deval Patrick—Jan 16, 2014
Institutions spend a lot of money on security and are yet, ready to spend more. Everyone is desperate about finding solution to these crimes that are eroding the reputation of higher education and tarnishing the image of our campuses. It is agreed that the university though may embody people of different languages, tribe, culture, race, value, believes, principles, background and experiences, which contributes to crime like religious killing, rebellion and more. However, higher institutions are purposed to support socio-cultural co-existence. Provision of safety being a top responsibility of university administrators, curbing crime to ensure security requires a concerted effort of everyone to be attainable. The alarming rate of rise in crime and the quest for safety in tertiary institutions especially campuses led the study of the use of ICT as a weapon for detecting these crimes that has besieged the campuses and making school safe without compromising educational goals.
Purpose of the study
Generally, this study aims at finding out how to use ICT in crime detection and school security using Godfrey Okoye University, and University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus as case study.
Specifically, the study has the following objectives;
- to identify what ICT tool s are available in campuses using Godfrey Okoye University, and the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus as case study.
- to determine the level of student awareness and usage of available ICT tools for school safety in Godfrey Okoye University, and the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus
- to examine the adequacy and effectiveness of current ICT facililties employed in both schools(Godfrey Okoye University, and the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus) for crime detection.
- to recommend new ways of using modern ICT tools to detect/curb on-campus crimes and enhance school security in Godfrey Okoye University, and the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus
Significance of the Study
The study has both theoretical and practical significance.
Theoretically, it will add to existing research works and literatures to be used for educational purposes. Hence, it will serve as a databank for any student (or researcher) carrying out a study related to the subject matter. Also, the research findings could lead to further research.
Practically, the study will be useful to authorities of tertiary institutions in Nigeria and the Nigeria government. By identifying new technologies and ways of using ICT to detect crimes and enhance security, tertiary institutions can have a solid stand against crime and criminals. The safety of the school will allow learning to effectively take place, thereby producing self reliant and employable graduates who are sound in both character and learning. As crime reduces, overall educational goals are achieved in the learners. These people will return to the society as leaders and employers of labour. To the society in general which is the potential victims of uncontrolled crimes, the information obtained from the study will create a consciousness of concerted effort towards a safer society.
The study will benefit teachers and students who are potential victims of crimes in tertiary institutions. The information obtained from the study will guide students and teachers on steps to take when they perceive crime or are confronted by such.
The study will be useful to security agencies in policing by exposing new technologies that can be used to detect criminal. By employing the use of ICT for crime detection and security, more criminals will easily be detected and caught while crime scenes are observed firsthand with the help of CCTV.
The study will also be beneficial to other institutions or business organizations who desire environmental safety of the work place or are challenged with invisible crimes that are evident. Information obtained from the study will help them see how ICT can help in monitoring the workplace and detecting intruders.
Scope of the Study
This study focused on the use of ICT in crime detection and school security in Nigeria Universities using Godfrey Okoye University and University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus as case study. However, the researcher is very much constrained by time and resources to confine the study to Godfrey Okoye University and the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus only. Both universities were selected because they are typical of Nigeria Universities and are more easily accessible to the researcher. Recommendations are made on how to use ICT tools to detect crimes and improve the security of school environment for learning to be effective.
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study;
- What are the ICT tools that are available for crime detection in Godfrey Okoye University, and the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus?
- What is the level of student awareness and usage of available ICT tools for school safety in Godfrey Okoye University, and the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus?
- How efficient and effective are present ICT facilities employed in crime detection and school security in Godfrey Okoye University, and the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus?
- What ways can modern ICT facilities be used to detect/curb on-campus crimes and enhance school security in Godfrey Okoye University, and the University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus?