Police Treatment of the Public in Police Stations: Evidence from Zaria, Nigeria

Ogadimma Arisukwu, Tunde Adebisi, Chisaa Igbolekwu, Festus Asamu

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Abstract

The police occupy a very important position in the entire criminal justice system in Nigeria. The nature of police relationship with the people and the manner in which the public were handled at the station and on the street daily within the community affects the way the people perceive them and the level of cooperation they get from the people in curbing crime in the society. The study took place in Zaria, Kaduna state, Northern Nigeria. A study population was the police in Zaria. Three police stations (Zaria City, Sabon Gari, and Samaru police stations) were purposively selected reflecting the socio-cultural and demographic backgrounds of Zaria residence and population. The Divisional Police officers and police officers in-charge of crime were interviewed. The police crime and incidence records were examined while the general conduct and social atmosphere of the police and police stations were observed. Using in-depth interview, observational method, and police records, it was discovered that the socio-economic status of suspects affected how they were treated by the police in the police stations studied. Also, the environment suspect lives affected how they were treated too by the police. It was recommended that the police make the rule of law their guide in the handling of suspects in the police stations irrespective of socio-demographic variable or area of habitation of the suspects. Police brutality and violations of citizen s rights should be checked by senior police officers, while community-policing style should be implemented across communities in Nigeria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1854-1866
Number of pages13
JournalPolicing (Oxford)
Volume15
Issue number3
Early online date19 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

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