The rate at which crime occurs is a major concern to every living individual-young or old, male or female. This is so because valuables as life, material wealth, emotional well being and associations are often negatively affected or may be totally lost in the process. Since high incidence of crime is synonymous with high rate of insecurity every security. Conscious individuals, society or government consider the investment of resources on measures that reduce crime a pertinent project. Reiner (1988), Beire and Messerschmidt (2006) agreed with the above stated fact when they stated that crime exacts a high price on federal, state and household budgets.
Standard definitions of crime equate it with behaviour that breaks the criminal law (Tierney 2010). As the World Book Encyclopedia (1986) puts it, crime is a term that refers to many types of misconduct forbidden by law. From the legal stand point the encyclopedia defines crime as a violation of the criminal law. Such laws deal with actions considered harmful to society. On the other hand, most harmful acts against another person are violations of the civil law. Crimes committed against individuals threaten society. For this reason a crime is regarded as an offence against the state. Thinking in this direction Reiner (1988) conceptualizes crime as an illegal act, omission or event… the principal consequence of which is that the offender, if he is detected and it is decided to prosecute is prosecuted by or in the name of the state. This work adopts the legal definition of crime as being any act that breaks the criminal law and is harmful to an individual or the state.
Crime takes various forms. There are also different means of committing crime. Concerning the types of crime Shoener (2015) divides crimes into four major categories: personal crimes, property crimes, inchoate crimes, and statutory crimes. Some of the crimes associated with tricycle are personal crimes as kidnapping and rape; property crime as robbery and statutory crime as drunk driving. Uyo Local Government Area is not free of these crimes, especially robbery. It is this ugly trend, of crimes associated with tricycle, that triggered this research.
Focus is on five key issues: the rate of tricycle aided crime in Uyo, the variation of tricycle-aided crimes among the clans in Uyo, temporal analysis of tricycle –aided crimes in the local government area, the factors encouraging tricycle-aided crimes and the area(s) of tricycle-aided crime prevalence in the local government area. Appropriate statistical analyses, as well as, advanced cartographic methods have been employed where necessary. This study gives insight into areas of need and discusses the trend of tricycle-aided crimes for a better understanding and further actions.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Tricycles are essential form of urban transport in many developing countries and a form of novelty transport (Anbalagan and Kanagaraj; 2014). Depending on the country where they are used, their mode of use and circumstances surrounding their usage, names as Toktok (in Egypt), Pousse-Pousse (in Madagascar), Raksha (in Sudan) and keke Marwa or keke NAPEP (in Nigeria) have been used in describing tricycles. In Nigeria it is common to see the Indian Bajaj motorized tricycle conveying passengers and/or goods from their sources to their destinations. This means of transportation like all others has its long history of evolution.
The history of tricycle put briefly can be traced to the 17th century when a disabled German Stephan Farffler built a three-wheeled wheel chair for himself in 1655 in order to maintain his mobility. Being a watch maker he was able to create a vehicle that was powered by hand crank. It was in 1789 that two French inventors developed a three-wheeled vehicle, powered by pedals which they named tricycle (Wikipedia, 2015). As applied in this study the term tricycle refers to a three-wheeled vehicle based on the same technology as bicycles or motorcycles and powered by motorcycle or scooter engines or electric motor. This is known as motorized tricycle. The first steam (motorized tricycle and probably the first true self-propelled land) vehicle was Nicolas- Joseph Cugnot’s 1969 Fardier Vapeur (steam dray), a three-wheeled machine with a top speed of around 3km/hr originally designed for hauling artillery (Wikipedia, 2015). Nigeria like many other (especially) developing countries greatly make use of motorized tricycles as private or public means of transportation. In this study the motorized tricycle will often be used as tricycle.
Tricycle as a means of transportation in Nigeria is directly traced to the government of Mohammed Buba Marwa, who was the military governor in Lagos State from 1996-1999. After being launched, tricycles came to be known as “keke Marwa” – a name that has persisted till date. The word keke is directly derived from Yoruba, the dominant indigenous language in Lagos State (Mgbemena, 2013). However the popularity of tricycles across the nation can be attributed to the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) which was launched under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo to alleviate poverty and provide economic empowerment to the people. Thus the name keke NAPEP gained popularity across Nigeria (http://NAPEP Nigeria.org/ programmes /the keke NAPEP project).
The use of tricycles in Uyo Local Government as a public means of transportation was given impetus following the ban on private and commercial use of motorcycles which took effect on July 9, 2012. This policy, among other reasons, had the objective of reducing road accidents caused by use of motorcycles recklessly, reduction in motorcycle-aided crimes, promoting orderly usage of road by traffic and providing a better source of income generation for former motorcyclists. It is the aspect of reduction or elimination of motorcycle-aided crimes that inspired this research work.
Based on the reports found in some published sources and from victims of tricycle-aided crimes, it could be argued either for or against the motion that the use of tricycles has significantly reduced or eliminated the motorcycle-aided crimes or that there is no reduction in such crimes. This would imply that there is a significant effect of the use of tricycles on the crime rate in Uyo Local Government Area. This research work on the topic “Effects of Tricycle on Crime Rates in Uyo Local Government Area” is aimed at investigating the rate of tricycle-aided crimes in Uyo Local Government Area clans. The spatial and temporal variations will also be considered.
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
Uyo Local Government Area witnessed the ban of private and commercial motorcycle operation by the state government on 9th July, 2012 in an effort to among other reasons ameliorate the rising crime rate that was experienced in the area. Tricycles (known locally as keke NAPEP), buses and cars were purchased by the state government and handed over to interested transporters at subsidized rates. This provision of subsidized vehicles was meant to provide commercial alternatives to motorcyclists whose livelihood legitimately depended on the transportation business (AKSG online, 2010).
Media reports and personal accounts of victims of tricycle-aided crimes suggest persistent tricycle-aided criminalities in Uyo Local Government Area against the goodwill of the state government on provision of tricycles as replacement for motorcycles in order to eliminate such crimes. Reports abound on tricycle-aided crimes as robbery, kidnapping, abduction and rape. This has threatened the peace and security of the good people of Uyo Local Government Area.
The literature is observed to not have said much on the issue of tricycle-aided crimes. Academic researches however, have focused on economic implications of motorcycle ban in Uyo metropolis. Ikot et’ al (2007) observed that although government has made tremendous efforts in tackling the problems of urban transportation within the Uyo municipality, yet the spate of insecurity and crime in the state may not be unconnected with the recent ban of motorcycle operation in the municipality. Still discussions have not included the spatial and temporal variations of tricycle crimes in Uyo.
The problem of identification of spatial and temporal variations within road crime hot spot or tricycle-aided crime is crucial because according to Herrmann (2015) by developing variations spatially and temporarily of crime hot spots at micro level in a more comprehensive and understanding way, crime prevention and crime control specialists can have a greater impact on apprehending criminals, police resources allocation and planning, crime modeling and forecasting, and evaluation of crime prevention and crime control programmes.
In this study effort is made on identifying where tricycle-aided crimes are prevalent and the reasons for such occurrence. This will serve as a decision support tool for mitigating measures by relevant authorities.
The questions to consider are:
- What is the rate of tricycle-aided crime in Uyo Local Government Area?
- What are the variations in the occurrence of tricycle-aided crimes in Uyo Local Government Area?
- When are tricycle-aided crimes most likely to occur?
- What factors have contributed to the persistence of tricycle-aided crimes in Uyo and
- Where in Uyo Local Government Area are tricycle-aided crimes prevalent?
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
This research project aims at assessing the role of tricycle on crime rate in Uyo, Local Government Area. The objectives of the study are:
- To investigate the rate of tricycle-aided crimes in the study area.
- To measure the variation of tricycle aided crimes in different parts of the study area.
- To predict when tricycle-aided crimes are likely to occur in Uyo.
- To ascertain factors that encourage tricycle-aided crimes in Uyo and
- To identify prevalent areas of tricycle-aided crimes in the study area.
Ho: There is no significant variation in occurrence of tricycle-aided crimes among the clans in Uyo Local Government Area.
HI: There is a significant variation in occurrence of tricycle –aided crimes among the clans in Uyo Local Government Area.
Ho: Poverty is not a major factor of tricycle-aided crime in Uyo Local Government Area.
HI: Poverty is a major factor of tricycle-aided crimes in Uyo Local Government Area.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study provides useful information on effectiveness of the government policy on ban of commercial motorcycles in Uyo. Areas of prevalence (hot spots) and variation in tricycle-aided crimes are highlighted as a guide to informed decision by security agents on where to deploy more resources. The implementation of suggestions in the study will improve safety conditions of members of the public who may read the work. Policy makers who may read the work will by the information be guided on areas to improve the safety of the public through effective policy formulations.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research covers the current role of tricycle on the crime rate in Uyo Local Government Area. Attention has been given to areas of prevalence of tricycle-aided crimes. The spatial and temporal variations of tricycle aided crimes in Uyo as well as factors that have encouraged such crimes. The study spans the four clans in Uyo Local Government Area: Etoi clan, Ikono Clan, Offot Clan and Oku clan.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Although the research is successfully completed, there were some challenges encountered in the process. The set backs were:
- Absence of existing studies on the issue of tricycle-aided crimes.
- Financial constraint
- Non compliance by some respondents.
1.8 THE STUDY AREA
Uyo Local Government Area is the capital of Akwa Ibom in the Southern part of Nigeria. The city became the capital of Akwa Ibom Stare on 13th September 1987 following the creating of Akwa Ibom State from erstwhile Cross River State Ema (1989), cited by Ikpe (2013), conducted an extensive study in Uyo Local Government Area. Extract from his work are as follows.
FIGURE 1: AKWA IBOM STATE SHOWING STUDY AREA (UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA)
The geographical location of Uyo is latitude 70 47’ to 800 03’ East and longitude 40 52’, to 50 07’ North, Uyo is about 60km from the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, about 47km from Calabar, 71km from Aba, 138km from Port Harcourt and about 45km from Eket.
Due to the effect of the maritime and the continental tropical air masses, the climate of Uyo Local Government Area is characterized by two seasons, namely; the wet or rainy season and the dry season. The wet season lasts for about eight months. It begins about March or April and lasts until mid November. The dry season begins in mid November and ends in March. During this brief period, the whole continental tropical air mass and its accompanying north easterly, winds and their associated dry and dusty harmattan haze are felt. In almost every year a short dry season occurs. It is known as “August Brak”. The mean yearly temperature stands at 270C while relative humidity is between 70-80%.
1.8.3 Geology and Soil
The whole of Uyo Local Government Area is underlain by sedimentary formation of late tertiary and Holocene Ages. The alluvial deposits of the late Tertiary Age from homogeneous rock structures of sand stone, shell and clay have resulted in Uyo region being underlain by coastal plain sands. The climate and other physical factors have given rise to the development of ferrasols in the physical region. Ferrasols are composed of mainly Ferum Aluminum. There are completely weathered soils and resistant materials such as quartz. These are complete by weathered soils rich in free iron but have low mineral reserve hence low natural fertility.
The population of Uyo Local Government Area according to the 2006 Nigeria census is 399,788. With an area of 155km2 the population density in Uyo Local Government Area is 2,579 persons/km.
1.8.5 Economic Development
The economy of Uyo before the creation of Akwa Ibom State was based mainly on agricultural activities and commerce. Access roads were in short supply to the municipality. Hotels were established. Local crafts were the major industrialization pursuits. Businesses were concentrated within one kilometer of the city.
Today a structural change exists with access roads like Nsikak Eduok, Udo-Udoma, Edet Akpan Avenue, Atiku Abubakar Highway and IBB Avenue. The Champion Breweries Limited and its allied-industries, Plastocrown and Autopart, tourism potentials and attraction such as the Le Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort, Nwaniba Tourist Resort, Ibom Tropicana and centrally-positioned Ibom plaza are just but a few of the establishments and institutions of development. Economic development has given rise to diverse branches of leading Nigerian, state-owned and international banks operating in the city with some more to come. Telecommunication outfits like MTN, Airtel, Globacom and communication services like internet browsing and web, connect the area to the rest of the world.
People in Uyo Local Government Area are predominantly farmers and traders. Their area of trade is mostly on food items like palm oil and other palm produce, vegetables, plantain, banana, yam, cassava etc. The trade items also include the products gotten from the sea like fish which are sold some times smoked and at times fresh. Also, they have crayfish, periwinkle (mfi) and other products from the sea.
In recent times some indigenes have established cottage industries for the fabrication and production of some household utensils and farm tools. A small proportion of the population also work at the state and federal ministries.
The city can be accessed by road via the A342 highway (Calabar – Itu Highway) as well as Abak Road, Nwaniba Road, Itu Road, Ikot Ekpene Road, Aka Road, Oron Road etc. Nearby airports include the Ibom International Airport. Uyo is a fast growing city as the city has witnessed massive infrastructural growth in the past nine years. It has an extensive network of divided highways such as the IBB Way, Atiku Abubakar Avenue, Udo Udoma Avenue, Niskak Eduok Avenue and Edet Akpan Avenue, which is a four-lane super highway and currently the widest road in Uyo metropolis. Currently flyovers are being used to ease traffic. Transportation in Uyo Local Government Area is mainly by tricycle.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1.9.1 Crime: An act that breaks the criminal law and is harmful to individual or the state.
1.9.2 Tricycle: A three-wheeled vehicle based on the same technology as bicycle or motorcycles and powered by motorcycle or scooter engines or electric motor.
1.9.3 NAPEP: National Poverty Eradication Programme.
1.9.4 Crime Hotspot: Areas on a map that have high crime intensity.
1.9.5 UCR: Uniform Crime Report.