Urban Vacant Land and Crime Occurrence in Abeokuta North Local Government, Nigeria
The study assessed nature, causes of and responses to crimes across residential densities in Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria with a view to determining the impacts of vacant land on crime occurrence in the area. Random sampling was employed in hierarchical selection of 250 households across spatial levels with ratio 3:2:1 in high, medium and low residential densities respectively. Chi-Square was used to examine the difference between some vacant land’s features and neighbourrhoods’ susceptibility to victimization. Findings revealed that a parcel of vacant land was used for one or more criminal activities like illegal refuse dumping, rape, robbery, use of hard drugs, and hideouts for miscreants. Illegal dumping of refuse was most prevalent at aggregated level but was mostly concentrated in medium residential density. The major causes of crimes on vacant lands included bushy state of vacant lands, absence of precautionary measures and streetlight to illuminate areas in the night. Insecure feelings of being the next victim were the main effect of crime. The use of warning signs, community surveillance, fencing and police patrol among others were identified as means of checking crimes perpetrated on vacant lands. Burglar proof was indicated by 48.4% of respondents to be mostly adopted security measure at homes, while Closed Circuit Television was the least adopted. There were significant differences between the ‘size of vacant lands’; ‘distance of vacant lands from homes’ and households’ susceptibility to criminal victimization’ in the area. The study concluded that crime perpetrated on vacant lands in the study area varied spatially and had strong negative impacts on residents.
© Department of Geography, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria 2016