The focus of this study is on urbanization and high crime rate in towns and city of Akwa Ibom State. The study was necessitated by frequent reports on radio, television, newspapers, and individual and public opinions about increasing rate of crimes in major commercial and administrative towns in the state. To understand the cause, the effect of urbanization and criminality, six objectives, six research questions were raised and 3 hypotheses were formulated. In order to achieve these objectives, a total of 91 respondents were purposively selected to cover state security officers, chairmen of Local Government Areas, councilors from different wards, paramount rulers, clergymen, youth leaders and police officers from the rank of the superintendent and above. It was believed that these categories of persons are knowledgeable enough to answer questions pertaining to urban related crimes through well formulated structured questions. The findings revealed that poverty, lost family values, mother’s engagement in paid employment,  drug addiction and peddling, weak state control machinery, improper criminal justice system, ignorance of the law, limited social opportunities were responsible for increase crime in the urban centres of Akwa Ibom State. It was also revealed that such crimes as robbery, kidnapping, theft, car snatching, advance fee fraud, violence killings, ritual killings, child trafficking, and drug peddling were common criminal activities found within the urban centers of the state. The study recommended that visibility of the police be intensified, rural development and employment creation should be pursued to withdraw criminals from the streets be properly articulated, and community involvement through cooperation with the police and other security agent be encouraged.  These measures were believed to prevent and control crimes in towns and city of Akwa Ibom State.     


Title Page - - - - - - - - - i

Declaration - - - - - - - - ii

Certification - - - - - - - - iii

Dedication - - - - - - - - iv

Acknowledgement - - - - - - - v

Abstract - - - - - - - - - vii 

Table of Contents - - - - - - - viii

List of Table  - - - - - - - - xi


1.1 Background of the Study - - - - - 1

1.2 Statement of the Problem - - - - - 3

1.3 Objective of the Study - - - - - - 6

1.4 Research Questions - - - - - - 7

1.4.1 Hypotheses - - - - - - - 8

1.5 Significance of the Study - - - - - 9

1.6 Scope of the Study - - - - - - 10

1.7 Limitations of the Study - - - - - 10

1.8 Definition of Terms - - - - - - 11


2.1 Literature Review - - - - - - 13

2.1.1 Conceptualization of Urbanization and Crime - 13

2.1.2 Extent of Urbanization in Akwa Ibom State  - - 18

2.1.3 Relationship between Urbanization and Crime Rate - 24

2.1.4 Division of Crime Prevention Measures - - - 28

2.1.5 The Challenges of Crime Control and Prevention 

in Urban Areas of Akwa Ibom State---30

2.1.6 Measures for Effective Crime Prevention and Control 32

2.2 Theoretical Framework - - - - - 35


3.1 Research Design - - - - - - - 43

3.2 Population of the Study - - - - - 43

3.3 Sample Size and Sampling Technique - - - 44

3.4 Instrument of Data Collection - - - - 46

3.4.1 Validation of the Instruments - - - - 46

3.4.2 Reliability Test - - - - - - - 47

3.5. Sources of Data - - - - - - - 48

3.6 Data Analysis - - - - - - - 48


4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis - - - - 49

4.2 Interpretation or Discussion of Findings - - - 49

4.3 Test of Hypotheses - - - - - - 63

4.4 Discussion of the Findings - - - - - 66


5.1 Summary - - - - - - - - 73

5.2 Conclusion - - - - - - - 74

5.3 Recommendations - - - - - - 74

REFERENCES - - - - - - - 77

APPENDIX 1 - - - - - - - 79




Rapid urbanization is one of the interesting social processes which has occurred in Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State in particular urban development after independence in Nigeria has featured the establishment of new towns, upgrading in status of many small urban center’s with an inbuilt tendency to experience rapid growth. This is evident in major towns in various parts of Nigeria and regions.

These post-independence urban developments have taken place largely in response to political decisions aims at decentralization in order to further the process of national integration. Again, in Nigeria the process of regionalization, urban growth and development has followed the creation of twelve (12) states in 1967, 19 states in 1976, 21 states in 1987, 30 states in 1992 and 36 states in 1996, with the creation of many local governments. This development resulted in the upgrading of many small urban centres into status of states capital, while other small villages were upgraded to local government headquarters, where socio-economic and governmental activities take place.

Louis Wirth in his work “urbanization as a way of life” (1938) identifies a number of key features of urban life. Wirth defined urban centre as a relatively large, dense, and permanent settlement of socially heterogeneous individuals. The very size, density, and heterogeneity of these centres create social segregation, impersonality, social and geographical mobility. What this scholar implies is that as a distinct social phenomenon, urban centres or cities possess identifiable and distinct characteristics which set it apart from other forms of human settlement. 

Calhoun, Light and Keller (1997) argued in the light of the above that, urbanization had a wide range of effects on people’s lifestyles as well as on the structure of communities. Emerging urban settlements in Nigeria as well as in Akwa Ibom State become centres not only of industry, but of banking, finance, services, and huge commercial activities. Consequently, people flock into the urban centres, even when they have little prospect of finding jobs or housing. In Akwa Ibom State, the population of the city doubles every 10 to 15 months without proportionate increase inemployment opportunities and urban industrial activity. This had resulted in the emergence of sub-urban, squatter slum in an outskirts of cities, causing high cost of living, pressures in the existing social activities, general hardship, crime and other social vices we feel that a critical study and analysis of the rapid urbanization in Akwa Ibom state will reveal in detail a number of factors that could increase crime rate.


Urbanization is the increase in the proportion of a population living in urban centres. It refers to a population living in complex process of social transformation. At the heart of urbanization are cities where concentration of the economic, social, political and administrative organs of a nation or region is made possible. This makes these centres magnets for the rich as well as the poor households (Ekpenyong, 2000).

Urbanity is viewed with combined concept of size, density and the presence of certain institutions associated with urban lifestyles. The urban lifestyle earlier referred to, includes such related facilities as a town hall, church or chapel, public plaza, park and cemetery, market place, buildings for trade activities, schools, health care center and library. All these arebelieved to be pulling or attractive mechanism for high population density. In support of this notion demographic studies reveal some common characteristics of urban communities such as heterogeneity of cultures with concomitant differences in beliefs and behaviors, among group members, with relationships between persons restricted to specific needs. There are also increased human and social mobility, impersonality and anonymity with people who vary in age, race, ethnicity, norms and values. These are believed to be predisposing factors that breed urban crimes.

Social theorists have also argued that unplanned urbanization has heightened the observable rural-urban disparities in growth. This has strained resources and creates problems in the internal city and metropolitan area. With the development of the economy through Industrial investment and infrastructural development all concentrated in cities and urban Centres. Capital and entrepreneurial talents from the peripheries have been attracted to the Centre’s with unequal access to social opportunities. These inequalities in resources, opportunities, power and access to social status create frustration with potency to develop into pocket or subcultures of violence and crime. The absence of sound crime prevention planning and the apathy of the community towards involvementin anti-crime campaigns exacerbate crime dominated society. The crime literatures capture the following as urban related crimes - street crimes such as burglary, thief, robbery, kidnapping, drugs trafficking and addiction; violent crime against women and children. In an atmosphere of high criminality and violence, meaningful investment is discouraged and government efforts at all levels are geared towards combating crime and not development and human welfare. We feel that investigation into urbanization and crime related issue would through more light on how to make the urban centres crime free.


(a) The main objective: The main objective of the study is to investigated into the relationship between urbanization and criminality.

(b) Specific objectives: The study is guided by the under listed specific objectives;

(1) To investigate the extent to which urbanization has affected Akwa Ibom State.

(2) To identify the relationship between urbanization and crime rate.

(3) To identify factors responsible for increased crime rate in urban centres of Akwa Ibom State.

(4) To investigate the nature of crime prevalence in urban centres of Akwa Ibom State.

(5) To identify the strategies and challenges of combating urban related crimes in the State.

(6) To suggest measures that could ameliorate the challenges associated with combating urban related crime in the State.


i. To what extent has urbanization affected Akwa Ibom State?

ii. ii. Is there any relationship between urbanization and crime rate?

iii. Are there factors that facilitate increased crime rate in Akwa Ibom State?

iv. What nature does crime in Akwa Ibom State take?

v. Are there challenges in crime control and prevention in Akwa Ibom State?

vi. vi. Are there measures that can be adopted to overcome these challenges?

1.4.1. Hypotheses

i. Ho: There is no relationship between urbanization and crime rate.

ii. Ho: There is no significance relationship between high population density and crime rate.

iii. Ho: There is no significance relationship between different cultural backgrounds and crime rate.


This study examines the relationship between rapid urbanization and high crime rate in Akwa Ibom State. From the findings, the study shall become policy blue prints for combing crime and animal behavior in major towns and city in Akwa Ibom State and beyond. Information document such as this, suggest a collaborative effort between the government and the security agency on one hand and between the security and the community on the other hand in addressing security matter. Since it affects the communities, security agency, and the government.   

The methodology shall provide in roads into further research in security and crime related areas for students of criminology and other social researchers. In the intellectual circle, the findings of this study shall tricker interest in the areas of security and crime related investigation, so as to prevent and control crime and criminal behavior.


The focus of this study is urbanization and the challenge of crime control and prevention in Akwa Ibom State. However, there are other crime induced factors in social life, but the work concentrates on urbanization as a major factor in propelling crime and criminal behavior within Akwa Ibom towns as crime environment. 


The study suffers a number of limitations as it has to do with collecting data from major towns within Akwa Ibom crime environment. These limitations arose from the limited time available for data collection and analysis. In similar vein, the available funds for logistics were quite inadequate to cope with challenges of going round the crime environment for the needed data and payment of honorarium to the research assistants. The respondents were not easily accessed because of one engagement or the other. However, all these challenges were overcome and the report of these research pierced together for assessment.


⦁ Urbanization:This refers to the increase in the Proportion of a population living in urban places. In other words, it refers to a complex process of social transformation. At the heart of urbanization are cities that attract more people with varied backgrounds.

⦁ Crime:An act that violates the legal codes or criminal law of any society and it subject to official punishment.

⦁ Control:This refers to holding, checking, curbing, hindering, and preventing something from happening. It also refers to exercising restraint upon the free action against the society.

⦁ Prevention:This means forestalling. That is stopping something from happening and to help individuals so that they would not do what is prohibited. To check unaccepted behavior if already occurred from reoccurring.




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