Coronavirus: Why crime rate may rise after COVID-19 - Security experts
- Security experts have predicted an increase in crime rate in Nigeria after COVID-19 pandemic is over
- The experts point at the impact of the pandemic on the economy and the release of prisoners by the government as some of the reasons why the crime rate will increase
- To avert the pending rise in the crime rate, the government is advised, among other things, to recruit more police officers and provide them with better training and improved remuneration
Security experts in Nigeria have predicted an increase in the crime rate in the country after the coronavirus pandemic is over.
The Guardian reports that a former Department of State Services (DSS) boss, Dennis Amachree, said the fallouts of the lockdown in its first two weeks, especially in Lagos, were indications that there would be a spike in criminal activities during and immediately after the COVID-19 lockdown.
Amachree said crime rate may also increase due to the release of some prisoners by the federal and state governments in a bid to contain COVID-19 spread in the prisons.
The security expert said the criminals freed may regroup to form gangs again after the pandemic is over.
He advised the federal government to recruit more police officers and provide them with better training and improved remuneration.
“This way, crimes will not only be checked but prevented proactively in our society. The world after COVID-19 will be different from the way we use to know it,” the expert said.
Another security expert, a US-trained air force intelligence officer, Ms TanwaAshiru, holds a similar same opinion.
Ashiru advised the Nigerian government to focus on improving the economy to address the issue of insecurity after the pandemic is over.
She said the government must also provide relief packages for the vulnerable.
The security expert also advised the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to put in place for security agencies to respond to crime and emergencies.
Security analyst Christopher Oji said crime rates will increase because many businesses will be incapacitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that many people will lose their jobs.
Oji also expressed concerns over the release of prisoners due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“All the 36 states and FCT Abuja are compiling lists of inmates to be released. This is going to compound the challenge of crime-fighting in the country. The investigation has revealed that criminals don’t change.
"Those hardened criminals will form formidable gangs that will put serious pressure on our security agents. The government should do something urgently to check crime. They should look into the issue of unemployment with the utmost urgency," he said.
Oji also advised the federal government not to extend the lockdown unnecessarily because of its damaging impact on the economy.
He equally called on the government to engage in instant mopping up of arms.
"The proliferation of arms in the country has reached an embarrassing stage that the agencies that are responsible to man our borders should do something urgently to stop it. Some arms are produced locally; the Nigeria police should go after the manufacturers," he said.
Also, a certified protection officer, Frank Oshanugor, said the crime rate would increase after COVID-19 because many companies and businesses are not likely to come back fully on stream after the pandemic.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, expressed the intention of his administration to review the lockdown of the state.
The governor made his plans known at the second virtual meeting with business owners in the state on Wednesday, April 15.
The governor assured them that “strategic relaxation of the lockdown may be implemented.”
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