Perception On The Trend And Patterns Of Youth Criminality As A Result Of Covid-19 Lockdown
The impact of lockdown has an adverse effect on social vices especially on Crime rate among youths. Youths exists everywhere in the world. However, the prevalence of youth’s criminality in Nigeria durin g covid-19 posed serious concern for all and sundry. It is upon this reality, the study investigates the trend and patterns of youth criminality as an offshoot of covid-19 lockdown in Nigeria. The study utilized social learning theory and cultural theory of crime as theoretical guide. Descriptive survey design was used. Sample was one hundred and eighty (180) youths selected from six (6) cluster zones Lagos state, Nigeria. The researchers choice of Lagos is because of its proximity to the respondents and also because Lagos is among the state in Nigeria with records of Covid-19 cases and crime rate. The participants were selected through multi-stage sampling technique which included purposive, stratified and quota sampling methods. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed. The quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistic while qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis and direct quotes.
The result revealed that educational status, place of residence, family structure, use of hard drugs and alcohol consumption, criminal peers as well as idleness significantly influence the prevalence of youth’s involvement in crimes during Covid-19 lockdown in Nigeria. While, surprisingly, factors such as age, gender and marital status were confirm not significant in prevalence of youths crime in during covid-19. The study also finds out that Young people are particularly vulnerable to the disruptions the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, with many at risk of being left behind in education, economic opportunities, and health and wellbeing during a crucial stage of their life development. enrolled learners, are affected by school closures, and poverty and unemployment rates due to COVID-19 have increased dramatically.
Many of these hardships are also known risk factors associated with crime, violence, and drug use, and may expose youth to increased victimization and involvement with crime during and after the pandemic. Such risks, accentuated by confinement and restriction measures, include limited access to education and employment, inequality, stress within families/households, poor mental health and well-being, and loss of social and community networks. Based on the findings, the study recommends that Prevention of youth crime and violence in the context of COVID-19 requires synergetic efforts, good governance, ownership, ethical values, comprehensive and partnership approaches; it requires continuous youth engagement in crime prevention, security and socio-economic development aspects.
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