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The level of criminality in upper and lower class residential areas in Accra. The study of Cantonments and Jamestown

Essay 2017 83 Pages

Sociology - Law, Delinquency, Abnormal Behavior

Excerpt

List of content

COVER PAGE..

DECLARATION..

DEDICATION.....

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT..

ABSTRACT.....

TABLE OF CONTENT...

LIST OF TABLES

LIST OF FIGURES.

CHAPTER ONE.
- BACKGROUND STATEMENT.
- DEFINITION OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM.
- STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES, HYPOTHESES AND PROPOSITIONS
- LITERATURE REVIEW.
- THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVE.
- RESEARCH METHOD.
- DEFINITION OF KEY CONCEPTS

CHAPTER TWO...
- INTRO TO PROBLEM STATEMENT
- STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
- STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES, HYPOTHESES AND PROPOSITIONS

CHAPTER THREE..
- HISTORY AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF STUDY AREAS
- LITERATURE REVIEW

CHAPTER FOUR...
- DATA ANALYSIS.
- HYPOTHESES TEST
- LIMITATIONS OF STUDY

CHAPTER FIVE...
1.2 SUMMARY
1.3 CONCLUSION
1.4 RECOMMENDATIONS61-
1.5 REFERENCES..
1.6 APPENDIX....

LIST OF TABLES

TABLE 1.1 (CROSS-TABULATION) EFFICIENCY OF TARGET HARDENING AND LEVEL OF TARGET HARDENING

TABLE 1.2 CHI-SQUARE TESTS

TABLE 1.3 SYMMETRIC MEASURES

TABLE 2.1 (CROSS-TABULATION) LEVEL OF EDUCATION AND WILLINGNESS TO REPORT CRIMES

TABLE 2.2 CHI-SQUARE TESTS

TABLE 2.3 SYMMETRIC MEASURES

LIST OF FIGURES

FIGURES 3A-B Sex of respondents

FIGURES 4A-B Ethnicity of respondents

FIGURES 5A-B Housing type of respondents

FIGURES 6A-B Employment status of respondents

FIGURE 7 Level of Education of respondents

FIGURES 8A-B Prevalent crimes

FIGURES 9A-B Assessment of the Ghana Police Service by respondents

FIGURES 10A-B Willingness of respondents to report crimes to the Police

FIGURES 11A-B Target hardening measures

FIGURES 12A-B Main factor of target hardening

FIGURE 13 Efficiency of target hardening

FIGURE 14 Picture showing a Flat in Cantonments with target hardening measures

FIGURES 15A-B Pictures of Crime hotspots in Cantonments

FIGURES 16A-B Pictures of Crime hotspots in Jamestown

CHAPTER ONE.

Introduction to Background Statement

This chapter is an introduction to the entire study. This chapter also gives a geographical and historical overview of Cantonments and Jamestown as well as discusses my personal perceptions and motivations for undertaking this study.

Background Statement

In the words of William Graham Sumner (1906), deviance is a “violation of established contextual, cultural, or social norms, be it folkways, mores, or codified law”. Crime as a concept can be defined in many ways. Going by Sumner’s definition of deviance, crime can be defined as an act of deviance that breaks a formal/enacted law. The determination of what is and what is not crime is based on the constitution or laws of a state at a particular period in time.

There are many types or forms of crime. Usually, crime can be classified into four main categories. These include felony, felony-misdemeanor, misdemeanor and infraction. (open lib.umn.edu) Felonies are the most severe criminal offenses. (open lib.umn.edu) Examples of felonies include, murder, rape, arson etc. Misdemeanors are less serious and are accompanied by less severe punishments such as fines, minimal jail sentences of one year and less than twelve months. (open lib.umn.edu) Examples of misdemeanor include, prostitution, public intoxication, simple assault, disorderly conduct etc. Felony-misdemeanors on the other hand are crimes that the government can punish as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on particular circumstances accompanying the offense in question. (open lib.umn.edu) Infractions are the least significant criminal offenses or legal violations. (open lib.umn.edu) Examples of infraction include, petty theft, road-traffic violations, drink-driving etc.

In a developing country like Ghana, the rich or upper class are vulnerable or potential victims of certain types of crime. Criminal activity in Ghana just like in many other parts of the world is a product of socioeconomic ills such as unemployment, poverty and massive economic inequality between the haves and the have-nots.(financesonline.com/how-income-inequality-affects-crime-rates) The wealthy or upper-class of the Ghanaian society often fall victim to crimes such as, armed robbery, burglary, petty-theft, muggings, murder, rape etc.(modernghana.com/news/187956/both-armed-robbers-and-pen-robbers-must-be-brought-to-bo.html)

Historically, Cantonments as the name connotes was intended to be a hub of the British colonial military in Ghana. Today, Cantonments still has many military facilities and services. With the passage of time, Cantonments remains one of the wealthy settlements in the heart of Accra. According to data from the Ghana statistical service, many of the homes in the settlement are three or four bedrooms. Cantonments is located at the southern portion of the CBD (Central Business District) of the city. This location makes it a hotbed and a prime location for many foreign missions, businesses, schools and other services. It is home to the US embassy, Australian High Commission, Chinese embassy etc. In addition, some of the country’s elite and most successful preparatory and secondary schools are located in the area. These include, Ghana International School (GIS), St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High School, Morning Star International School, etc. Shops such as Max mart and Koala shopping arcade can also be found in Cantonments. As a result of the location of all these significant social amenities and businesses, it is not far-fetched for one to consider Cantonments a potentially crime-prone area. This is why this particular neighborhood has a police station to protect the residents from the dangers of criminals around them. (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantonments,_Accra)

Similarly, Jamestown was established in the colonial era, the 17th century to be precise. Jamestown is said to have developed as many people settled in close proximity to James Fort in the southern coast of Accra. Over the years, Jamestown has developed into a major commercial and residential hub in the coastal fringes of Accra. Majority of the residents of Jamestown are fisher folk. Unlike many parts of Accra which have become cosmopolitan, Jamestown still has a predominantly Ga population. Due to urban sprawl and decay coupled with the apparent neglect of the area by numerous governments over the years, Jamestown remains one of the poorest settlements in Accra today despite its budding status as a prominent tourist destination in the Greater Accra region. Just like Cantonments, the streets of Jamestown are littered with very prominent landmarks, some of these landmarks include, James Fort, the Jamestown lighthouse, Ussher Fort, Accra railway station, Accra Central Post Office, Rawlings Park, Makola market # 2 etc. (en.m.wikipedia.or/wiki/Jamestown/Usshertown_Accra)

Based on experiences that I have had during interactions with others, I am of the view that criminal activity in upper class neighborhoods such as Cantonments is often perceived as negligible or insignificant by many laymen in the Ghanaian society. It is based on this premise that I decided to embark on this study. Apart from this urge of curiosity, I also decided to do a comparative study of crime in upper and lower class residential areas to further investigate the possible relationship between crime and poverty. To ensure that I succeed in this endeavor, I selected Jamestown as a lower class residential area from where I can obtain data for an accurate analysis. According to mobile.ghanaweb.com, which was quoting a poverty assessment of Accra, Jamestown along with communities like Nima and Chorkor were highlighted as the poorest settlements in Accra. As someone who spent two years of his life as an A-level student of Ghana International School, I was always curious to find out the nature of criminal activity in the area. On the 9th of January, 2016, an incident occurred which further aroused my curiosity about crime in Cantonments. This incident was an attempted robbery near the Koala shopping arcade which was foiled by a courageous taxi driver. The taxi driver’s decision to knock-down the two robbers saved the potential victim from losing property and potentially her life. This incident received a lot of media coverage. As a result, the brave taxi driver Fred Ade was rewarded by then president of Ghana John Dramani Mahama. Similar to Cantonments, a recent criminal incident which got some media attention occurred in Jamestown. This was the infamous baby theft case which occurred on the 8th of July 2016 at Jamestown. This case involved a two-month baby, two suspects namely Joyce Ashieley and Lamiley Mills who according to the prosecutor attempted to steal the two-month baby from his mother. Today, this baby theft case remains ‘in the bosom’ of the courts with a verdict that is yet to be declared. (mobile.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/crime/James-Town-baby-thieves-charged-460673)

Based on this background of curiosity as well as an understanding of the socioeconomic dynamics of the two communities, I take on this challenging and intriguing study with all my dedication and knowledge of social research.

Definition of Research Problem

Crime rates in the Accra metropolitan area is claimed to be on the decline according to some reliable media houses in Ghana such as Graphic online.com, Ghanaiantimes.com, citifmonline etc. According to Ghanaiantimes.com, the Accra Central police recorded 5,979 crimes in 2014 as against 6,252 crimes in 2013, which is a decline of 4.37%. ACP Gyamerah of the Accra central police stated that crime has been on a decline from 2010 till date. According to the Accra central police, stealing and assault accounted for 67% of the crimes occurring in 2014. Despite the fact that crime has declined according to the above statistics, it continues to remain a significant problem for many people in Ghana today.

Based on the attitudes of Ghanaians toward crime and criminals in general, it is obvious that crime is a negative phenomenon in the country. For instance, people found culpable of theft or robbery by Ghanaian citizenry in many communities in Accra such as Nima, Madina etc. are often subjected to brutal mob lynching. (Bagson and Owusu 2016) Also many homes owned by rich and middle class Ghanaians are highly secured and fortified with very tall opaque walls and electric barb wire mesh etc. to prevent armed robbers and burglars from climbing walls. (Owusu, Oteng-Ababio, et.al 2015) However, the decline of crime in recent years according to official statistics shows that although crime is still a topic of concern, it is not among the problems Ghanaians or citizens in the Accra metropolis for that matter are seriously complaining about today.

With the advancement of technology, as well as a large youthful and tech-savvy population, cyber-crime/fraud or what is locally referred to as sakawa, has become very popular. Foreigners or Westerners are most vulnerable to internet fraudsters from West African countries like Ghana and Nigeria. (Warner 2011)

The Ghana crime statistics show that crime is nationwide. However some crimes are more prevalent in certain settlements than in others. For example crimes such as pick-pocketing, fraud, car-jacking and the likes are prevalent in predominantly urban areas such as Accra and its major sub-metros. However in rural areas, crimes such as petty theft of farm produce, rape and murder are quiet prevalent. (Owusu, Oteng-Ababio, et.al 2016)

According to numbeo.com, Ghana currently has a crime index of 47.24 and a safety index of 50.94. Regarding crime index on a global scale, Ghana is currently ranked fifty second in the world by numbeo.com. The crime index is a measure of crime rates and occurrences per annum. Taking into consideration the economic hardships of recent years such as soaring inflation, dumsor etc. which have contributed to an ever-growing income gap between the rich, middle classes and the poor, it is quite ‘impressive’ that Ghana has a relatively low crime index. Also, countries with similar economic challenges like Ghana such as Venezuela and Honduras have very high crime indexes. Secondly, it is also an indication of the success of measures implemented by the Ghana police service (GPS) to combat crime. Many scholars of criminology are of the view that, there is a poverty-crime nexus or a relationship/correlation between crime and poverty. (Owusu, Oteng-Ababio, et.al 2016)

This argument is supported by empirical studies. However from a purely scientific or sociological viewpoint, it will be premature to assume that because crime is said to be deeply rooted in poverty, that there is no significant occurrence of crime in an upper class settlement like Cantonments. In fact during the period of 1982-1993, Cantonments together with communities like Zongo junction (Madina), Nima, Labone and the likes recorded the highest residential robbery rates.(Appiahene-Gyamfi 1998)

As seen in the January 9th attempted robbery incident, it is obvious that crime exists in Cantonments. The baby theft case is also evidence of crime in Jamestown. It is a major task for me to find out the extent to which criminal activity occurs in Cantonments and Jamestown.

Research Objectives

The main objective of this study is to investigate the extent of criminal activities in Cantonments and Jamestown.

Specific Objectives

The specific objectives are as follows;

- To ascertain what types of crimes are prevalent in the Cantonments and Jamestown areas.

- To ascertain the social background of respondents.

- To determine the existence crime hotspots (areas of major criminal activity) in Cantonments and Jamestown.

- To find out the willingness of residents in Cantonments and Jamestown to report crimes to the police.

- To ascertain the efficacy of crime prevention strategies by residents in the settlements of Cantonments and Jamestown.

Hypotheses to be tested

The greater the level of protection for residents the less susceptible the residents are to being attacked by criminals in their homes.

The greater the level of education of residents, the more likely they are to report crimes.

Research propositions to be investigated

The rate of non-property crimes i.e. murder, rape, assault etc. is lower in upper class residential areas than lower class residential areas.

Highly sophisticated domestic security systems are more common in upper class residential areas than lower class areas.

SECTION 2. Introduction to Literature Review

Literature review is a comprehensive assessment that aims to review the critical points of current knowledge including substantive findings as well as theoretical contributions to a particular topic. It is the ultimate goal of this chapter to bring the reader up to date with current literature on the topic and forms the basis for another goal which is to determine where future research may be needed in the area. It should be established that literature on this specific subject of crime in upper and lower class residential areas in Accra is sparse since this area of research has been tackled by few researchers.

Literature Review

Many criminologists and other stakeholders in the study of crime have made numerous attempts to answer the often elusive question of what makes some settlements relatively crime prone and other settlements relatively crime-free. So far, there has been no conclusive answer to this question. Many experts in law and sociology of law for that matter agree that crime statistics is not a fair reflection of crime rate at any point in time within a given geographical area. Due to this assertion, there is the idea of a ‘dark figure’ surrounding crime statistics. This ‘dark figure’ refers to all criminal offences which are not reported to or documented by the police. (Walsh, Anthony et.al 2014) Based on this premise, it is difficult to establish any sort of correlation between demographics or even socioeconomic circumstances and criminal activity. (Landman 2012)

Crime is perceived by many laymen and even scholars to be a problem which predominantly affects and emanates from lower class residential areas. This perception has been proven by studies in many parts of the world such as Latin America with countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Honduras and Mexico being prime examples. (UNODC 2012) However, it is important to note that this phenomenon may not exactly be the case in a country like Ghana where the demographic and socioeconomic dynamics differ considerably to that of say Brazil. As a result of the apparent lack of research on crime and poverty in Ghana and Africa for that matter, scholars such as Owusu, Oteng-Ababio, et.al, (2016) wrote a series of research papers investigating the poverty-crime nexus. In carrying out their study, these scholars surveyed households in the four major cities in Ghana which include Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Sekondi-Takoradi. According to their findings, property crimes such as robbery, burglary and the likes were more prevalent in middle and upper class residential areas. For example the 2014 household crime data showed that lower class residential areas recorded a burglary with entry rate of 30.3%, while middle class and upper class residential areas recorded burglary with entry rates of 33.9% and 35.7% respectively. Also, lower class residential areas recorded a robbery rate of 10.1% while middle class and upper class recorded a robbery rate of 30.4% and 26.3% respectively. (Owusu, Oteng-Ababio, et.al 2016) This phenomenon was attributed to the fact that the perpetrators of such crimes were attracted by the opportunity of obtaining huge sums of money, jewelry and other valuable property which are available in wealthier settlements. This finding proves that criminals who are driven into crime by their difficult socioeconomic circumstances perceive wealthier residential areas as places were their labour is likely to be ‘rewarded’ so to speak. However, this argument does not suffice when explaining the root cause of criminal behaviour in general as well as which specific demographic constitute the most likely victims of non-property crimes for example murder, rape etc.

Several other theories or assertions have emerged to explain why lower class residential areas experience less property crime as opposed to middle and high class settlements. For instance, Appiahene-Gyamfi (2003: 19) is of the view that, slums have recorded low burglary rates because, high unemployment results in the almost constant presence of residents to guard homes against robbery or burglary attempts. It is also believed that due to the absence of tall opaque walls and barbed electric wire fences and the like, residents of lower class residential areas have adopted natural surveillance as well as natural territorial reinforcement in order to ward of property criminals. (Newman, 1972, 1996; Lersch, 2007)

Although property crime is prevalent in wealthier residential areas, the same cannot be said for some non-property crimes such as defilement. This assertion was made by Wrigley-Asante et. al, (2016) and reported by DOVVSU. Data gathered by Owusu, Oteng-Ababio et. al, (2016) debunk the assertion made by Wrigley-Asante et.al, (2016). Findings from the 2014 household crime questionnaire survey also show that low class residential areas recorded a defilement rate of 0.8 whereas both middle and upper class residential areas recorded a defilement rate of 0.00. However, Ghana Police Service statistics showed that defilement and rape were among the top five frequently committed offences. In addition, police data according to Wrigley Asante (2016), showed that rape was the most reported criminal offence.

Some criminal activities perpetrated by Ghanaians are not primarily targeted at Ghanaians or fellow Africans for that matter. An example of such a crime is cybercrime or what is known locally as sakawa. According to Warner (2011), Ghanaians target wealthy foreigners for cyber fraud because they are likely to ‘siphon’ a lot of money from them. Warner further adds that many young Ghanaians and West Africans for that matter engage in sakawa as a means avenging the socioeconomic exploitation imposed by Western governments and their economic interests as a result of colonization. In recalling a personal communication made by Issah Yahaya (2011), Warner describes the stereotypical cyber fraudster as, a typically unemployed or underemployed youth who spends copious amount of time at the internet café. Warner (2011) also indicated that although the involvement of women in cybercrime is quite significant, it is still a predominantly male endeavor. Although in most cases, the intended victims of cybercrime are wealthy western civilians, some high profile western government officials often fall within the crosshairs of these cybercriminals. An example of this was U.S. congressman Robert Wexley who was allegedly blackmailed by a Ghanaian who gained access to his old hard drive and its highly compromising contents. (Warner 2011)

Socioeconomic circumstances are not the sole factor which determines the occurrence or rate of crime. At times, other factors such as weather or seasonal climatic phenomena also play a part. According to Guerry, who is cited by Herbert (1982), mostly concentrated on the urban-rural differences in crime occurrence. Guerry discovered different seasonal patterns were accompanied by specific criminal behaviour in France. Based on his findings, Guerry concluded that crimes against property were more frequent during winter in the north of France, whereas the south had more incidence of crimes against the person i.e. murder, rape etc. during summer. (Ahmadi 2003) This proves that the rate of crime at any particular place and point in time is determined by several social, economic and physical factors.

A group of scholars known as the Chicago school of Criminology pioneered the concept of spatial ecology of crime through the works of leading researchers Shaw and McKay. (Ahmadi 2003) By using an effective dot mapping technique, Shaw and McKay were able to map the homes of juvenile delinquents. (Herbert 1982) Shaw and McKay discovered through their use of dot mapping that these offenders lived closer to the CBD of Chicago. Further research also found that these areas where these offenders lived where characterized by poverty, sub-standard housing and a large foreign born population struggling to make ends meet.(Herbert 1982) This finding supports the commonly held belief that criminals are products of poor and deprived communities.

In many countries in Africa such as South Africa and Nigeria to some extent, property crime is quite common. According to worldatlas.com, the South African city of Rustenburg was rated as the city with the highest crime rate in Africa whereas Lagos in Nigeria was rated as the city with the sixth highest crime rate. This phenomenon has been attributed to the wide economic gap that exists between the haves and the have-nots in many countries in Africa. (Toju, Okeke et.al 2014) Toju, Okeke et.al, (2014) conducted a research on crime in the Benin City area. Their study found that property crimes such as robbery and burglary consisted of 51% of the most prevalent crimes in the city. This finding supports the assertion that poverty and inequality play a crucial role in the prevalence of crime in a given area at any particular point in time.

All the literature reviewed thus far give some sort of relationship between crime and socioeconomic circumstances such as poverty and economic inequality. The ‘Crime-poverty nexus’ studies by scholars, Owusu, Oteng-Ababio, et.al, (2016) is the closest to a comprehensive analysis of crime in upper and lower class settlements. However, these studies are somewhat ‘flawed’ in that regard. This is because, these studies are a comparative analysis of crime in upper, middle and lower class residential areas. Despite the fact that this study is also a comparative analysis of crime rates in upper and lower class residential areas like Cantonments and Jamestown, the main difference between this study and that of Owusu, Oteng-Ababio, et.al, (2016) is the fact that my study areas are situated in the same city. Although I cannot state on authority that, there is no prior study of crime in Cantonments and Jamestown, I can however attest to the fact that prior studies on crime in Cantonments and Jamestown are quite rare. In this regard, I conclude this review by reiterating that this study aims at demystifying the phenomenon of crime in Cantonments and Jamestown.

SECTION 3. Introduction to Theoretical Perspective

This section includes the various scholarly ideas on the social phenomena of crime and perceptions of it in the academic discourse community. Many criminologists are of the view that crime is largely an urban phenomena. Others have also argued that there is a strong link or nexus between crime, poverty and inequality. (Owusu, Oteng-Ababio et al., 2016) This section dissects the various theories surrounding the circumstances of criminal behavior in greater detail.

Theoretical Perspective

An example of a theory which tries to explain the rationale behind criminal behavior is Robert Merton’s strain theory. According to this theory, people tend to commit crimes due to the absence of legitimate means to achieve society’s goals. For example, an individual who is unemployed for a long time is likely to turn to crime as an alternative method of obtaining income for sustaining his or her needs. Merton is of the view that there are two types of strain. These include, structural and human strain. Structural strain involves societal processes which affect how the individual perceives his or her needs. However, individual strain involves difficulties and hardships experienced by an individual as he/she looks for means to satisfy his or her needs. (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strain_theory_(sociology))

On the other hand, Institutional Anomie theory propounded by Steven Messner and Richard Rosenfeld (1994) posits that crime emanates from the inadequacy of restraints toward market economic behavior. Unlike Merton’s strain theory, IAT suggests that criminal activity is not only influenced by a single social institution. (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strain_theory_(sociology))

The illegitimate opportunities theory developed by Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin (1960) suggests that, crime emanates from numerous illegitimate opportunities rather than legitmate ones. For example, someone decides to engage in car theft because he or she perceives it to be a cheaper alternative or a better opportunity than having to legally or legitimately acquire a car. (en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strain_theory_(sociology))

Apart from the theories explained above, another set of theories which is known as the situational crime prevention theories attempt to explain why certain crimes occur at certain locations, who the targets of a particular crime are, amongst other details. (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2003) One of the leading proponents of this theory, Edwin Sutherland (1947) argued that crime had two main characteristics. These according to him were, historical and situational. The historical characteristic involves the personal histories of criminal activities whereas the situational characteristic involves the environmental characteristics encompassing the crime scene. In later years another proponent by name Ronald Clarke (1983), redefined the situational crime prevention theory by focusing on the immediate physical and social settings of the crime as well as the wider societal arrangements in place during the occurrence of the crime in question rather than the perpetrator of the crime. (criminology.wikia.com/wiki/Situational_Crime_Prevention)

According to Clarke (1983), situational crime prevention is the, “science and art of decreasing the amount of opportunities for crime using “measures directed at highly specific forms of crime that involve the management, design, or manipulation of the immediate environment in a systematic and permanent way””. In a nutshell, situational crime prevention theories assume that greater opportunities lead to more crime, easier or less risky opportunities attract more perpetrators. Situational prevention theories are greatly influenced by other sociological theories on crime such as rational choice theory, routine activity theory, and crime pattern theory among others. According to rational choice theory, offenders focus on suitable targets while weighing the risks and benefits of their criminal activities in the absence of effective controls before committing any crime. For example, an armed robber will target a wealthy family who have a poor or weak home security system as against a less wealthy family who live in a slum notoriously known for lynching criminals. Routine activity theory on the other hand, argues that crime occurs due to the existence of three main variables. These include, a motivated offender, a suitable victim, and a lack of control by police and other security agencies. Based on the arguments of rational choice and routine activity theories, effective crime prevention can be achieved through two main strategies. These include, changing the offender’s personal dispositions and reducing the opportunities available to the offender. Some of the broad aims of situational crime prevention include, increasing the effort of crime which can be done through target hardening such as physical barriers i.e. tall opaque walls with electric barbed wires etc., increasing the risk of crime, this can be done through precautionary measures like neighbourhood watch which exists in countries like Rwanda and the US, reducing the rewards by concealing the objects targeted by offenders i.e. money, jewelry etc. reducing provocation through the reduction of factors/conditions which compel people to engage in crime. i.e. poverty, unemployment and removing excuses by publicizing laws and punishments which accompany the breaking of these laws.

SECTION 4. Introduction to Research Method

This section deals with the techniques, skills, data collection methods and instruments used to conduct this research. The main priority of this study is to investigate the level of criminal activity prevalent in Cantonments and Jamestown. The research method must be geared toward achieving this as well as the specific objectives which constitute it.

Research method

Study Area: In a nutshell, Cantonments can be described as a largely upper class settlement which is in the outer periphery of CBD (Central Business District) of Accra. Cantonments is also in close proximity to other upper class residential areas such as Labone and Ridge. As a result of this, Cantonments has many infrastructural privileges which are not common in other localities in Accra or the entire country for that matter. Cantonments is home to the 37 military hospital, Ghana Armed Forces facilities, many businesses and shops such as Max Mart, Koala Shopping arcade etc. The famous Christ the King Catholic Church where many dignitaries attend church service is also located in Cantonments. Many elite educational institutions such as GIS (Ghana International School), St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High School, Morning star school, New Horizon School etc. are also located in Cantonments. Apart from the schools and businesses, Cantonments is also home to many foreign missions/embassies. Prominent among them are the US embassy, the Australian High Commission, the Belgian Consulate, Mexican Embassy etc.

During the colonial era, Cantonments was intended to be a military quarters under the British colonial government. Ever since the colonial period till today, Cantonments remains one of the wealthiest and well planned neighborhoods in Accra. Jamestown on the other hand is amongst the poorest communities in Accra. Despite the fact that the British colonial regime as well as some subsequent indigenous governments had plans of developing Jamestown, these attempts or plans are yet to ‘bear fruit’. Like Cantonments Jamestown has many landmarks such as, James Fort, the Jamestown lighthouse, Ussher Fort, Accra railway station, Accra Central Post Office, Rawlings Park, Makola market # 2 etc. (en.m.wikipedia.or/wiki/Jamestown/Usshertown_Accra)

Sample Design: The sampling method is quantitative with a sample size of 120 respondents. Questionnaires will be made available and distributed to 60 homes each in the areas of Cantonments and Jamestown. The sampling technique I will use is the multi-stage cluster technique. I will use this sampling technique to categorize the various houses (housing types) into socioeconomic classes. These include, upper class, middle class and lower class housing. For instance, a normal single room (self-contained) and chamber and hall houses are examples of lower class housing. Examples of middle class housing include, detached and semi-detached houses. According to meqasa.com, high class flats, town houses and condominiums are examples of upper class housing.

Instruments for data collection: Due to the fact that this study involves a large sample size of 120 respondents who are spread across various parts of the study areas, a quantitative research approach must be adopted for a study of this kind. As a result, I am compelled to utilize the questionnaire as the instrument of data collection and a means of hypotheses testing.

Data analysis approach: After the collection of data , I will use Microsoft Excel 2013 software to run my data analysis and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to my test hypotheses. I will produce charts or graphs which visually and clearly show the findings of the study

Anticipated problems and proposed solutions: One problem I anticipate with this study is the fact that some of the respondents I may encounter may not be able to read or write in English language. As a result of this, I will put in the necessary measure of explaining each question on the questionnaire to the respondent in their language of preference during the data collection process. This will enable people who are unable to communicate in English to express their views freely in spite of the language barrier

Definition of Key Concepts

Crime, Upper class residential area, Lower class residential area

Crime: According to Odgers, (1911) “crime is a wrongful act of such a kind that the state deems necessary, in the interests of the public, to repress it: for its repetition would be harmful to the community as a whole”. i.e. rape, murder, theft, cyber fraud etc. (www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/C/Crime.aspx)

According to the Ghana Statistical Service, crime may be defined as a deviant behaviour that violates prevailing norms–cultural standards prescribing how humans ought to behave normally. For an act to be considered as a crime, the act must however, be found in the statute books. (Ghana Statistical Service Victimization Survey 2009)

Upper class residential area: This is a community whereby the highest socioeconomic group of wealthy and powerful individuals and their families live or reside. i.e. Cantonments, Trasacco Valley, North Ridge etc. (Investopedia.com)

Lower class residential area: This is a community whereby the lowest socioeconomic group of poor and working class individuals and their families live or reside. i.e. Chorkor, Jamestown, Nima, old Fadama etc. (majidata.go.ke/definition.php)

CHAPTER TWO. Introduction to Problem Statement

This section describes the main problem(s) that the study seeks to solve. The problems are discussed in broader detail with the specific attributes of the problem being outlined. In addition the problem statement mentions how the study resolved the stated problem(s).

Problem Statement

The link between crime and poverty has boggled the minds of many criminologists and researchers in crime studies. Many laymen assume that due to the fact that target-hardening is quite prevalent in upper class residential areas, crime is virtually non-existent in these settlements. Lower class areas on the other hand are also assumed to be hotbeds for numerous criminal activities due to the fact that poverty and unemployment are quite rife in such settlements. It is also presumed by some that the apparent neglect of the police is also a contributing factor of the perceived crime prevalence in lower class residential areas. This study seeks to find out from residents of Cantonments and Jamestown what the crime situation is in their respective localities. To do this, 120 questionnaires will be administered to respondents in both Cantonments and Jamestown to find out what crimes are prevalent in the aforementioned areas and also the extent these crimes in the two communities.

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Pages
83
Year
2017
ISBN (eBook)
9783668498839
ISBN (Book)
9783668498846
File size
1.9 MB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v370290
Institution / College
University of Ghana, Legon – School of Social Sciences
Tags
crime Cantonment Jamestown

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Title: The level of criminality in upper and lower class residential areas in Accra. The study of Cantonments and Jamestown