Residents' Socio-Economic Characteristics and Types of Gated Communities as Significant Determinants of Neighbourhood Safety in Ibadan, Nigeria
Keywords:Neighbourhood, safety, perception, crime, gated communities
This study examined the residents’ socio-economic characteristics, types of gated communities, and the perception of safety in Ibadan, Nigeria. A questionnaire survey method and a direct observation schedule checklist were used to obtain the primary data. Thirty gated communities (GCs) indicating almost half of the 57 GCs were evaluated. Of 4922 units in the study areas, 493 samples, signifying 10% were appraised using a systematic sampling technique. Information was obtained from components of resident socio-economic characteristics and physical characteristics of neighbourhoods, which include: surveillance, territoriality, image and milieu, physical and design condition, experiences and social capital. The study used a Likert scale of 1 to 5 that started from very poor to excellent to measure elements of the Perception of Safety Index (PSI). The data obtained were evaluated using descriptive and inferential statistics. The result shows the levels and pattern of criminal activities in the study areas and identifies methods used by residents to curb the trend which comprises: enclosed neighbourhoods and gated communities. Others include vigilantes, community patrol, corporate guards or private security, putting in place closed circuit television (CCTV), jungle justice and mob action. This study showed that age, GC type, and the last time residents experienced an attack among others were related significantly to the perception of safety (p < 0.05). The analysis yielded p-values of 0.023, 0.005 and 0.001 respectively. The study resolved that the safety requirements of neighbourhoods varied, wide-ranging and comprehensive. The pathways for making improvements included: crime prevention through environmental design, social interaction, surveillance and improvement in the concepts of neighbourhood design, surveillance, territoriality, image and milieu.
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