Socio-economic factors and law enforcement practices influence on crime rates in slum areas: A case study of Kamwokya II Parish
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A slum area is a highly populated urban residential area consisting of densely populated housing units of weak build quality often associated with poverty. Kamwokya II parish is part of Kamwokya slum with an estimated population of more than 40,000 people which has persistently high crime rates. 74.8% of the dwellers confess to a high crime rate which is alarming and needs immediate action. The main objective of this study is to determine the socioeconomic factors and law enforcement practices that influence crime rates in Kamwokya II Parish. To achieve this, a descriptive cross-sectional research design was used. The sample size was 394 respondents picked from 10 wards of Kamwokya II Parish which was arrived at using Cochran’s formula since its exact population is unknown. The researcher used a structured questionnaire to collect data which was analyzed using Stata software. Descriptive statistics such as frequencies and percentages were computed for different variables and tabulated at a univariate level. The Chi square test was used to test whether there was a relationship between crime rates as the dependent variable and various independent variables. At Multivariate level, Binary Logistic Regression was used to analyze the socioeconomic factors and law enforcement practices associated with crime rates in Kamwokya II Parish. The results from this study indicated findings at bivariate level that income level, different causes of crime, someone’s choice to engage in crime, mode of receipt of earned income, school attendance and police misconduct were found to influence crime rates in Kamwokya II Parish whereas occupation, types of crimes committed, criminal’s level of education, and law enforcement practices like community policing initiatives, police responsiveness to community needs were found not to be statistically significant since their p values were greater than 5%. From multivariate analysis, main source of income from properties and savings was found to be significant compared to income from a paid job, individuals who had witnessed police misconduct and familiarity with community policing initiatives had significant influence on crime rates. Other factors like poor justice system, school attendance and level of income had no significant effect on crime rates. From findings of this study, we can therefore conclude that there is a significant relationship between main source of income, unemployment, police misconduct and community policing initiatives show significant higher odds of contributing to crime rates. From the findings, the researcher recommends the government and other stakeholders to put up policies that diversify income sources, address poverty and income inequalities, encourage tailored drug prevention and rehabilitation in order to address the problem of high crime rates in Kamwokya II parish.