Journal of City and Development
ISSN (Print): ISSN Pending ISSN (Online): ISSN Pending Website: Editor-in-chief: Guangming Yu
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of City and Development. 2020, 2(1), 7-17
DOI: 10.12691/jcd-2-1-2
Open AccessArticle

Spatial Typology of Crimes in Bamenda Urbanscape, Cameroon

Clarkson M. Wanie1, Reeves M. Fokeng1, and Divine D. Fenjoh1

1Department of Geography and Planning, Faculty of Arts, The University of Bamenda, Cameroon

Pub. Date: December 20, 2020

Cite this paper:
Clarkson M. Wanie, Reeves M. Fokeng and Divine D. Fenjoh. Spatial Typology of Crimes in Bamenda Urbanscape, Cameroon. Journal of City and Development. 2020; 2(1):7-17. doi: 10.12691/jcd-2-1-2


Over the years, the urban space of Bamenda has experienced a significant surge in crimes in tandem with the prevailing socio-political crisis which has fan the flames for urban disorders and odds. The study aimed to investigate various types of crimes, their spatial distribution, spatial variation/density as well as hotspots in Bamenda urbanscape. The study used questionnaires and key informant interviews to collect quantitative and qualitative data. Spatialisation of urban crime types and manifestation was done in a GIS environment using thematic mapping techniques. Four crime categories/types and their sub-classes were identified; violent crimes (805), property crimes (312), organised crimes (452) and white-collar crimes (76) registered cases as on annual basis, with varying intensities from CBD to the suburbs. Of these recurrent crimes within the urban space, seven neighbourhoods were found to be potential crime hotspots with rising annually recorded crimes. Alongside their annually estimated crimes are; Mobile Nkwen (331), Commercial Avenue (301), Mile 4 Nkwen (213), Ntamulung (237), Rendez-vous (245) Azire New church (196) and Below Foncha (122). The study suggest proper collaboration between the city dwellers and the police for early identification and sourcing of crime scenes through video surveillance and the enforcement of policing within crime hotspot zones as a palliative to curb crimes in Bamenda.

Urbanisation urban crimes safety security crime clusters spatial variation planning implications

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  UN-HABITAT, Africa on the move. An urban crisis in the making, 21st session of governing council, 16-20 April, Nairobi, Kenya, 2007a.
[2]  UN-HABITAT, Enhancing Urban Safety and Security, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Kenya, 2007b.
[3]  Ghani, Z.A, “A comparative study of urban crime between Malaysia and Nigeria”, Journal of urban management, 6 (1). 19-29. 2017.
[4]  UN-HABITAT, Reducing Urban Crime and Violence: Policy Directions, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Earthscan, London, 2008.
[5]  Jiburum, U., Mba, H.C., Ezeamama, J.U, “Crime and Choice of Residence in Enugu, Southeast Nigeria: A Non-Parametric Analysis “, Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, 4 (17). 144-150. 2014.
[6]  Bourguignon, F, “Crime as a Social Cost of Poverty and Inequality: A Review Focusing on Developing countries,” Andes - Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, Universidad de los CEDE, September 2009. RePEc: col:000090:005839.
[7]  Gümüş, E, Crime in urban areas: an empirical investigation, 2004. rban_Areas_An_Empirical_Investigation.
[8]  Sheykhi, M.T, Increasing Crimes vs. Population Density in Megacities”, Sociology and Criminology, 4: 136. 2016.
[9]  Glaeser, E.L., and Sacerdote, B, Why is there more crimes in cities? National Bureau of Economic Research working paper 5430, Massachussets.1996.
[10]  Natarajan, M, “Crime in developing countries: the contribution of crime science”, Crime Science, 5 (8). 2016.
[11]  Brennan-Galvin, E, “Crime and Violence in an Urbanizing World”, Journal of International Affairs, Face of the State: Population, Politics and Stability, 56 (1). 123-145. 2016.
[12]  World Bank, Violence in the City. Understanding and Supporting Community Responses to Urban Violence, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development /The World Bank, Washington, DC 20433. 2011. content/uploads/2012/10/Violence_in_the_City.pdf.
[13]  UNODC, Crime and development in Africa. 2005a. me_and_Development_in_Africa.pdf.
[14]  UNODC, Transnational Organized Crime in the West African Region. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna. 2005b. crime/transnational_crime_west-africa-05.pdf.
[15]  Reitano, T., and Hunter, M, The crime-development paradox: Organised crime and the SDGs, Continental Report 02. 2018. Continental-Report-02-14Feb1145.pdf.
[16]  Hunt, J, “From Crime Mapping to Crime Forecasting: The Evolution of Place-Based Policing”, NIJ Journal, 281. November 2019, forecasting-evolution-place-based-policing.
[17]  Kimengsi, J.N, and Ndam I, “Spatial Variations and Planning Implications of Urban Crimes in the Bamenda Metropolis of Cameroon”, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, 2 (4). 89-98. 2017.
[18]  OSAC, Cameroon 2019 Crime & Safety Report. 2019. 1678858-8009-43c5-9c7b-160eea6972d.
[19]  Fogwe, Z.N, “An Assessment of an Urban Development-Flood-Impact Relationship in a Near Millionaire City of Cameroon (Bamenda)”, Journal of Geoscience and Environment Protection, (4). 13-61. 2016.
[20]  Oguntunde, PE, Ojo, O.O, Okagbue, HI, Oguntunde O.A, “Analysis of selected crime data in Nigeria”, Data in brief, 19, 1242-1249. 2018.
[21]  Dong, B., Egger, P.H., Guo, Y, “Is poverty the mother of crime? Evidence from homicide rates in China”, PLoS ONE, 15 (5). 2020. e0233034.
[22]  Bharadwaj, A, (2014). “Is poverty the mother of crime? Empirical evidence of the impact of socioeconomic factors on crime in India”, Atlantic Review of Economics, 1. 2014.
[23]  Shaw, M., van Dijk, J., Rhomberg, W, “Determining Trends in Global Crime and Justice: An Overview of Results from the United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems”, Forum on Crime and Society, 3 (1 & 2). 35-63. 2003.
[24]  Elis, R.J., and Liu, Y, “Human rights in the context of criminal justice: a study of urban crime”, Open Journal of Political Science, 8, 305-315. 2018.
[25]  Harries, K, “Property Crimes and Violence in United States: An Analysis of the influence of Population density”, International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, 1 (2). 24-34. 2006.
[26]  UNDP, More Slums Equals More Violence: Reviewing Armed Violence and Urbanization in Africa, Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development. 2007.
[27]  Mandel, R, Prevention or Pork? A hard-headed look at youth-oriented anti-crime programs, Washington, DC: American Youth Policy Forum. 1995.
[28]  Witte, A.D, “Urban Crime: Issues and Policies”, Housing Policy Debate, 7, 4. 1996.