Poverty and Crime

By Klaus Döring

Over and over again, it is seen that burglary, robbery and serious assaults occur most frequently in the area where shanties are and the family income is so low that it cannot suffice the needs of the family. The houses are extremely overcrowded with few facilities.

Unemployment is very common. People in this area have little or no formal education at all, and so mostly are unskilled.

Families are broken up. The mother has to go out to work and leaves the children behind. With this kind of life, what will happen to the future of these growing children, who are mostly out of school? It is not surprising that they are often the victims of circumstances. They begin to commit relatively minor offenses such as small scale thefts

and illegal gambling. Later on, because of poverty and deprivation, they learn to commit violent crimes.

Look around in your surroundings.

Crime is a complex problem. It can be classified in various ways. There are crimes against people like rape, kidnapping, murder and assault; also crimes against property include theft, arson, forgery, embezzlement and vandalism; and the crimes against public order or morality include drunkenness, gambling and prostitution.

Crime has been a rather serious problem, the fact that violent crimes have become much more common these years than in the past. Despite repeated crackdown by law-enforcement authorities, the situation many times has not shown any improvement at all. What is even worse is that studies have found out that the crime rate tends to rise faster when quick changes occur in the society.

Due to the hardships in life caused by poverty, many people can’t even get enough money to live. This causes them to do whatever it takes to be able to sustain their and their family’s needs even when it involves stealing. The researchers observed that the major reason for theft is poverty.

Also, crime is related to social values.

People were more obsessed with status, wealth and pleasure. This change in value must have been an important factor in the mounting wave of crime. It is necessary to emphasize especially in education the moral values and the traditional  virtues of being a good citizen. And most of all, if the unemployment problem of a country can be solved or minimized in future, we all might hope that the crime rate will go down.


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