The Industrial Revolution that began to take place over the early part of the 1800s had a huge impact on crime in Victorian England. The crime rate skyrocketed, and although the Industrial Revolution created more wealth, it largely created more poverty for many families. Urbanization caused the majority of people to move into densely populated cities, which resulted in high poverty rates and a small area. Life in these new cities was harsh; many families lived in over-crowded, squalid housing with little food and necessities. Disease was common in these parts due to the poor living conditions and bad nutrition. Although the majority of the population was struggling at this time, some people made a profit on industry and present new and tempting targets for burglars. These new opportunities for the age-old offense of theft combined with the poor living conditions aided this crime to become widespread. These conditions also brought about entirely new crimes, such as: not paying your fare on a railway train, vandalism on the tracks, stealing water from standpipes in the street, and so on. The minor crimes in Victorian England during this time were drunkenness, vagrancy prostitution and larceny. The major crimes were burglary, murder and rape – any major crime resulted in death.
At the beginning of the Victorian era many saw criminals as people of the lowest working class, people who just refused to make an honest living – they only thought that their morals were incorrect.