Social Policy and Crime

Topics: Criminology, Crime, Sociology Pages: 6 (2117 words) Published: April 27, 2011
A critical examination of the relationship between social policy and crime Denham (2000) defines crime as when a formal set of rules which designed to be observed or a set of standards of conduct which all members of society are expected to follow are broken. Breaking these formal set of rules or the law will lead to sanctions by the government’s principal enforcement agencies the police and the courts (Denham, 2000). However, Knepper (2009) purports that Richard Titmuss, a social democrat believed that crime is a social problem which originates from inequalities in society. The essay seeks to critically examine the relationship between social policy and crime. It is the aim of social policy to use distributive justice to solve the inequalities in society. Therefore, according to Titmuss it makes sense to rely on social policy to respond to crime (Knepper 2009). It is then the author’s opinion that crime and social policy are inextricably linked. Social policy are public guidelines for changing, maintaining or creating of living conditions that are conducive to human welfare (Encyclopaedia, 2010). The aim of social policy is to improve human welfare and to meet human needs for education, health, housing and social security. Dean (2010) argues that to achieve to improve human welfare and to meet human needs for education, health, housing and social security requires an understanding of what is required to achieve human wellbeing. He further states that to formulate social policy requires, the ability to analyse statistical data, to weigh up the successes and failures of particular policies, to interpret popular aspirations, to explore the perceptions of marginalised and vulnerable people, to understand the past and to anticipate the future. Knepper (2009) agrees with this observation and points out that social policy is about the role of government in distributing resources between the rich, poor, dependants, young and old as well as how responsibilities are shared between the government, social institutions and the individual. Poverty on the other hand is mainly caused by poor education and resources. Some household have single parents who have little to offer or support their families. Kraybill and Laboa (2001) mentions that country side people have limited professional training and work experience service which reduces any chances of securing a job or broaden their learning levels. Beale (2004) suggests that transport will restrict some people to commute to work since their wages are very low. He then adds that family commitments are another issue because single parents cannot go to work or leave their children unattended. They cannot afford to send their children to child minders, or child day care centres while they are at work. Traditional View of Crime and Welfare

Valsamis et al (2003) argue that the traditional perceptive of organised crime is of a set of established hierarchically organised gangs which through violence have acquired monopoly control of certain major illegal markets. This control has produced huge profits which have been used to bribe public officials. Hobbs (2001) questions this traditional view of organised crime and the whole assumption of crime as being an organised and hierarchical activity. Hobbs (2001) argues that crime structures tend to reflect their host societies and that instead of hierarchical relationships crime groups are often disorganised. Individuals come together on an opportunistic basis or around kinship. Drug trafficking is an example of where the assumption of hierarchical gangs controlling the flow of narcotics has been replaced by a fragmented system with a variety of suppliers and distributors carving out areas of control for themselves. King and Wincup (2000) maintain that an analysis of the 1930’s American mobster Al Capone shows that organised crime is an ever evolving partnership in illegal goods and services. Valsamis et al (2003) in the case of paedophile...
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