Social deprivation and crime are inextricably linked
Almost half of the 83,000 people in prison ran away from home as a child and cannot read as well as an 11 year old. Almost 30 per cent have been through the care system and similar proportions were homeless before entering prison. Today’s prison population shows that an overwhelming majority of prisoners are the product of social breakdown. Prisoners are far more likely to have lived in poverty, to come from broken families, to be unemployed and in considerable debt and to be experiencing an addiction. Deprivation is an important factor that leads to crime. Poverty doesn’t cause crime but there is an obvious direct relationship between them. Effects of deprivation can impact on individuals and make them more likely to become involved in crime. There is no single cause to crime as many factors can lead to it, but there are very significant factors that make the cause seem more likely such as poverty. Although there is no convincing explanation as to why most people that live in poverty don’t ever commit a crime it is definitely clear that the combinations of the effects of poverty in some people’s lives lead to crime. For example 67% of prisoners were unemployed prior to imprisonment compared to just 5% of the population. This is an exceptionally high number and obviously provides some form of a link.
I will entail to find out whether social deprivation and crime are linked and whether poverty is one of the main factors that lead to crime. I will also consider other factors such as age and race. There are many factors that lead to crime, however many of them may not be sufficient enough therefore I will establish what factors may be a more true link to crime.
Alcohol and drugs
Alcohol is one of the biggest factors leading to crime as “A third of all crimes are alcohol related crimes” “From approximately 10.30pm to 3.00am the majority of arrests are for alcohol-related offences.” Alcohol can affect a person’s judgement: this means that the effects of alcohol can induce crimes such as assault, violence, theft and driving under the influence. “(Home Office Minister Charles Clarke) Public drunkenness can give rise to serious problems of disorderly conduct, nuisance, criminal damage and alcohol-related assaults, particularly in the proximity of licensed premises at closing time. In addition, it can increase fear of crime and so reduce the quality of life for many people.” “Alcohol accounts for more crimes than drugs do. Crimes such as assault, rape and drink driving are all crimes to do with alcohol,” “Alcohol can lead to crimes because it is more affordable, there is an increase of alcohol consumption, and people can also consume more alcohol at home where you can’t measure the amount of alcohol you are consuming”
The effects of alcohol can increase someone’s likelihood to commit a crime because of the way it affects the individual. Alcohol can affect basic human functions but also affects behaviour and an individual may find that the substances will alter their judgement and mean that it is more likely for someone to commit an offence or a crime that they wouldn’t normally without the influence of alcohol. “In regard to the offences committed ‘Under the influence’, the implication is that they would either have not happened or would not have reached the level of seriousness that they actually did if the offender had been sober.” “The proportion of violent incidents where the victim believed the offender to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs, for all violence, 50% of victims believed the offender(s) perceived to be under the influence of alcohol)” “The type of behaviour experienced (Nature of behaviours experienced by those who perceive being drunk or rowdy to be a problem in their local area): 37% fighting within or between groups, 23% violence/people being assaulted by drunks and 22% drink-related theft or vandalism.” “Where you find drunkenness,...
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