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Relationship Between Social Deprivation and Crime

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Poverty is generally regarded as absolute deprivation. Poverty is defined as the lack of some fixed level of material goods necessary for survival and minimal well-being. Areas that rank high on measures of deprivation, such as high unemployment, low levels of income and poor quality accommodation, are often characterised by high levels of crime and disorder. This is because some individuals respond to the conditions they have to live in by resorting to property crime to address their grievances, whilst other people may develop a deep anger that can be released in violent ways. I think that the relationship between social deprivation and crime is relatively close. However not all of the people who commit crimes are necessarily socially deprived. There are also many other reasons as to why people commit crimes.

According to **** , “when unemployment goes up 1%, there is a 4% increase in homicides, a 6% increase in robberies, a 2% increase in burglaries and measurable effects on rape and other crimes.” This backs up the idea that social deprivation bares some link to high crime rates. Also according to the same people, “the highest rates for domestic burglary, assault and wounding and robbery and theft from the person were found in socially and ethnically mixed areas with an overrepresentation of young single people and in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Another factor, which affects crime rates, is location. For example the highest crime rates tend to be in residential areas around city centres. Manchester for example has some of the highest levels of recorded crime in the country, and alongside this, some of the highest levels of deprivation.

However when investigating youth crime the Home Office Research concludes that the strongest risk factors which related to young people starting to offend are: –

路Poor parental supervision


路Conflict within home

路Exclusion from school

路Friends/siblings in trouble with police

路Poor school performance

It also said, “If a young person experiences four or five of these risk factors, the likelihood of them offending is 80% for males and 60% for females”

It doesn’t mention social deprivation as one of the strongest risk factors; this would suggest that it doesn’t really have that strong an influence on youth criminals.

Not everyone on a low income commits crime, for example in the 1930’s unemployment was high but the crime rate compared to the 1980’s was low. Also white-collar crime can only be committed by the employed. And although living standards are obviously improving over the years, the crime rate is still rising as well. All this would suggest that social deprivation doesn’t really hold that strong a relationship with crime.

Drug misuse is a huge contributor to crime. Many offenders taken into custody, for example, often have a drug problem, the most common being addiction to heroin, and over half of these individuals report that they offend on a daily basis. The British Crime Survey estimates that up to 70% of acquisitive crime, particularly burglary, theft from vehicles and shoplifting, is drug related.

Levels of disadvantage are not sufficient to account for variations in crime across different types of area and different categories of offence. Other聽factors need to be considered, in particular, differences in the functions of areas and variations in social and ethnic heterogeneity, population turnover and levels of social cohesion.

Social deprivation appears to bare quite a strong relationship with crime, however it isn’t the only factor contributing towards crime. For example drugs misuse is a huge contributor towards crime. A person’s race, age and gender can also be a factor concerning whether or not they commit a crime. As there is a higher crime rate for Pakistanis than there is Indians. It has been proven that males are far more inclined to commit a crime than females. Also 15-35 year olds are more responsible for crimes committed than 50-70 year olds. So although social deprivation does …….

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