Crime and Punishment: Increase in Crime (1750-1900)

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  • Crime (1750 - 1900)
    • features of crime
      • petty theft of low value items was most common
      • 80% of all crimes
      • violent crimes were the least common
      • 10% of all crimes
      • from 1750-1850 crime rates rose
      • some professional / organised crime
      • most common crime for women was prostitution
      • most crimes were opportunistic
      • 3/4 offenders were male in teens or early 20s
    • causes of increase in  crime
      • increase of population meant increase in offenders and victims
      • difficult to police due to large numbers of people
      • city centres were crowded so opportunities rose for theft
      • mass unemployment due to return of soldiers from war
      • poverty - people stole to survive
      • increase in industry, there were more goods to steal
      • wartime agriculture production fell
      • wages fell, prices rose
      • it was easy to be anonymous in a big city
    • 19th century views and attitudes
      • 'radical thinkers' made the link between poverty and crime
      • lack of education, religion and useful work
      • thought they needed to educate children to stop them turning to crime
      • harsh view of criminals
      • criminal class - inherit traits
      • appearance of criminals
      • believed that people were criminals due to laziness
      • blamed alcohol for the increase in crime - escapism
      • media - interest in crimes, murder
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