Causes of Crime
There are three causes of crime:
· Relative deprivation and individualism-how deprived someone feels in relation to others and a pursuit of self-interest at the expense of others. Increasing Individualism weakens the informal controls that families and communities exercise over individuals.
· Marginalisation-those who are on the edge of society have no power and have no one to help them. They express their frustration through criminal means such as violence and rioting.
· Subcultures-The subculture gets together as a response to relative deprivation, however different groups may produce different subcultural solutions to this problem e.g. religion, violence. They still have the same values and goals as mainstream society.
Era of Instability
We are in an era of instability, insecurity and exclusion. The 1950s and 1960s represented the ‘Golden Age’ of modern Capitalist society. This was a period of stability, security, social inclusion with full employment, a fairly comprehensive welfare state, low divorce rates and relatively strong communities, general consensus about right or wrong and lower crime rates.
De-industrialisation has led to mass job insecurity in England since 1970s especially for the most vulnerable.
There is cultural inclusion and economic exclusion as the poor are shown the media’s materialistic, consumerist cultural messages but are excluded from opportunities to achieve this.
Policing and control-The public should have more of a say about how they are policed. 90% of the crime information is given to them by police but in some areas there is no information and they rely on military policing. Policing should be more accountable to the local communities and the public should be involved in making policing policy. Crime control cannot be left to the police alone- a multi-agency approach is needed. This would involve agencies such as social services, schools etc.
Tackling the structural changes-we need major structural changes if we want to reduce levels of offending.