20th Century Crime and Punishment



The police now take cases of domestic violence and **** much more seriously.  Our methods of recording crime have become much more advanced, which could explain the rise in crime rates during the 20th century.

From 1935, drivers had to pass a driving test, have insurance and a roadworthy car.  From 1967, it became illegal to drive after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and from 1983, you must wear a seat belt.  We now have tougher restrictions on immigration and increased duties on items such as watches.  This could lead to higher rates of smuggling.  We also now have computer crimes such as hacking and fraud.  These are all new crimes and show evidence of the government and law makers influencing crime.

By the 1930s, motoring had become popular and affordable.  In 1934, 7000 people were killed in car accidents. In 2007, there were over 30 million cars on the roads.  In 1939, offences involving motor vehicles made up 25% of all offences.  This shows evidence of travel influencing crime.

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) carried out bomb attacks on British soil between the 1970s and the 1990s.  Islamic extremists have also carried out bomb attacks here.  This shows evidence of beliefs and ideas influencing crime.

The nature of crimes are also changing.  Before, people would steal for survival.  Now, we are more likely to steal due to greed or to feed addictions.


There is now a far greater evidence on non-physical forms of punishment, such as fines and community service.  The death penalty was abolished in 1965.  Until this point, hanging was the main method of execution and was carried out in private.  In prisons, prisoners


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