Left Realists

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Left Realists such as Lea and Young aim to explain street crime committed by young people in urban areas. Their victimisation survey if inner city London suggested that working class people, especially elderly women, have a realistic fear of street crime because they reported that they are often the victims of such crimes. Lea and Young’s explanation of why working class and African Caribbean young people commit crime revolves around three concepts:


Relative Deprivation. It is not deprivation as such that causes people to commit crime, but whether they see themselves as deprived in comparison with others.


Marginalisation. Some groups find themselves politically and economically ‘on the edge’ of society, through factors like poor educational achievement, unemployment, and a lack of involvement in community organisations.


Subculture. Working class deviant subcultures emerge as group solutions to problems arising from social inequality, though they take different forms over time and in different concepts. These can act as motivators for crime as some working class subcultures see offending as acceptable behaviour.


Left Realists suggest that the only way to cut crime is to: 

Improve policing and control.


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