Why So Much Crime Is Committed In Urban Areas

932 words - 4 pages

Why so Much Crime is Committed in Urban Areas

Crime in urban areas has been on the increase since the 1950s, why?
What has happened to cause crime to become almost an accepted part of
inner city life? There are plenty of crime figures available for
every city in the world, but reading numbers from a list does not
explain why more crimes are being committed, to try to understand we
have to look at what has changed in urban communities and how these
changes have affected the people that live there.

Most urban areas have always been predominately working class with
low-grade housing and low wages, where communities had enjoyed a
strong bond as people worked together in factories and mills, whole
generations grew up working in the same place as their parents and
friends. As the economy of the country changed, so did the available
work which meant more and more families, were forced to move to other
areas looking for work. This caused a lot of urban areas to turn into
zones of transmission, where people would move into a poor area
looking for work, and those that were successful would work hard and
then move on to a better area with better housing. Unfortunately,
this meant that the less successful families stayed within one area
causing an ever-growing state of physical deterioration.

With growing poverty and communities full of people that did not know
each other, it led to a state of social disorganisation where the
normal types of informal control to limit deviant behaviour could not
be established. This in turn led to the formation of sub cultures,
with youth’s from these areas banding together in the search of some
form of entertainment, and because of the lack of informal control
gradually turning into street gangs. These street gangs whose goals
of regular work and prospects of social mobility were unlikely to be
attainable. This led to the gangs having their own values and rules
of what is criminal behaviour. Crime then became almost acceptable
and attractive within these sub-cultures. Detective Chief
Superintendent John Carnochan, head of the Strathclyde police violence
reduction unit, describes areas of Scotland where “interpersonal
violence is almost accepted as legitimate, a community norm, something
that cannot be changed.” (Sunday times 2005)

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