There are 3 main causes of crime, and then 3 small reasons in each category. This is useful research for a uni degree, school work for English, criminology, or even modern studies, and it is all super interesting to know as well!
So let’s get into it, starting with social causes.
Social causes of crime.
There are 3 main social causes of criminal activity. Social causes are due to someone’s personality, or just the way society has caused them to be.
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL ABUSE
One main social cause of crime is drugs and alcohol abuse. It is a lot more likely that someone will commit a crime if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, especially a hate crime or a crime of violence.
If you think about it, how much drunken fights between people do you hear about? A lot, that’s right, how many times have you heard of someone walking past a pub or a bar and then getting abuse shouted at them, again, a lot, and that’s because it is a lot more likely that someone will commit a crime when they have alcohol or illegal substances in their system.
It is proven that 2/3 of all violent crimes are committed when someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
CHILDHOOD TRAUMA AND UPBRINGING
Another main social cause of crime is childhood experiences with trauma in their upbringing. If someone has been raised in a household where crime is normal, and has been brought up around crime, they may believe that crime is right and is okay to do.
For example, if someone has been brought up in an abusive household, they may not see anything wrong and become an abuser to their own family when they get to that age, Also if someone has been raised around drugs, they may start taking drugs as they are used to it.
However, this could also deter someone from committing a crime as they have been raised around it and know the consequences. They may also have suffered mental health issues due to what they’ve seen and know the effects it has on people.
PEER PRESSURE ON MEN
I am in now way being sexist, just stating scientifically proven facts.
A final social causes of crime is due to peer and social pressure on men. Society puts pressure on men to ‘act the big man’ and ‘act hard’ and sometimes this can persuade them and make them feel like they need to commit a crime and look ‘hard.’ This could involve them feeling like they need to be in a fight, use slurs and hate crime to insult someone, shop lift and much more.
For example, 90% of all Scottish prisons are men, which shows there are many more crimes with a male perpetrator than women.
Economic causes of crime.
The next type of causes of crime is economic. Again there is three subcategory’s, for economic causes which relate to money and jobs.
One economic cause of crime is poverty. For those who cannot afford the basics to survive in life they may turn to crime to provide what they can’t afford.
For example, known as “survival shoplifting” around 25% of all crimes of dishonesty are when people steal from shops items such as food and clothing and essential products to live.
One economic cause of crime is greed. This is when someone has the very selfish desire to get more and more of something and this is often money. It may be out of jealousy or to live a life that they cannot afford.
For example, the former SNP MP Natalie McGarry was jailed for embezzling more than £25,000, including donations intended for a foodbank.
A final economic cause of crime is unemployment. If someone doesn’t have the skills they need to get a job that pays enough to have a good life then they would be unemployed. This might mean that they have fewer options to make a living legally.
For example, in areas like Glasgow’s Maryhill where unemployment is higher there is also a higher number of gangs with people being executed in gangland shootings.
Biological causes of crime.
One biological cause of crime is mental disorder. Someone with the mental disorder of psychopathy are people who may seem like most of society but in fact often lack remorse or feel little empathy for others. This means they are less likely to feel guilt or regret for committing crimes so may be more likely to do so.
For example, Aaron Campbell who killed 6-year-old Alesha McPhail on the island of Bute has been labelled a psychopath by experts who have warned he should never be let out of prison.
Another biological cause of crime is hormones. Hormones in our body affect our growth and also our brains. Men have higher levels of the hormone testosterone than women which often make them historically more aggressive and prone to higher risk taking. This aggression or risk taking could make them more likely to take part in violent crimes.
Around 90% of all prisoners in a Scottish prison are male compared to 10% who are female.
A final biological cause of crime is brain development. It may be in the case of young people that because their brains are not yet fully developed that they are more likely to commit crimes.
For example, in 2020 the BBC reported that Judges in Scotland decided to try and reduce the number of 25 year olds sent to jail because evidence suggests their brains had not yet matured enough to be treated the same way as an adult.
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and that’s all you need to know on causes of crime!