Economy and Crime
Economy and Crime
In accordance to a United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report dubbed “Monitoring the Impact of Economic Crisis on Crime,” there is a close relationship between the soaring of crime and economic stress. Incidents of robbery are doubling, motor vehicle theft is on the increase and homicide crimes are also on the rise. So yes, the current economic crisis, significantly and directly impacts the crime rates in the state. The crime rates are going up and this has been as a result of the economic stress. This discussion shows how unemployment related crimes; drug use and trafficking and fraud cases go on the rise as a result of economic hardships.
Argument in Favor of the Thesis
The present economic climate is highly linked to crime especially when the findings are focused in light with the criminal motivation theory which basically states that stresses in economy increases criminal behavior in society. The increase in crime is in particular fuelled by the existence of youth gangs, alcohol and drug consumption, and the availability of potential targets and weapons by the population(UNODC, 2012). This can well be understood in viewing the effects of rising consumer prices and negative GDP growth on crime in any given population (Hauser & Baker, 2008). With increased cost of consumer goods and coupled with absence of money to purchase the same, people automatically result to crime.
Among the cities, the number of robberies in 2007 compared to those recorded by police in 2009, the number more than doubled. According to a UN agency report, the negative growth in GDP coupled with increase in unemployment in a growing population is characterized by 60% chance of short term increase in crime(UNODC, 2012). Those crimes especially related to consumption increase because those people who cannot find jobs result to criminal activities for survival especially in doing profitable but illegal businesses for example, drug and even human trafficking.
. It is not only the violent crimes that have been on the rise as a result of the economic crisis, there has been an upsurge in fraud cases often relating to check fraud and unemployment benefits. Due to the crisis, a lot of industries lay off a sizeable number of its employees to stay afloat. These people who were laid off are now in vain, trying to get back to nonexistent job positions because every industry is affected (Hauser & Baker, 2008). To provide for their families and even to survive, people have resorted to fraud crimes and drug usage and trafficking to cope up with the stress and their economic predicaments.
Even the local authorities have not been spared. Due to reduced earnings in every industry, there is reduced revenue for the local governments.They have consequently had to cut down on their work force and therefore cannot adequately fight off the increasing crime levels. The hopelessness that comes with losing a job at this particular time of the economy leads to rise in economic related crimes especially those involving the trade and use of drugs; “chief among them being suicide and homicide” as Hauser and baker warn (2009 para 12). The domino effect is thus witnessed when the local authorities have to cope with these increasing given that their investigation and patrol force has not been spared either by the stinging economic crisis.
This discussion has proved that indeed the prevailing economic conditions significantly impact on the criminal activities in the given society. Currently due to unemployment, criminal cases related to drug use and drug trafficking and fraud cases have rampantly been on the rise. The fact that the law enforcement agencies have also been affected signifies the seriousness of the issue. The only practical and lasting solution to the problem lies in the hope that the economy will sooner than later get back on track.
Hauser, C., & Baker, A. (2008, October 9). Keeping Wary Eye on Crime as Economy Sinks. The New York Times .http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/10/nyregion/10crime.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all
Law, S. (2008, Nov 26). The Economic Crisis Affects Crime and Law Enforcement. Retrieved on March 25, 2012, from http://voices.yahoo.com/the-economic-crisis-affects-crime-law-enforcement-2241711.html
UNODC. (2012). MONITORING THE IMPACT OF ECONOMIC CRISIS ON CRIME. Retrieved on March 25, 2012, from : http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/crime/GIVAS_Final_Report.pdf.