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Understanding the root causes of crime

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Methodological & statistical problems in ... Acquisitive (greed motivated) organised crime. Acquisitive (greed motivated) individual crime, such as fraud ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Understanding the root causes of crime


1
Understanding the root causes of crime violence
in SA Links between poverty crime
  • Antoinette Louw
  • Institute for Security Studies

2
Approach to the question
  • Factors associated with crime rather than
    causes
  • Studies on links between poverty, income
    inequality and crime are not conclusive
  • Methodological statistical problems in
    measuring crime poverty inequality
  • Especially in developing countries

3
Briefly, what do available statistics suggest?
  • Poorest nations communities do not necessarily
    have highest crime levels
  • Inequality is better correlated with crime than
    poverty
  • Different types of crime may be better linked to
    different factors

4
What do provincial indicators in SA show?
  • Would expect poor provinces and those with
    biggest gap between rich and poor to have highest
    crime rates, but
  • opposite is true
  • not much difference between property violent
    crime
  • Unemployment crime trends also unexpected
  • lowest unemployment in W Cape the most crime
    ridden province highest unemployment in E Cape
    Limpopo the lowest crime provinces

5
Crime and unemployment
Crime and unemployed per province
6
Crime violence are about much more than poverty
  • Contrary to popular wisdom, unemployment does not
    cause crime
  • People commit crime for a wide range of reasons
     poverty alleviation wealth redistribution
    will help but there are many other problems that
    also need attention
  • This is supported by some public perception data
    by what we know about motivations for crime,
    and contributory factors

7
What do South Africans think motivates criminals?
ISS national victim survey 2003
8
Range of possible motivations for committing crime
  • Acquisitive (redistributive) crime by the poor,
    such as stealing to feed a family
  • Acquisitive (alternative employment) crime by the
    poor (making an income from crime)
  • Acquisitive (greed motivated) organised crime
  • Acquisitive (greed motivated) individual crime,
    such as fraud
  • Instrumental expressive violence in acquisitive
    crime, such as robbery
  • Instrumental violence in power-related crime
    (including political violence, witchcraft
    killings, etc.)
  • Expressive domestic and gender-based violence
  • Expressive public violence (including hate crime)
  • Rites of passage risk taking crime violence,
    especially among youth
  • Cyclical (vindictive) community violence
  • Socio-pathological violence, such as baby rapes
  • Crime related to the mental illness of the
    offender
  • Social order crime

9
Factors contributing to crime violence
Socio-economic circumstances
Attitudes to experiences of crime/violence
Facilitating factors
Weak regulatory systems


  • Large of young men in population
  • Rapid, unplanned urbanisation
  • Poverty, joblessness, inequality
  • Poor housing
  • Dysfunctional families, schools
  • Absence of childcare, after school care
    recreational facilities
  • Weak social security systems
  • Culture of violence, especially post-conflict
  • Early experiences of violence
  • Acceptance or normalisation of crime
    violence
  • Poor anger conflict management skills
  • Diminished status of women children
  • Feelings of disillusionment, disempowerment
    social exclusion especially of youth
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Gangs
  • Firearms
  • Poor urban design
  • CJS
  • Border control immigration policy
  • Vehicle licensing systems
  • Taxi regulation
  • By-law enforcement
  • Schooling system

10
Thank you
  • Institute for Security Studies
  • http//www.issafrica.org
  • alouw_at_issafrica.org
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