‘Poverty Increases Risk of Violent Crimes’ Study Reveals
According to the study, those who live in extreme poverty are more likely to be both the victims and perpetrators of crime.
The study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Nuffield Foundation and the Scottish Governmen found that those who live in extreme poverty are more likely to be both the victims and perpetrators of crime.
Coming from a deprived home was identified as an exacerbating factor that increases the likelihood of young people offending, while poorer young people who commit an offence are twice as likely to get in trouble with the police compared with better off children who carry out the same crime.
Researchers also found that a history of being in trouble with the police was the strongest predictor of whether a young person was not in education, employment or training by the age of 18.
The findings from the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime was published in the Scottish Justice Matters journal.
The study tracked 4,300 young people in Edinburgh since 1998 to better understand changes in their behaviour and lifestyles.
The study also identified gender as one of the most powerful predictors of violence, with boys being three times more likely than girls on average to engage in violent acts.
Living in poverty increased the likelihood of violence among both boys and girls.
Girls from poorer backgrounds are twice as likely as girls from more affluent households to be involved in violent crime, the researchers found.
A similar study by Applied Quantitative Methods Network (AQMeN) Research Centre – also based at the university’s law school – suggests that victims experiencing the most crime continue to be within the most deprived communities.
Half of the communities with the highest crime rates are found in the top 20% of areas with the highest levels of chronic health problems, the report shows.
A third of the communities with the highest rates of crime are in the top 20% of areas with the highest levels of unemployment.
Professor Susan McVie said: “The findings are important as they suggest that crime tends to be highly concentrated amongst poor people and within poor neighbourhoods.
This raises important questions about whether the spate of violent crime currently plaguing Nigeria is as a result of the High rate of poverty in the Land as the study suggest.