Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, November 16th, 2018

The Reasons behind Rise in Crime

There is no single cause to any disorder, including crime. While clearly we are all ultimately responsible for our own actions, it is wrong to hold an individual wholly responsible for his unlawful act. There are certain factors in our society that endorse the potential of criminal activities of an individual.

Most criminals are simply too strong physically, pumping up the body muscles, but not enough the mental and emotional muscles. The reason why their strength becomes weakness is because they are not balanced.

Being raised in a dysfunctional family, or coming from a disadvantaged background, or feeling discriminated all can cause crime. Moreover, there are so many other factors behind committing crime with such conditions.

Poverty is often blamed for leading to crime; however underneath is something more vital - society bombards us with commercial values, making us want more and more material things, to the point when some would do anything – including criminal acts – to get them.
Unemployment is another factor in this category that contributes to crime through looking ways to earn money by any means possible.

No doubt, every person who harms another should be punished, but also rehabilitated so that the crime is prevented from reoccurring. Punishment is good for two reasons: it shows the offender that one cannot get away with doing the wrong things, and as a form of prevention - the fear of punishment is often main reason for law-abiding citizens not to slip to the other side of the tracks.

The purpose of punishment is to discourage a person from committing a crime. Punishment is supposed to make criminal behavior less attractive and more risky. Imprisonment and loss of income is a major hardship to many people. Another way of influencing choice is to make crime more difficult or to reduce the opportunities. This can be as simple as better lighting, locking bars on auto steering wheels, the presence of guard dogs, or high technology improvements such as security systems and photographs on credit cards.

A person weighing the risks of crime considers factors like how many police officers are in sight where the crime will take place. Studies of New York City records between 1970 and 1999 showed that as the police force in the city grew, less crime was committed. A change in a city's police force, however, is usually tied to its economic health. Normally as unemployment rises, city revenues decrease because fewer people are paying taxes. This causes cutbacks in city services including the police force. So a rise in criminal activity may not be due to fewer police, but rather rising unemployment.

Another means of discouraging people from choosing criminal activity is the length of imprisonment. After the 1960s many believed more prisons and longer sentences would deter crime. Despite the dramatic increase in number of prisons and imposing mandatory lengthy sentences, however, the number of crimes continued to rise. The number of violent crimes doubled from 1970 to 1998. Property crimes rose from 7.4 million to 11 million, while the number of people placed in state and federal prisons grew from 290,000 in 1977 to over 1.2 million in 1998. Apparently longer prison sentences had little effect on discouraging criminal behavior.

The youths, who were involved in gang rapping in Paghman district of Central Kabul, reportedly each has spent many years in prison; however the imprisonment did not bear the desired fruit. Hence, even a long term imprisonment cannot be an effective measure for curbing crime.

It is well-known that many of the people responsible for law enforcement themselves are often hand in glove with criminals for making some quick gains by underhand means. Even otherwise, they are not too keen on nabbing the culprits unless the crimes are of larger magnitude. This sluggish attitude from the law enforcers encourages the criminals in their nefarious activities.

There can be many other impulsive factors behind committing crime such as extreme greed and lust for property, a propensity to harm others, a tendency to revenge, or to commit a crime just for the heck of it.

The government is supposed to take effective mechanism for the law enforcement so as to prevent from crime and corruption. However, it should be considered that the government is not only to take retributive measures but also rehabilitative ones. In other words, punishment is intended not to merely revenge the criminals but to rehabilitate them. Besides punishment, it is better to narrow the opportunity for crime across the country through facilitating the citizens and satisfying their financial, physical and mental needs.

The government has to provide job opportunities for the youths. It is rightly said, “An Idle mind is the workshop of the Devil.” Idleness and poverty will force one’s hand into crime. No doubt, if the government officials do not address the unemployment immediately, the criminal activities will rise more than ever before.

Condemning or punishing the criminals is a piece of cake, but can it be a proper solution for the problems going on in the society? No way! I emphasize again that the government must not end with punishment. Preventing measures ought to be taken through eradicating the criminal factors and addressing the problems being experienced by the citizens. In short, retributive measures are good but not enough and the officials have higher responsibilities to fulfill them with full honesty.