Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Crime – A Widespread Practice

Every society experiences crime and corruption; however, the magnitude of this phenomenon depends on cultural factors, on the economy and above all, on the law and order situation in a society. On the one hand, if keeping law and order are monitored thoroughly by the government, and on the other hand, when the economic system can satisfy the needs of all citizens, then the graph of crime is expected to be low in such a society. But a country which suffers from poor governance plus a poor economic system will be in the grip of crime and corruption.
According to Emile Durkheim, a French writer, crime and deviance are social facts and are inevitable and necessary in modern society. According to him, deviance plays two significant roles in the society. First, it has an adaptive function, by introducing mentalities and causing new challenges in the society, it brings about a creative power which leads to changes and evolution. Second, it helps to preserve the ideals of right and wrong in the society. A criminal act can cause collective reaction which may promote communal solidarity and elucidate social norms. Such subcultures deny and replace the values of middle class with immoral norms.
Cohen (1955) argues regarding Delinquent Boys, that the boys of proletariat, who get disappointed in their lives, create delinquent subcultures and gangs. Cloward and Ohlin (1960) agree with Cohen. They also argue that when the Delinquent Boys cannot gain their objectives, show tendency towards immorality. According to their research, the Delinquent Boys come from those subcultures that offer less chances of success obtained by the right way. Members of deprived minority groups also show this tendency. Some believe that the growing disparities in modern life prepare the ground for crime and corruption. For example luxurious appliances, luxury car, costly clothing, expensive jewelries, etc. will tempt the burglars more than ever before. As a result, in Britain, when modern cars were usually the target of burglars, installing central automatic locks was a necessity in modern autos for preventing from such burglaries, so the target of the burglars were diverted from the modern cars to the outmoded ones.
To our surprise, criminologists argue that according to their researches, men commit more crime than women and young people more than old ones. Moreover, falling victim of crime depends on the people’s residential locations. The people who live in slums suffering from economic deprivation, therefore the graph of crime will be higher amongst them. It is an undeniable fact that generally poverty breeds crime and corruption all over the world. Many people who are severely pressurized by economic circumstances will be drawn to several types of immoral acts.
It is believed that instead of imprisoning and punishing the criminals, eradicating the root causes of the crime is far more preferable. Undeniably, those who are involved in crime, should receive punishment; however it is better to scrutinize and root out the factors which have forced them to commit crime. As a result, the poverty-stricken areas are highly vulnerable to crime and corruption, the main reason behind this fact is economic pressure. Hence, the residents of these areas who are in dire need of food and money have no choice other than crossing the red line between law and order. Therefore, they are forced to deviate from the right and legal way. In such a case, it is essential to ameliorate the economic conditions of life, before punishing the criminals.
It is said that one’s behavior originates from one’s beliefs. According to religion, the world is divided into the sacred and the profane. Religion wants a person to respect the sacred issues and eschew the profane. Moreover, our cultural setup, which is based on our traditions, determines our behavioral pattern and both are a part of our actions. Hence, the major function of cultural setup is to guide and control one’s behavioral mindset. Thus, the question is why people act against their own beliefs and deviate from the right path, either gradually or suddenly. In other words, one understands the difference between the sacred and the profane, but one intentionally moves towards a violation of religious laws. Why are religious rules and limitations broken by the followers? In my point of view, there are two reasons behind. First, one may be forced by a set of intolerable sufferings and difficulties to ignore one’s religious beliefs. Dire poverty, insecurity, physical torture, fears of losing someone, etc. are some contributing factors. Second, one can easily get involved in illegal acts just for the heck of it. We know that, it is human nature for people to succumb to selfishness and to fall into temptations.
What are some factors which may correct this situation? First of all, the economic conditions of our lives, needs to be improved. In other words, poverty which breeds major crimes must be rooted out from a society. Next the other factors which force people into crime should be looked at. Furthermore, tempting objects should be abolished from the society to prevent those who easily fall for them. For example, the women who mostly fall victim of sexual harassment usually due to the culture of nakedness or modern styles of clothing, should bring modesty in their clothing style. Same is the case with the shopkeepers when their materials are exposed to danger from shoplifters or for the cabbies when their cabs are exposed to burglary. I do not mean to undervalue the role of prisons and punishment in society. During the Taliban’s regime, burglary, shoplifting, and many other crimes were minimized to a large extent in the country by the severity of punishment. Same is the case in Saudi Arabia. According to my knowledge, crime is not committed much there, due to the severe punishment and longtime imprisonment. Hence, the paramount role of punishment for stopping crime is beyond doubt and it is necessary for maintaining law and order in any society. But my emphasis is that the government should focus on removing the causative factors behind the crime rather than just punishing the criminals.