Crimes committed during high unemployment
Nature: While unemployment alone might not lead to criminal behaviour, it may well be the catalyst for those having least educational and economic opportunities and who are, as a result, least affected by social results.
Incidence: A 1993 UK academic study found that during the 1980s the number of burglaries tracked movement in young male unemployment almost exactly. From 1970, the government's official unemployment total and recorded crime both roughly quadrupled. Over the same period, there has been a broad trend for a 1% increase in the number of people out of work and claiming benefit to result in a 0.4% increase in burglaries. It was argued that the relationship between youth unemployment and crime only emerges when unemployment rises beyond a certain level, in the UK's case 1 million. Unemployment among young people is far higher than it was during the 1930s, when crime levels remained low.
Claim: By allowing mass unemployment to continue, and letting young men shoulder a disproportionate burden of this, we condemn ourselves to rising crime now and create criminals for the future.
Problem Type: D: Detailed problems
Date of last update 29.04.2000 – 00:00 CEST