Crime spares no continent, country, state, city or street. Crime is a concept that exists along with the creation of mankind. It is an act or omission of an act which causes harm to the society as a whole and causes disturbance and panic in the society. Such an act is punishable by the criminal laws. Over the ages, the amount and types of crimes changed and to deal with them appropriate laws has been made. Now crime can even take place in the virtual world and can make the same type of impact in the society. The techniques and methods of committing crime have changed and so has the factors that cause crime.
The causes of crime have also been dynamic and are changing according to the time. The causes of crime in the same country can differ due to various reasons. It is said that occurrence of crime in India is more than the crime originating in the developed countries.[i] Also few of the religious practices are now termed as criminal activities. Hence, investigation done in order to find out causes can prove that the factors that cause crimes can be for religious reasons, biological reasons, economic instability, lack of education, poverty, in search of power, misleading and provocation etc.
Types of Crimes
There are various types of crime in the society. Following are a few examples of types of Crime[ii]:-
Crime against Human Body
These are the crime that is inflicted upon a person or a group of persons by another person or group of persons. These are the crimes that are mostly related to a certain body injury. Such grievous injuries are caused by rash driving, negligence etc.
These crimes are those that are of extreme violent in nature. These crimes include murder, kidnapping and abduction. In crime statistics it was seen that main cause behind 5,179 murder cases was personal vendetta and enmity.
Crime against women
These type of crime includes ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives’, assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty’, kidnapping or abduction and rape. Rape is described as the most common crime against women.[iii]
Crime against Property
Mostly this includes destruction, degradation or stealing of properties of others.
The crimes committed in the cyber world are covered under this category. Such crime can be committed for illegal gains, revenge, insulting women’s modesty etc.
Though it is impossible to accurately define what may drive a person to commit any crime. Sometimes situations that seem normal may have a different impact on a person and it depends on that person’s mental stability and condition that how they react about it. Not everyone has criminal tendencies but what situation might trigger such behaviour it is hard to tell.
Causes of crime
There are certain categories that specify some of the main causes of crime. They are as follows[iv]:-
Lack of Education
The most commonly seen causes of crime are lack of educational values. It is not that people who get education doesn’t commit crime, it just means that people with lack of education tend to fall for criminal trap easily, lack of education leads to less chances in getting jobs which leads a person to choose the wrong path for earning easy money. Also only serving bookish knowledge to kids doesn’t help them in overall development of their inner selves unless they are given proper knowledge about values and ethics as well.
Ineffective Legal System
Even now whenever a dispute arises people say the term that “I’ll see you in court” but long delays in the decision making system and sometimes a little slack in the duties of the investigators leads to the person actually liable, roam around freely. Rich and powerful convicts don’t even have to spend time in the jails they just get bail or stay out in probation and our law fails to provide justice to the aggrieved. Corruption is the main element here in such cases. This feeling of getting away for whatever they have done encourages the wrong doer to continue their filthy actions and spread crime and terror.
The main reason for poverty is unemployment. With increase in population it is getting harder for people to find jobs. With no jobs and no means to earn a square meal a day people resort to alternate solutions which are not always legal. Poverty is a true evil for the society as it gives rise to not one but a large number of problems.
Alcohol and Drugs
Even after multiple restrictions people still get their hands on alcohol and various kinds of drugs. Underage drinking is common nowadays. The youth who got addicted to drugs gets involved in illicit selling and buying of drugs. These items make people lose their sense of rationality and hence a lot of crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Alcohol gives rise to a number to different crimes such as drinking and driving, domestic violence, murder etc. Drugs are also used by criminals to make people delusional and then commit crime against them. It example can be rape, robbery, kidnapping etc.
Earlier there were no laws against crimes committed in virtual world but now law regards cyber-crimes equally as punishable as any other crimes as it have the same disastrous effect on a human beings life. “The modern thief can steal more with a computer than with a gun. Tomorrow’s terrorists may be able to do more damage with a keyboard than with a bomb.”[v] Hacking, fraud, impersonation etc. are some crimes that take place online.
It should be noted that it is not necessary that the every aforementioned conditions is the only cause of crime. There is always an external factor that affects a person and makes them act in such a way. We cannot predict the exact situation that may have triggered the criminals mind. These specific conditions are different in every case and hence they cannot be removed from any system.
It is no news that the crimes in India are rapidly increasing year after year. Whether they are against women or property or cyber-crimes, the numbers of cases are multiplying. This is a big issue because it not only shows the increased number of crimes in our country but also the inability of our government to control. It is clear that the exact causes of crime cannot be determined hence in order to counter these crimes effective methods should be adopted. Causes are different even in a similar situation, they differ from person to person hence rather than just filling up prisons the law-makers should focus on laws that bring about changes in those people. If causes of crime are due to mental instability or lack of education then appropriate measures are adopted in order to tackle such crimes. Education i.e., values and morality should also be taught to children so they do not resolve to any illegal activity whatever may the situation may be.
1. ‘V’ had an account on social media. ‘C’ with his knowledge in computer science illegally accessed ‘V’s account and posted some derogatory posts. Here ‘C’ has committed a type of cyber-crime by hacking into ‘V’s account and impersonating him.
2. ‘A’ and ‘B’ were a married couple in an educationally backward state. ‘A’ died early and his wife was ‘B’ was sacrificed along his dead body as following a very old ritual called ‘Sati Pratha’. Due to lack of education and knowledge about laws they believe their actions are legit. But they have committed a crime by killing the innocent wife.
3. ‘A’, a teenager is hooked to a violent TV show that shows extreme crime and offences going on. ‘A’ started to have this mind-set that those actions are cool and legit and he can also use them, and by that he assaulted ‘B’, his classmate, for a petty reason. Here the shoe had a bad impact on the mind of ‘A’ which made him commit a crime.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are biological causes of crime?
It is seen that the main cause a crime is committed is either that the person was suffering too much and needed to put an end to it or the person who committed the crime was actually having some biological issue which triggered the criminal instinct as soon as the situation arose. Studies have also proven that people who commit crime are having certain neurological or biological abnormalities.[vi] But it is also true that environmental factors also play a significant role in such circumstances. It is proven through studies that biological factors can act upon psychological factors and generate certain behaviour such as criminal or anti-social. They can be blamed for some crimes but not all crimes.
2. What factors causes teenage crimes?
At this era the main factors affecting the increase in teenage criminals can be:
Internet: teenagers get information regarding whatever they want. They might also get involved with non-reliable people online and get stuck in difficult situation which leads to many cyber-crimes.
Lack of Parental Support: Nowadays people are working continuously, and not everyone is able to make time for their families. Lack of parent’s care and attention also induces a child to get involved with malicious activities like consuming or selling of alcohol or drugs. Also many working parents are failing to keep their marriage going and a number of divorces are taking place which always has an adverse effect on the mental health of the kid.
Television: Many TV shows contain a large amount of violence and bloodshed which makes an impact on the mind of the children. Many a times they may feel that if their favourite character can do such thing, so can we.
Mobile/ PC Games: this is a new concept but a few cases emerged in the past few months that due to continuously playing mobile games which includes violence children and especially teens are developing such dangerous tendencies. They had tried to hit their parent whoever tried to stop them from playing such games.
[i]Mousumi Dutta and Zakir Hussain (2009), determinants of crime rate: deterrence and post
liberalised in India, Munich personal archive, no 11478, pp 4.
[ii]Crimes in India, 2016 Statistics.
[iii]Kumar, Radha (1993). The History of Doing: An Account of Women’s Rights and Feminism in India. Zubaan. p. 128.
[iv]Wisdom.com, Causes of Crime, https://www.wisdomjobs.com/careeredge/some-facts-about-growing-crime-rate-in-india-97.
[v]National Research Council, Computers at risk, 1991.
[vi]Allen Garland E., (2001), Historical Studies in the Physical and Biological Sciences: The biological basis of crime: An historical and methodological study. Data Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com.libproxy.edmc.edu/pqcentral/docview/220374408/citation/48393977D6E34FC9PQ/2?accountid=34899.