Effects of Crime on Individuals and Communities

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Crime has a massive impact on individuals and communities. It can impact individuals in many different ways as well as affecting whole communities, minority groups and businesses. In many cases, the crimes that most affect individuals are crimes which are known as anti-social behaviour. Crime costs households in England and Wales sixty million pounds a year, that alone, is a massive effect on us individuals within society.

As you can imagine there are often impacts and effects of anti social behaviour. These include criminal damage to both private and public property, like houses, shops, education facilities, and even motorways. The repair of these areas costs a lot of money, it also effects communities because if there is a lot of graffiti around the communities people will class it as a rough or dodgy area to be in when in fact the majority of individuals in community are respectful. Fly tipping is also another crime which can effect communities and bring its credibility down, this could be easily averted if offenders take there rubbish to local waste disposal centres.  The selling of drugs can effect both individuals and communities, it effects individuals by endorsing them into a place where drugs are accessible and this may lead to them taking narcotics which is illegal and could lead to more criminal damage around the communities which nobody wants to happen.

The types of behaviour which I have touched on in the above passage of text can make individuals very fearful of crime and disorder, this is a very bad effect to have while living in a community. It is perceived across society that crime is something we should always fear, personally I wish this was not the case as it could help conquer crime to a higher degree. In the majority of individuals cases, the fear crime is much greater than the probability of them actually becoming a victim. It can be argued that over the past few years people’s fear of crime has slightly decreased due to the higher presence of community support officers,  though one thing that concerns me, is the lack of powers they have.

The media has a much greater effect about crime on us individuals because they often glorify or over exaggerate some crime stories and this can effect us as a community and make use extremely fearful of any crime. In essence the media need to have newsworthy stories for us to read and so will select the most shocking stories to report on, this kind of brain washes us to think that certain age groups are all the same in character. It also gives the public the impression that such crimes are much more common than they actually are.

Also when the media and public perception of crime are high this leads to a heightened fear of crime. People are often frightened of crime because of a variety of reasons like; We live in a high crime area. We have already be victims of crime. We feel poorly informed about policing in our local area. Our local environment is in a state of disrepair. There is poor public transport in our local area. All of those reasons have effected a massive amount of individuals in communities and it could be easily if they ignored glorified news reports, especially from tabloid newspapers and glossy news websites.

All victims of crime are individuals and many of these individuals of crime do not belong to a vulnerable group. They may simply have something that someone wants to steal, or become the target of drunken violence. People often become victims of crime simply because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Repeat victimization on an individual can have a devastating effect. Therefore it is important for all police to tackle this as part of their crime management strategies. They can do this by ensuring crime recording systems are accurately identifying repeat victims so this can be both measured and monitored. Also ensuring a prompt response to repeat victims of crime.

Impact of crime on individuals lifestyles is also a negative effect. A strong fear of crime has an impact on the lifestyle of many people. A study by Hough in 1995 showed that between one and two percent of people never go out at night as a result of being fearful of crime. This should not be the way individuals should live, we should all feel safe and secure. This becomes an undesirable circle because crime is more likely to happen when there are fewer witnesses. Many people no longer feel safe walking alone at night, and many individuals carry personal attack alarms to try to make themselves more secure. It may be argued that the fear of crime may affect people’s health due to stress related illnesses brought on by anger and resentment towards offenders.

The cost of crime also has a negative on individuals. Physical Injuries can effect us individuals dramatically because it can take months in some cases to heal or in worse cases live with a physical disability. Moreover psychological effects can be even more damaging as it may take years to recover from, especially if the individual develops paranoia or severe depression. It could take months of counselling and attendance of self-help groups in order to get the individual back on track. Anticipation or fear of crime is also extremely cost worthy, people buy security items to make themselves feel more safe and secure. The most popular security items include panic alarms, closed circuit television and burglar alarms. In a short conclusion, the effects of crime are increasing, they are devastating and costly. More effort, time and money need to be implemented in security, policing, and prevention, in order for people to at least feel safer and prevent the fear of crime.

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About Author

Arron Cullen

Arron Cullen Is the Managing Editor at Simply Criminology. He is currently a Criminology & Criminal Justice undergraduate at the University of Wolverhampton, West Midlands, United Kingdom. Cullen created Simply Criminology in order to build a powerful criminological resource, which, is easily accessible for both criminology students and professionals. Cullen also created the prevalent online criminology library which is growing continuously. His scholarly interests include; biological positivism, media representations, modern policing, punishment and society, cybercrime intelligence, victimology, penal systems, human rights and terrorism. Along with this, Cullen is working on releasing his first journal project. You can find various examples of his writings here on Simply Criminology. If you need to contact Arron Cullen, please use the contact page.