Combating Crime

Azareal

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I'll take a page out of Jason's book by opening a debate on crime lol

Crime.

It fills every bit of our societies, but what is cause of it? And what is the best of combating it? And why is it that after so many years, some neighbourhoods are just as bad or worse than they were a decade ago.

I think there are many factors involved here:

Poverty, racial tensions, toughness of the police, education, etc.

These are all interrelated in some way and each one tends to feed into the other.
For instance, poverty may bolster the racial tensions which already exist, as historical disparities in income and opportunities may be amplified.

Also, education is a big way for people to grab onto more opportunities to pull themselves out of poverty. And a police force that doesn't move to combat crime when they should is generally an ineffective and possibly even useless police force.
 

Van1lla ™

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I did an essay on something similar to this when i studied policing at uni. Basically using the fact born a criminal or raised a criminal. It is my belief and from doing research at the time that society plays a big part in making a criminal(s). People look at certain areas which might hold a minority and distinquish them as criminals for how they dress, or act/speak. I think the police depending where you are don't help either, as by putting a high police force in an area that might not be high crime, it gives society a view that it is a high crime area.

Murder is known socially as a bad thing to do, so its a crime by default, yet by wearing a hoddie with your hood up? That doesnt make you a criminal, yet because intially one or two gangs wore their hoods up and stabbed someone, everyone is like it. And because we tar people with the same brush it has a knock on effect. The police start stopping and searching people with their hoods up, because people with hoods up are criminals etc etc.

I think for some crimes, not all, society needs their views changing. Educating more than anything. And the police along with them.

That might have been a bit of tangent from what you were talking about, if it was, sorry!
 

VirusZero

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I wrote this moreso for gang violence but the basic principles will transfer over pretty easily. Though it should be stated that it's impossible to completely get rid of criminal behaviour. There's criminal behaviour for all kinds of reasons. Some of which are intentional and others not so much.

In the last few years it the amount of violence, if the news is to be believed (they're not though) has gone up drastically. It seems like there are more shootings, stabbings, attacks and general violence than ever before.

Some have called for the reduction of things like guns or knives to counter it. But I don't think for a second that will actually work. Criminals, or those looking to cause harm, will always find a way. We cannot go down a path of banning things that could possibly be used in a negative way. Otherwise we'd be left with nothing.
We've seen in countries like the UK where they have banned handguns and knives that it simply hasn't worked.
In Canada where Handguns are tightly regulated it hasn't stopped criminals from acquiring guns. In a recent case criminals were caught making their own firearms with suppressors (which are illegal in Canada). Making them doubly-illegal isn't going to help because they don't care about legality in the first place.

So then if taking away the tools won't work... what do we do?

The better option is to figure out why people are turning to crime, and more specifically gangs, in the first place and stop that. In many cases the reason is due to lack of opportunity for work/play in the area, poor education system, hopelessness, boredom and/or poor upbringing.

People don't join gangs and/or sell drugs if they have good jobs. If they have jobs that they can make a decent living, possibly advance in and/or enjoy then they're not going to risk that for a gang life where they could (and quite frequently do) get hurt. Though when I say good job, I don't mean typical minimum wage stuff. While it serves as a good stepping stone to get a job or to push through a tough time, those jobs sadly often lack opportunities for upward mobility. Instead I mean jobs like police officers, judges, teachers, paramedics, doctors, nurses, etc... things that pay fairly well and often help improve societies in other ways too. But if all the area appears to have are low income jobs (even if that's not true) it can make criminal life styles somewhat appealing. So this also means more focus on helping people achieve good jobs through events like job fairs or people specifically trained to help others get hired.

Kids with nothing to do after school, no supervision, no role models and poor grades are prime targets for gang members.
Though one of the biggest issues is single mother households. It's been shown that kids, especially younger boys, need a father figure around to help guide them.This isn't to say being a single mother raising a child is bad in and of itself though. Merely that it's a lot harder and definitely comes with a set of pitfalls and challenges. And without a doubt it does leave youth more vulnerable. And gang members will prey on vulnerable youth. They'll give them easy jobs (that earn recognition and money) to get them inside. Tempt them with a hard to resist life of fancy vehicles, money, beautiful girls, etc... and then put them to work in the gang. By the time they might realise what's happened either they don't care or are in too deep.

The answer here then seems to be more after school programs. This gives kids, and especially teens, options about what to do. They have someplace they can go after school to have fun or engage with others in a good way. These programs also create more jobs for people too because we need people to run these programs. They don't even have to be anti-gang in nature either. These programs just need to be something to give people something to do. Whether it's play some basketball, floor hockey, baseball, soccer or whatever.

But even further than that we need places to run these programs. Community centres and the like often need renovations and improvements in order to adequately house programs... Which means more work for people to improve these places.

Beyond that there needs to be more of a focus on keeping/stopping youth from joining gangs in the first place. These programs are kind of slow to take root, but they work in conjunction with the other afterschool programs.

The final element is the criminal justice system. Firstly that hardened/repeat criminals don't get let go. They do their full time in jail (not a 1/3rd of a plea bargained down sentence) away from society and can't easily corrupt more people. Though for those looking to turn their lives around and become better people then there definitely needs to be help.
The courts also need a speed boost so that due process happens in an actual fair time frame. (A plus which means more judges get hired to handle the work load. Plus all the extra positions needed along with that.)
And of course there needs to be more police out/available to catch criminals who are acting.

It's also incredibly important that we realise that we cannot look to implement kneejerk reactions to make any kind of actual difference. Like with any attack on innocent people there is a push by people to ban guns as if that will solve all the issues. It's not a thought out response at all, just a "we need to do something, anything" response that won't solve any issues. These kneejerk responses only ever end up affecting already law-abiding citizens (because, again, criminals don't care about the laws already so add as many as you like because it won't affect them any further).
Not to put this too coldly, but we don't let those affected by a criminal act sit on the jury for that act because of bias, so for the same reason we shouldn't let those affected by tragedy campaign over it. They are very clearly biased and won't listen to reason/facts.

Altogether these methods will improve society... However none of it will be visible right away. It'll take time, money and effort to implement and then even more time before the effects become visible. But it truly is the only way to really make society better. Again though it won't completely eliminate crime... but it'll certainly make things a lot safer.
 
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Azareal

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I don't believe anyone is ever born a criminal, except perhaps a few rare cases like psychopaths without empathy who start torturing animals before moving onto real people simply for the thrill.

Many people to some extent are fairly decent people when given the chance to get ahead, but when they can't even afford to put food on the table, or are living in all sorts of horrendous conditions, or constantly on the edge every week with a meagre sum of cash, then they're more likely to turn to crime.

A lot of it is also likely who you have around you. For instance, if half the people you know are into jacking cars, then you're more likely to turning to doing it yourself, simply by their influence. It's not easy for someone to go against momentum on their own.

And one of the strange things about society is that teachers are actually really undervalued in a lot of places. They get paid minimum wage, have high burdens cast on them and can be dismissed at a moment's notice due to any vague reason someone can come up with while having to take specialised courses to even get through the door.

This is unfair as it prejudices the ones who are most likely to better our societies to the point where the only people who would want to work there in many cases are paedophiles who are a problem all of their own. It also gets easier to get stereotyped as such a person making people very nervous about speaking to pupils in private.
 

Jason76

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The biggest problem is the breakdown of the family. Well, at least, in the US. The breakdown of the family has been caused by liberal economic policies.

Kids with nothing to do after school, no supervision, no role models and poor grades are prime targets for gang members.
Though one of the biggest issues is single mother households. It's been shown that kids, especially younger boys, need a father figure around to help guide them.This isn't to say being a single mother raising a child is bad in and of itself though. Merely that it's a lot harder and definitely comes with a set of pitfalls and challenges. And without a doubt it does leave youth more vulnerable. And gang members will prey on vulnerable youth. They'll give them easy jobs (that earn recognition and money) to get them inside. Tempt them with a hard to resist life of fancy vehicles, money, beautiful girls, etc... and then put them to work in the gang. By the time they might realise what's happened either they don't care or are in too deep.
Girls can go downhill just as much - from similar reasons. Girls are ultra-sensitive - even a little abuse, even in a two-parent family, can be incredibly destructive.
 
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