The rate of crime in the society today has reached its crescendo. Safety of lives and properties has become an overwhelming task that if left in the hands of the government alone, we all will inevitably be doomed.
Encapsulated in corruption at all strata, the very institution saddled with the responsibility of ensuring safety of lives and properties cannot even protect itself and hence the palpable catastrophe that hovers around.
People cannot move around freely in a society they own without fear of being kidnapped, robbed, maimed or even killed ? People cannot talk freely without receiving threats to their lives ?
Leaders at all levels (from government, religious down to traditional) sit in lackluster and watch crime take dominance while accountability dissipate into air.
We must all take responsibility of what has happened to our society and form a common front in pursuit of redefining mutual cohabitation that promote peace and freedom.
Sociologist define crime as a deviant behavior that violates prevailing norms, whether cultural or social standards prescribing how humans ought to behave.
It considers the complex realities surrounding the concept of crime and seek to understand how changing social, political, psychological, and economic conditions may affect changing definitions of crime and the form of the legal, law-enforcement, and penal responses made by society.
Criminalization is a means intended as a preemptive harm reduction devise, using threat of punishment as a deterrent to those proposing to engage in the behavior causing harm. It is intent to make potential criminals pay for their crime.
Causes of Crime
Throughout the ages, people have tried to explain what causes abnormal social behavior including crime.
Criminologist have looked to a wide range of factors to explain why crimes are committed. Series of factors were looked at such as psychological, biological, social and economic factors.
Although the general public are yet to fully accept that criminal behavior is a psychological disorder, researchers continue to look at psychological stress as a driving force behind some crimes. For example, people who are abused and neglected are more likely to commit crime later in life.
Sexual abuse in children often leads these victims to become sexual predators when they grow up. This is a sharp contrast to children who receive support and love as they are generally well behaved and less likely to commit crime.
The search for the origin of antisocial personality disorder and their influence over crime lead to a studies of twins and adopted children in the 1989s. Identical twins have the same genetic makeup, researchers found that they were twice as likely to have similar criminal behavior than fraternal twins who have similar but not identical genes, just like any two siblings.
Other research showed that adopted children had greater similarities of crime rate to their biological parents that to their adoptive parents. These studies suggested genetic basis for some criminal behavior.
With more sophisticated advances in medical technology, psychologist Robert Hare in 1986 in search of biological causes of crime identified a connection between certain brain activity and antisocial behavior. He found that criminals experience less brain reaction to dangerous situations than most people. Such function he believe, could lead to greater risk taking without fear of punishment.
Researchers in 21th century in continual search for link between brain activity and tendency to commit crime used computerized tomography(CT Scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI) and Position Emission Tomography(PET) in further analysis. They investigated the role of neurochemicals, substances released by the brain to trigger body activity and hormones in influencing criminal behavior. The researchers found that increased levels of some neurochemicals such as serotonin, decreases aggression while higher level of others such as dopamine increases aggression.
Violent Crimes such as murder, assault, rape, are as a result of desire for control, revenge, and power and these violent crimes usually occurs on impulse when emotions are high.
Peer pressure, greed, anger, jealousy, pride and high level of inordinate competitiveness in society today especially as seen in social media, has inadvertently pushed a lot of people into a life of crime.
Property crimes such as armed robbery, burglary, white-collar crimes, auto theft are a result of the desire for material gain (money or expensive belongings).
A high level of poverty and the desperation that comes with it eventually leads many into a life of crime.
Studies about the relationship between an individual’s financial condition and his criminal behavior show that economic deprivation act as a trigger factor for his criminal behavior. Any person who is deprived of basic amenities such as food and shelter is more likely to resort to crime to end his deprivation.
A more detailed discussion of the facade of “Crime” is contained in the book “CRIME AND THE SOCIETY” written by Dr Osonwa Ikechukwu