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Why do people
commit crimes?
Legal Studies 3C
Some factors affecting criminal behaviour
Social: Poeple and their attitudes to the law and the authority of the state are shaped
in part by the society they live in. Factors such as upbringing and personal networks
can impact, often negatively, upon a person’s view of the law and respect, or lack of,
for it.
Economic: People who suffer economic disadvantage can feel ‘disconnected’ from
mainstream society and its values and may feel less respect for the law. Poverty in
terms of need can also be a factor particularly in property offences.
Genetic: This is a controversial theory that suggests there is an inherited genetic
basis to some criminal behaviour, particularly behaviour that is violent. However
there is no conclusive evidence to support this theory.
Political: Individuals and organisations may oppose certain criminal laws on political
grounds. They therefore believe that the law is wrong or unjust and may not feel
compelled to comply with the law.
Self interest: Self interest and greed can motivate people to commit crime.