Causes of Crime


Historically, the causes and origins of crime have been the subjects of investigation by many disciplines. According to the FBI's Crime in the United States publication, some factors that are known to affect the volume and type of crime occurring from place to place are:

  • Administrative and investigative emphases of law enforcement
  • Citizens' attitudes toward crime
  • Climate
  • Crime reporting practices of the citizenry
  • Cultural factors and educational, recreational, and religious characteristics
  • Economic conditions including median income, poverty level, and job availability
  • Effective strength of law enforcement agencies
  • Family conditions with respect to divorce and family cohesiveness
  • Modes of transportation and highway systems
  • Policies of other components of the criminal justice system (example: prosecution, judicial, correctional, and probational)
  • Population density and degree of urbanization
  • Stability of population with respect to residents' mobility, commuting patterns, and transient factors
  • Variations in composition of the population, particularly youth concentration