Alcohol and drugs in relation to crime

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Alcohol and drugs in relation to crime

  1. 1. Alcohol and Drugs in relation to crime. Louis Staples
  2. 2. Alcohol and Drugs abuse <ul><li>Alcohol and drug abuse has always been with us in society. </li></ul><ul><li>However, Home Office statistics indicate the problem is worsening with a 68% rise in substance abuse in the last 10 years. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why is this a problem? And how does it relate to crime? <ul><li>Substance abuse creates a breakdown in society as it is not only self destructive but relates to crimes such as anti-social behaviour and violence. </li></ul><ul><li>Jack Straw, the former shadow Home Secretary stated that every year over 1.5 million violent offences are committed under the influence of alcohol alone. </li></ul><ul><li>A study of 41 probation areas in England showed that 70% of offenders had abused alcohol in the past, and 50% still have a problem with alcohol </li></ul><ul><li>Girls behind bars, a BBC documentary also revealed that in Cornton Vale prison, 55% of prisoners were in custody due to crimes that are linked to a drug addiction </li></ul>
  4. 4. How does this relate to other factors which influence crime? <ul><li>Age </li></ul><ul><li>16-24 year old males are the most likely to binge drink or take drugs excessively, and are also more likely to commit and be the victims of crime. So there is a clear connection between the two </li></ul><ul><li>Subcultures can also be created around types of drink, which lead to an increase in crime. Such as Buckfast, which is a notorious stereotype of young people who commit crime. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Poverty </li></ul><ul><li>People who suffer from social exclusion or who are on a low income are more likely to have a drug or alcohol problem. </li></ul><ul><li>This could be due to abuse or negative things in their childhood or current lives that they use drugs to escape from. </li></ul><ul><li>Also, in socially excluded communities, new norms can be created and it can be perfectly acceptable to openly take drugs or binge drink from a young age. </li></ul><ul><li>Someone with a low income may also use organised crime or drug dealing as a way of achieving their goals as they cannot use ‘normal’ means. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>As young people are at a higher rate of addiction than other groups, due to experimentation at a young age and peer pressure, this may cause them to lose motivation to achieve academically </li></ul><ul><li>There is clearly a link between lack of education and crime as 97% of offenders at Polmont left school at the earliest opportunity and 40% of offenders do not have the skills required for 96% of jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>There is evidence to show that substances commonly used by teenagers such as cannabis and alcohol have a negative effect on the brains ability to remember and focus on things </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of education can lead to unemployment, which makes someone more likely to take drugs or drink excessively </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Mental Illness </li></ul><ul><li>Someone who smokes cannabis on a regular basis is four times more likely to develop a mental illness than the rest of society </li></ul><ul><li>Cannabis also causes paranoia, which may be a motive for committing an offence </li></ul><ul><li>As 18% of attempted murders are committed by people with mental illness’s it could be said that alcohol and drug abuse has an influence on a person’s likelihood of being mentally ill, making them more likely to engage in criminal behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>- or more likely to get caught </li></ul>
  8. 8. Conclusions <ul><li>It is clear that alcohol and drugs influence people to commit crime to a large extent. </li></ul><ul><li>A cycle of deprivation clearly exists around these substances, and strong links to age, education and poverty can be seen, as people use drugs to escape from their lives or to make them feel as though they have a purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>However, it is worth mentioning that while drug and alcohol abuse is rising, crime rates are falling, so clearly there are other issues that need to be explored. </li></ul>

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