Violent crimes make use of physical force which in most cases results to causing bodily injuries physically and sometimes psychologically. Violent crimes have various starting points in the lifespan of a person with some starting at an early age while in some it may start at a late age. Peer influence, family background and mass media influence are among the factors that influence a person to get engaged in violent crimes.
Globalization has also been pointed out to be among the factors that have enhanced violent crimes in various ways. The internet, an aspect of globalization, has made it possible for people to access information relating to violence making it possible for them to carry out crimes. It is also possible to connect and recruit gang activities through the internet with purchasing arrangements for drugs and weapons made possible.
The environment has also been pointed out as a cause of crimes which may consequently lead to violence later. The environment has specifically been pointed out to be influential in the case of corporate affairs whereby the risk of exposure of huge corruption claims may lead to elimination of the whistle blowers. Bad working terms which largely exploit employees may also trigger violent reactions from the employees when there is a feeling that it has become too much.
Migration especially when directed to a specific regions leads to overpopulation which consequently will result to social evils of which violent crimes is one. Other factors which have been pointed out as causers of violent crimes include: age, ethnicity, gender, social economic status, prior victimization that may lead to revenge, unique training such as bombing, education level, marital status, medical history, race, addictions, occupational relations and loss of significant relations.
Violent crimes refer to physical offenses carried out on by people on other people and in most cases such actions inflict physical damage and at times psychological damage. According to the FBI (2006), violent crimes consist of “murder and non negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault” (FBI, 2006, p. 1). Violent crimes are mainly dealt with from the department of criminal justice and those found guilty usually face very harsh penalties.
Violent crimes may begin in individuals in various ways. It may start either during childhood or may start at old age. However, individual begin involving in crime before or during their youths and may continue this way ever thereafter or may change depending on the situation. An individual may begin involving in crime due to peer pressure, due to mass media influence, due to family background or due to family interests.
Peer influence plays an important role in getting many individuals into crime. This mostly happens during teenage or youth whereby the lifestyle of these youngsters are mostly dependent on the peer groups. For instance, a group of friends from a certain high school may influence each other to harming their seniors who may be bullying them in school.
They may also influence each other to burning down the school due to poor administration. Some male students may also plan to attack a neighboring girl’s school. Just to mention but a few, such situations as mentioned above are likely to change an innocent individual to entering into violent crime completely.
Media is another major area that has ushered many people into violent crimes. Most of the programs in the mass media especially movies, films, music and advert make use of violent scenes thus triggering the urge of some individuals to practicing what they are seeing or hearing from the media.
Most of these media presentations give potential criminals all the tactics and the necessary ideas that may be applied in violent crimes. Some of the most common programs may include robbery with violence where the actors may be ending up with large sums of money, immorality in the media which drives many individuals to rape cases among others.
Furthermore, advancement in technology has enabled many people to involve in crime whereby many criminal scenes are covered and brought in the news thus convincing potential criminals of the possibility of the crimes they may not be aware of. For instance, most violent crime scenes covered in the media are shown in the news and explain or show how the scene took place giving rough ideas to those who may be interested in such activities.
Globalization is another sensitive area that has ushered many people to begin lives full of violent crimes. This has been facilitated by the use of internet which has reduced the world into a cyber space such that anyone can get information on criminal issues just by accessing the internet.
Sites are available concerning any information about violent crimes as well as much coverage of the crimes that have taken place across the world. Globalization has also brought about ease of acquiring dangerous weapons that enhance violent crimes either from the many unstable governments across the world or due to the free market regulations across the world.
Individuals involved in criminal justice enter into such activities due to various reasons. According to research carried out by Jones (2005), it has become evident that most violent criminals have resulted both from nature and nurture. This means that both genes and the environment play a very important role in the criminality of an individual.
The psychologist came up with the above conclusions after carrying out a survey on some twin, a family and an adoption study. It was also shown through several laboratory experiments that criminal behavior is a result of an interaction between genes and the environment (Jones, 2005). For instance, an individual may contain genes that are responsible for criminal behavior but may not be evident until he is exposed to the right environment.
Considering corporate crime, the environment is a major determinant that may facilitate crime in such an environment whereby situational cases play a major role in individual involvement in crime. Companies may provide opportunities to commit crime whereby such opportunities may not be evenly distributed. Some areas in a company may be more vulnerable while others may have low opportunities.
Some companies may also have incentives for criminal behavior or may provide means to commit crime depending on the decision making criteria of the company (Gobert & Punch, 2003). For instance, if a company is not keen on auditing its financial records, corruption may become so prevalent and those trying to fight against such without the support of the executives in the company might be resisted by all means including through the use of violent means.
Large sums of money may also be stolen thus strengthen the powers of the victims to using violence to protect their corrupt deals. For example, they may be in a better position to buy weapons, to hire gangsters among others. Companies may also fail to give their employees good salaries leading them in to involving in crime in order to meet their financial needs.
Furthermore, if the management treats its employers unfairly and with bias whereby some are more recognized then others, then it may result in to violent crimes since such actions leaves employees discontented and in pain. Misunderstanding between the leadership and the employees or among leaders or among employees may also facilitate violent behaviors especially where sensitive issues are concerned.
Though the company may facilitate an ample environment to practice crime, the nature of the criminal or the individual accomplishing criminal act is very vital (Gobert & Punch, 2003). Some individuals may opt to utilize opportunities to accomplish their interest in a criminal way while others may be faced with similar situations and opt to use legal and ethical means. It is therefore a combination of the nature of an individual and the environment that accomplishes a criminal offence.
Research has confirmed that most criminals are individual who possess genetic predisposition of psychological problems. Some psychological problems leading to violent crime have been proved to be hereditary which when facilitated with an ample environment are likely to reciprocate.
This means that individuals who possess such genes are more vulnerable when exposed in the right environment where they can carry out their violent crimes comfortably (Jones, 2005). However, environment can also turn an individual with no genetic influence to a criminal.
Migration may also turn an individual to criminal. Urban- rural migration commonly known as the white flight is one of the major kind that triggers the rate of criminal activities mainly because the urban dwellers are exposed to more criminal tactics which they easily use on the incoming dwellers from the remote areas (Katz, 1998).
Ignorance may also lead an individual to violent behaviors. For instance, a teenager may join some friends in a criminal mission for fun or without really considering the possible consequences. This may proceed for a long time such that such an individual reaches a point of no return. Lack of role models may also lead individuals to violent crimes since there may be no people with admirable behaviors that such individuals may be yearning to imitate.
Including the above mentioned factors, many other factors are considered when investigations concerning violent crimes are being carried out. Some of these factors include age, ethnicity, gender, social economic status, prior victimization that may lead to revenge, unique training such as bombing, education level, marital status, medical history, race family background, addictions, occupational relations and loss of significant relations’ among others (Hickey, 2003). Let us take a deeper look on how age is a determinant to violent crimes.
Teenagers have not been left behind in the topic concerning violent crimes. Several cases have confirmed teenagers being involved in violent crimes most of which take place at school while others take place on the streets (Crew & Counts, 1997). Teenagers have been countless times been involved in such crimes as sexual assaults, drug trafficking, theft not only at school but also outside, bullying to the extent of killing, burning institutional facilities among others.
A survey carried out in the 1980’s in the United States recorded a period when education was at national risk with the highest number of juvenile cases. The major issues that were spotted in the education system were:
Inadequate emphasis on education studies, absence of leadership, lack of standards and poor teaching. This may have contributed in one way or another to the increased cases of juvenile delinquency and child abuse. It is also recorded that it is during this time that the resentment and anger against the US youth grew rapidly with the older youths demanding for more severe treatment of youths involved in crime. (Crew and Counts, 1997, p. 99)
Most of the teens and youths violent crimes are more likely to be associated with drug use. For instance, most of the teenagers in the US were involved in drug abuse from around 1980 whereby statistics show that this started declining from 1980 to 1985. The survey showed that drug use were more prevalent then alcohol use before and during school and later alcohol use dominated the life after school.
It was postulated that after the education system was put in top place and the major problematic issues were checked, the population of students involved in drug use drastically declined (Crew & Counts, 1997). The decline in drug abuse was relatively proportional to the decline in violent crime cases among the teens and the young adults.
Between 1983 and 1985, juvenile public facilities accommodated around half a million youngsters nationwide. This was 11 times greater than the number of adult population incarcerated. Between 1985 and 1988, the worst age group that was involved in crime either in school or outside the school premises was teenagers between the age of 12 and 15 years (Crew & Counts, 1997). At this age, it becomes very hard for a teen to concentrate on education which is the most important aspect and foundation for a better future.
It is also the most vulnerable age that a teen is capable of adopting the most likely lifestyle that he may spend the rest of her life since it is at this age that children are capable of learning and adopting a life time practice. However, statistics showed that most of the teens incarcerated are between the age of 15 and 17 meaning that most of those between the age of 12 and 15 escaped capture and went unpunished in most cases.
There has been shown to be evidence linking drug use to criminal activities from a personal account given by some teens who were involved in burglary at the age of seventeen. Peter Murphy and Brian Garty were among the heaviest drug users around Hamilton Part neighborhood and their crimes were the most violent which mainly involved breaking into jeweler shops.
Their crude way of theft led to their arrest severally and Peter at some point said that at some point in a certain scene, he was too much into drugs such that the take away car had to leave without him which led to his arrest. They also confessed that many were the times they went into crime without a major reason rather than influence (Sullivan, 1989).
In conclusion, violent crime has been very common across the world and it has been involving people from all age groups and all genders. It mainly results from nurture and nature and individuals may begin criminal acts due to various reasons ranging from peer pressure to personal issue. It is also evident that juvenile cases are very common which is the worst age since it may become hard to rehabilitate such a person if action is not taken in time.
Crew, G. & Counts, M. (1997). The evolution of school disturbance in America: colonial times to modern day. Westport, ABC-CLIO.
FBI. (2006). Violent Crime. Federal Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved on March 2, 2011 from http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/violent_crime/index.html
Gobert, J. & Punch, M. (2003). Rethinking Corporate Crime. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hickey, E. (2003). Encyclopedia of Murder and Violent Crimes. California, CA: SAGE.
Jones, C. (2005). Genetic and Environmental Influences on Criminal Behavior. Personality Research. Retrieved on March 2, 2011 from http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/jones.html
Katz, I. (1998). Violent Behaviour and the Brain – Do we know it all? Serendip. Retrieved on March 2, 2011 from http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro98/202s98-paper1/Katz.html
Sullivan, M. (1989). “Getting paid”: youth crime and work in the inner city. New York, NY: Cornell University.