An Examination of the Factors Associated with the ‘Crime Drop’ in England and Wales
mesheuropmc: human activities | social sciences | health care economics and organizations | population characteristics | mental disorders
The explanations of the remarkable decrease in crime that has been reported over the last two decades in a number of western countries thus far are assessed here as having been limited and unconvincing. In the light of these limitations, this thesis explores three under researched factors and their potential impact on recorded and reported crime rates in England and Wales. First, the contribution of security measures to the fall in crime is evaluated. The likely impact of security measures is found to be limited to few crime categories and is seen as an unlikely major determinant of the crime drop. Second, the impact that the recent increase of immigration into the UK may have had on recorded crime levels is examined. European immigrants in particular are found to be associated with lower crime rates, especially with low rates of robberies and assaults. However, the link between immigration and crime is noted to highly fluctuate depending on outside factors and cannot account for the cross-national relative uniformity of the crime drop. Third, changes in volume and distribution of repeat victimisation are explored. Analyses demonstrate that a large proportion of the decrease in crime can be attributed to a drop in repeat events against the same targets. The thesis concludes with suggestions about further research likely to clarify the crime drop and hence to identify mechanisms whereby it might be sustained.