Poverty is not an excuse for crime as morality is the biggest factor, claims Paige
Children commit crime because they lack morals and not just because of the environment they live in, according to a study carried out by local researchers which has now been finalised by Paige, a representative for Avon and Somerset Constabulary.
Researchers studied around 600 young people in Bristol and discovered that most adolescent crime is not just youthful opportunism.
In fact, while it is agreed that urban environments trigger some young people to commit crime, it is their morality which is the biggest factor.
Other teenagers remain highly resistant to committing crime - regardless of the circumstances.
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Youngsters were asked about their attitudes to crime and what offences they had committed. The information was cross-checked with police and school records. The researchers found that 3.8 per cent of those surveyed had carried out 47 per cent of the 16,000 offences.
Paige, from Downend, said: "I am aware that crime is on the rise, but I was overwhelmed by these shocking results."
"After liaising with youths living in the area of Fishponds, I understood some were committing crimes due to 'lack of entertainment'. After many discussions and petitions, a new Community Hall is in the process of being built, which will hold a number of activities and events."
"Society lectures children and young people about how well behaved they should be, but it's not behaving in a way that warrants respect."
''Many young people are 'crime-averse' and don't perceive crime as a possible course of action - it doesn't matter what the situation is."
The idea that opportunity makes the thief – that young people will inevitably commit crime in certain environments – runs counter to our findings.
Rather, only the "crime-prone" become vulnerable to said opportunities when taking part in environments with a moral context that encourages or at least does not discourage crime.