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Does austerity lead to crime?

Does austerity lead to crime?

Old Nov 11th 2011, 6:14 pm
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Default Does austerity lead to crime?

I've always thought so. Austerity leads to an increase in poverty and the new poor people will steal to support their family. This article is about Greece, but I think it will equally apply to Spain, and other places where an entire population is suddenly plunged into poverty, and where they sense that there is no end in sight.

I also think that graffiti is linked to crime, and I don't have to walk far to find it where I live.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/...796733,00.html
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Old Nov 11th 2011, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

When you consider the cases of the Spanish Mayors and the UK MPs, your suggestion seems to fall down just a little bit, though I suppose there may be a few grains of truth in it.
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Old Nov 11th 2011, 8:25 pm
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

Austerity, or perceived austerity is a great source of dishonesty, as a lot of people start saying 'Why shouldn't I?' and 'What have I got to lose?'

MPs are well paid and can't claim that excuse.
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Old Nov 11th 2011, 9:12 pm
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

I'm not talking about MPs or professional thieves, I'm talking about ordinary people who suddenly find themselves destitute in countries without a welfare net as we have in the UK and Germany.

I'm talking about the people I've seen where I live over the past few days. While shopping in a large supermarket I saw ordinary people shoplifting, opening packets of chicken and mince and stuffing the contents inside their clothing.

They're not stealing for profit, they're stealing to live.

I live in a high crime area and my Doberman is on overtime. He's on overtime because of austerity and poverty causing people to turn to crime to feed their families.
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Old Nov 11th 2011, 9:39 pm
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

Originally Posted by HBG View Post
I'm not talking about MPs or professional thieves, I'm talking about ordinary people who suddenly find themselves destitute in countries without a welfare net as we have in the UK and Germany.

I'm talking about the people I've seen where I live over the past few days. While shopping in a large supermarket I saw ordinary people shoplifting, opening packets of chicken and mince and stuffing the contents inside their clothing.

They're not stealing for profit, they're stealing to live.

I live in a high crime area and my Doberman is on overtime. He's on overtime because of austerity and poverty causing people to turn to crime to feed their families.
I've seen ppl.stuffing food straight into their mouths before in supermarkets, a bit more of a problem for security to deal with I think.

I doubt there's many of us wouldn't resort to some form of theft, even if only from farmers fields, if ourselves and families were on the point of starvation.
Some families must be fairly desperate considering the lack of back-up in Spain compared to the UK, though as I understand it there are soup kitchens and such places available. I wonder if they are open right around the clock or only have very restricted hours. I don't have much knowledge or experience of what the real picture is, because here I'm located in a very peaceful, sparcely populated backwater where life seems to continue pretty much as normal.
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Old Nov 11th 2011, 10:06 pm
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

Originally Posted by HBG View Post
I'm not talking about MPs or professional thieves, I'm talking about ordinary people who suddenly find themselves destitute in countries without a welfare net as we have in the UK and Germany.

I'm talking about the people I've seen where I live over the past few days. While shopping in a large supermarket I saw ordinary people shoplifting, opening packets of chicken and mince and stuffing the contents inside their clothing.

They're not stealing for profit, they're stealing to live.

I live in a high crime area and my Doberman is on overtime. He's on overtime because of austerity and poverty causing people to turn to crime to feed their families.
Desperate people do desperate things.
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Old Nov 11th 2011, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

Strangely enough, statistically speaking, in the UK anyway, reported crime goes up during periods of PROSPERITY. People have more to steal.
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Old Nov 11th 2011, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

Some years ago I observed the gentrification of Docklands. I used to drive down The Highway and there was a scruffy block of council flats on one side and a newly built block of Yuppie flats on the other side.

Although high fences protected them, I thought that class war was just around the corner. It never happened because the country prospered and the poor were able to sell their scruffy flats for fortunes and moved to the Essex coast in droves.

It's different now, Maggie's gone, we're skint, and Spain is even skinter.

And my spell check is f'ucked.
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Old Nov 12th 2011, 10:25 am
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

Originally Posted by Sherlock Holmes View Post
Strangely enough, statistically speaking, in the UK anyway, reported crime goes up during periods of PROSPERITY. People have more to steal.
Interesting. I read the website of Martin Varsavsky (an Argentinean entrepreneur who's settled in Madrid - the guy behind Jazztel, Fon and many others) and he wrote the following article, quoting oficial figures, that stated crime figures had actually gone down whilst unemployment went up. [in Spanish]

http://spanish.martinvarsavsky.net/m...idad-baja.html

The comments are quite interesting. For example they point out that small scale crimes may longer get reported. Even so, it makes you think.
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Old Nov 12th 2011, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

According to the recent news, as well as stealing scrap metal from war memorials, thieves are now stealing the same from gravestones. I don't know whether such despicable acts are caused directly by increasing poverty, but suspect they might be.

I often see a local man walking along the edge of the dual carriageway where I live and asked him why. He is looking for discarded stolen handbags that might still have items of value in them, even if it's just the bag itself.

During my daily dog walks I have found several such handbags and shudder when I think of the human tragedy involved in each case. I have returned several to their owners after finding identification correspondence inside them.

I've walked along the same route for years and have never found discarded handbags in such numbers.
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Old Nov 12th 2011, 10:51 am
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

Originally Posted by HBG View Post
According to the recent news, as well as stealing scrap metal from war memorials, thieves are now stealing the same from gravestones. I don't know whether such despicable acts are caused directly by increasing poverty, but suspect they might be.

I often see a local man walking along the edge of the dual carriageway where I live and asked him why. He is looking for discarded stolen handbags that might still have items of value in them, even if it's just the bag itself.

During my daily dog walks I have found several such handbags and shudder when I think of the human tragedy involved in each case. I have returned several to their owners after finding identification correspondence inside them.

I've walked along the same route for years and have never found discarded handbags in such numbers.
Whatever people may say about statistics, the evidence of the handbags, the taste for stealing every item of metal they can lift, all this says to me that crimes DO go up in such times.
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Old Nov 12th 2011, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

Originally Posted by steviedeluxe View Post
Interesting. I read the website of Martin Varsavsky (an Argentinean entrepreneur who's settled in Madrid - the guy behind Jazztel, Fon and many others) and he wrote the following article, quoting oficial figures, that stated crime figures had actually gone down whilst unemployment went up. [in Spanish]

http://spanish.martinvarsavsky.net/m...idad-baja.html

The comments are quite interesting. For example they point out that small scale crimes may longer get reported. Even so, it makes you think.
Official figures? Isn't that Govspeak for 'lies'.
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Old Nov 12th 2011, 10:57 am
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

Originally Posted by bil View Post
Whatever people may say about statistics, the evidence of the handbags, the taste for stealing every item of metal they can lift, all this says to me that crimes DO go up in such times.
Well yes, it's probably the way the crime stats are recorded. I read an article in the Evening Standard showing how cable theft has reached amazing high levels, and I'm sure it's at least as bad again in Spain.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...cable-theft.do

Metal cable thefts are set to cause rail commuters 7,000 hours of delays this year, figures showed today as passengers suffered more chaos.

Tens of thousands of commuters using Liverpool Street were hit by major disruption after a suspected theft at Needham Market, Suffolk.

Along with a broken-down train in the same area, it left National Express East Anglia passengers facing huge delays and cancellations. It is the latest chaos blamed on thieves stealing metal to sell on - driven by soaring copper prices - with the problem set to hit record levels this year.
What I don't understand from that article is the reference to soaring copper prices. Surely if we're all in recession (or close to it) then demand for raw materials should be going down?
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Old Nov 12th 2011, 11:00 am
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

Originally Posted by steviedeluxe View Post
Well yes, it's probably the way the crime stats are recorded. I read an article in the Evening Standard showing how cable theft has reached amazing high levels, and I'm sure it's at least as bad again in Spain.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...cable-theft.do



What I don't understand from that article is the reference to soaring copper prices. Surely if we're all in recession (or close to it) then demand for raw materials should be going down?
Supply and demand. It may well be that costs of extraction and processing are rising.
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Old Nov 12th 2011, 11:25 am
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Default Re: Does austerity lead to crime?

A close relative returned to the UK recently after six years in Spain. She did have personal and business problems and we accepted those as valid reasons for her return.

At the last tearful farewell, she finally told the truth. A few months ago she had gone to her local cash point, a few minutes walk from her home. It was around 9am and being a street-wise lady she didn't take a handbag. When she walked home after withdrawing 300 Euros, two young men pounced on her, held a knife to her throat and demanded the money she had just withdrawn.

She immediately handed it over and the men calmly walked away. Thinking that we didn't believe her story, she showed us a clearly visible mark on her throat where she had been prodded with the knife.

What made it even worse was that she recognised the young men as former customers in a bar she used to run with her husband. In case anyone thinks it's relevant, the robbers were Spanish.
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