I regularly volunteer at a homeless shelter, giving out food and blankets and helping out with the poor. Along with my time and experience, I also donate money to the organization to help them keep operating. I have made friends with a number of people there, especially regulars who are in a tight spot.
One day, one of my closest friends came up to me, asking me for help. He was in trouble with the police and was in the middle of a criminal investigation. He was accused of benefit fraud, for allegedly faking his information in order to receive housing benefit, despite being homeless.
He told me that he was innocent, and that he needed help finding a trusted criminal defence lawyer. I believed him, and said that I will help him find a good solicitor to represent him.
I referred him to Stuart Miller Solicitors, whom he called up and hired for his case. He used his own savings to hire them, because he still had a job despite being homeless.
Luckily for him, Stuart Miller Solicitors pushed through for him – they were able to prove his innocence by helping the police discover that it was actually my friend’s former landlord who had faked the documents for housing benefits. He was using my friend’s name despite evicting him several months ago.
While I am glad that my friend’s innocence was proven thanks to Stuart Miller Solicitor’s excellent work, I cannot help but think of how poverty is so interconnected with crime. Some people are not as resilient as my friend, and will resort to poverty due to desperation.
Some people simply have no other choice. So why is it that poverty is so interconnected with crime? Here are some theories:
Lack of Education
Among the poorer populations, education is hard to come by. In other countries where free education is unavailable, the problem is even worse.
Poverty is linked to a lack of education due to a number of factors – some young people have to quit school early in order to make a living, while others simply cannot afford to go to school.
Lack of education often leads to ignorance of the law as well – some people simply are not aware of the law and break them in the process.
Wealth and inequality
In areas where the gap between the rich and the poor are so great, inequality often leads to crime. If wealth is openly displayed and flaunted, feelings of bitterness and envy could push the poor into a life of crime. Robbery and theft are the most common crimes that result out of the display of wealth and inequality.
Depression and desperation
Many individuals who are pushed to the brink because of poverty will resort to crime due to desperation. They have no other choice, and if they are to survive, they often have no other choice but to commit a crime.
Poverty also leads to increased levels of depression, which in turn may lead to drug use. Drug fueled crime is a big problem even in countries like the UK.
If we could eliminate poverty in our society, many researchers agree that crime will also likely go down. Satisfaction with life, dignity, and equality go a long way in preventing crime.