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HOW VIOLENT CRIME NEGATIVELY AFFECTS A COMMUNITY 1

How Does Violent Crime Negatively Affect a Community?

Logan Fisher

Lord. Tweedsmuir Secondary School

784581

(November 17, 2017)


HOW VIOLENT CRIME NEGATIVELY AFFECTS A COMMUNITY 2

How Does Violent Crime Negatively Affect a Community?

No one escapes the effects of crime, everyone is affected by crime. (Augustine, 2013, para. 3).

Crime interferes with everything; such as daily life, our sense of safety, and our ability to trust.

(Augustine, 2013, para. 3). People’s lives are forever changed when parents, children, family,

and friends are victims of violent crime. (Augustine, 2013, para. 3). How we respect human life

and our views on right and wrong change. (Augustine, 2013, para. 3). Instead of solving our

issues peacefully we resort to violence to solve our problems. If we need money, why not rob

someone. If we need food, why not steal some. These are the types of thoughts that start going

through peoples’ heads when violence is all around them. And if things don’t go as planned they

go to violence for an answer.

This year alone in Surrey there has been over 20,000 criminal incidents and 1250 of those crimes

were considered violent. (“Summary Q1 2017 Crime Statistics,” 2017,). This is a 16%

Decrease from 2016. (Johnston, 2017, para. 1). But sexual assault has gone up by 80% and theft

of $5000 or more has gone up by 50% from 2016 to 2017. Over a lifetime 1 in 3 women and 1

in 4 men will be victims of physical violence from a partner. (Statistics, n.d, para. 2). And 1 in 4

women and 1 in 7 men will have been victims of severe physical violence from a partner.

(Statistics, n.d, para. 3). In the United States, there are 20 people per minute who are abused by

an intimate partner. (Statistics, n.d, para. 1). In Canada, there is a rate of 76 out of every 1000

people have been victims of a violent crime. (Criminal Victimization in Canada, 2014, para. 8).

Not everyone is directly involved in crime but it sure does affect everyone. There is no escaping
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it. If 1 in 13 people have been victims of violent crime it’s almost a guarantee that everyone

knows someone that this has happened to. And knowing that someone so close to you has been a

victim may scare you. If a community has a high crime rate people will have to put out money

for fences, gates, and locks to protect their property. And when children grow up around crime it

is very likely that they will be sucked into the criminal lifestyle.

How Violent Crime Affects Youth in Schools

There are thousands and thousands of youth who have been affected by violent crime. The

school system does not do a good job protecting students. A large part of violent crime is gangs.

When youth are involved with gangs and/or crime there can be some extreme effects (Office of

the Surgeon General, 2001). Some of the effects are dropping out of school, unemployment, drug

and alcohol abuse, teen parenthood, and victimization (Office of the Surgeon General, 2001).

When people get involved with gangs and/or crime in their youth are likely to have criminal

convictions when they are older and even jail time.

In a report released in 1997 by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics in

Washington, D.C., there we 2.6million youth aged 12-17 who had been victims of violent crime

in 1994 (US Department of Justice, 1998). The violent crimes included were theft, assault, and

rape (US Department of Justice, 1998). Violence can lead to youth being bullied by other

students. And some students may suffer for years while the bullying is happening and even

years after. 29% of students were worried about being victimized in a drive by shooting and
HOW VIOLENT CRIME NEGATIVELY AFFECTS A COMMUNITY 4

46% made changes in their daily routines because of concerns about safety (US Department of

Justice, 1998).

Changed friends (22 percent).

Avoided particular parks or playgrounds (20 percent).

Changed the way they went to or from school (13 percent).

Carried a weapon (e.g., bat, club, knife, gun) to protect themselves (12 percent).

Got lower grades in school than they think they otherwise would have (12 percent).

Stayed home from school or cut class (11 percent).

Found someone to protect them (10 percent).

Stopped attending a particular activity or sport (10 percent).


(US Department of Justice, 1998).

Violence has some life changing and lifelong effects on teens. Youth will change their daily

routines because of concerns for their safety (US Department of Justice, 1998). Youth started

getting lower grades than they thought (US Department of Justice, 1998). And one of the worst

things youth can do is get involved with gangs. Once you’re in a gang it is very hard to get out.

The gang will make you steal, commit crimes, and even kill for the gang. This is just the start of

a downhill spiral. When adulthood hits you won’t have a job and may be committing more

crimes to get by.

How Violent Crime Affects a Family


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Violence can cause a family to fall apart. And a separated family can lead youth into crime.

Evidence shows that parents who fail to take care of their children are the leading cause of crime

(Effects of Family Structure on Crime, n.d.). Children not being properly parented leads them

into bad things because of lack of punishment. Which can lead youth to start committing crimes

(Effects of Family Structure on Crime, n.d.). Statistics also show that children living in single

parent homes are more likely to be involved with crime (Effects of Family Structure on Crime,

n.d.). The more attached the parents are the less likely children will be sucked into the criminal

lifestyle (Effects of Family Structure on Crime, n.d.).

Over 90% of youth in high crime neighbourhoods from safe and stable homes do not become

criminals (Effects of Family Structure on Crime, n.d.). And only 10% of those from unsafe and

unstable homes avoid crime (Effects of Family Structure on Crime, n.d.). Only 10% of youth

from intact families have ever been charged or picked up by police and 17% of youth from non-

intact families (Effects of Family Structure on Crime, n.d.). Statistics show that children

abandoned by their fathers are much more likely to live a crime lifestyle (Effects of Family

Structure on Crime, n.d.).


HOW VIOLENT CRIME NEGATIVELY AFFECTS A COMMUNITY 6

The leading causes of youth turning to crime are broken families and youth in dangerous

communities. There are support systems for broken families but they are not the most effective.

And most of them cost money and some of the families cannot afford that. Violence can change

a family. It can cause a family to fall apart.

How Does Crime Affect Communities?

Crime can have many effects on communities. People begin so feel unsafe in their communities

(Impact of Crime on Individuals, Communities, and Society, n.d.). Housing prices are affected

and it is challenging to sell a house (Impact of Crime on Individuals, Communities, and Society,

n.d.). Shoplifting and fraud cost businesses in Canada millions (Impact of Crime on Individuals,

Communities, and Society, n.d.). When businesses have many robberies, they will most likely

shut down or move to a different location (Impact of Crime on Individuals, Communities, and

Society, n.d.). Businesses will also avoid opening in high crime areas (Impact of Crime on

Individuals, Communities, and Society, n.d.).

When crime is high it costs the government money to police the crime. In Canada in 2015 police

operating costs were nearly 14 billion dollars (Police Resources in Canada, 2015). The number

of police officers have been decreasing over the last 5+ years (Police Resources in Canada,

2015). And it is still continuing to decline (Police Resources in Canada, 2015). There are only

200 police officers per 100,000 civilians on average (Police Resources in Canada, 2015). That

makes it hard to police all of the crimes being committed (Police Resources in Canada, 2015).
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All of these cost the government money which costs the taxpayers money. Crime also changes

the way a community looks and how the security of the community is.

Crime is devastating to a community. It makes people feel unsafe. Crime costs the taxpayers

money. Businesses start to close down and move to different communities. And new businesses

avoid the crime filled communities. The number of police officers have been decreasing over the

last 5+ years and this has been making it easier for people to commit crimes.

Conclusion

Crime affects everyone in different ways but it does affect everyone. Often the first exposure to

crime is at a young age. When youth are around crime at a young age or involved in crime at a

young age they are more likely to live a life filled with crime. And youth who start committing

crimes are more likely to get involved in gangs. Once you are in a gang it is very hard to get out

of the gang. If the try to leave the gang the other member will often threaten you or harm you.

One of the leading causes of youth turning to crime are family issues. Such as broken families,

missing father figures, and crime filled communities. And if the parents are committing crimes

the child may pick up on that and follow in their footsteps. When children aren’t parented

properly they can veer off the track. And without punishment they with start getting into trouble

with the police and their school.


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Crime also affects the economic and social standing of the community. Businesses will get

robbed until they close down and new businesses will stay away from the community. Housing

prices will also decrease. Crime can cause major effects on a community. It makes people

fearful, unhappy, depressed and much more.


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References

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Youth.Gov. (N.D.) Adverse Effects. Retrieved Nov 15, 2017, from https://youth.gov/youth-
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