It is difficult to give a brief discussion on the causes of crime, as the subject is both broad and technical. This essay provides a brief overview, in simple terms, of what is known about factors that cause crime, and the issues that could make some individuals more likely to become involved in crime than some others. It will debate the biological, psychological and sociological issues; discussing chromosome and genetic make up, the family, school performance, intelligence factors, poverty, unemployment alcohol and finally substance abuse. It will also debate various features that make some neighbourhoods, cities, and towns more crime-prone than other areas. Some criminologists suggest there are no real causes of crime; at least as the word 'cause' is normally understood. Ultimately the information presented here will be inclined to make the issues very simple to understand. For those who are interested in a deeper understanding of crime, should read the material referred to throughout the essay. The order of the essay is as follows. First it will briefly explain what is meant when it is suggested that some factors is a 'cause' of crime. By "cause" the definition in the New Oxford Dictionary is a person or thing that gives rise to an action. Then it states some basic facts on crime that are important in understanding what "causes" crime. In the third section we discuss factors which make certain individuals more prone to involvement in crime than others, and fourthly, it discuses the factors, which make certain areas or neighbourhoods more crime-prone than others areas. First the essay will discuss what we mean by "cause". .
Most of us believe that, if an event or condition 'causes' some consequence, then the consequence invariably follows the event or condition. This picture of causation does not help when understanding crime. The factors or conditions which criminologists suggest as causing criminal behaviour do not always result in criminal behaviour.