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Impact of Urbanization on Crime Rates

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Modem cities present a meeting point of people from different walks of life having no affinity with one another. Like other problems, the problem of crimes increases with the increase in urbanization. In fact the increasing trend in urban crimes tends to disturb peace and tranquility of the cities and make them unsafe to live in particularly for the women.

In recent decades, crime levels have given increasing cause for alarm, bringing material and immaterial consequences that have still to be properly understood. Anti-crime strategies urgently need to be implemented in order to promote safe communities and contribute to their sustainable development. Crime needs to be taken into account during the planning process, as valuable components can be provided that can offer effective approaches to crime prevention and the improvement of community safety. These almost inevitably require long-term, strategic and multi-disciplinary interventions for urban and suburban areas. Crime, and especially the fear of crime, affects the mental and physical wellbeing of victims, causing behavioral alterations, with serious consequences for the whole community. It is also the main contributor to the decline of quality of life in urban areas in Portugal. This paper assesses: the relationship between crimes in an urban area.


Growing materialism, consumerism, and competition in everyday life, selfishness, lavishness, appalling socio-economic disparities and rising unemployment and feeling of loneliness in the crowd are some of the primary causes responsible for alarming trends in urban crime.

Not only the poor, deprived and slum dwellers take to crime; youngsters from well-to-do families also resort to crime in order to make fast buck and for meeting requirements of a lavish life. Occasional failures in life also drag youngsters to crime.

The problem of urban crime is becoming more complicated in the present day world because criminals often get protection from politicians, bureaucrats and elite class of the urban society. Some of the criminals reach high political positions by using their money and muscle power.

According to study made by Dutt and Venugopal (1983), violent urban crimes like rape, murder, kidnapping, dacoity, robbery, etc. are more pronounced in the northern-central parts of the country. Even the economic crimes (like theft, cheating, breach of trust, etc.) are concentrated in the north- central region. Poverty related crimes are widespread with main concentration in the cities of Patna, Darbhanga, Gaya and Munger. This may be due to widespread poverty prevailing in this region.

However, the latest surveys show thatMumbai and Delhi figure in 35 cities that have high crime rate. As much as 31.8 per cent of citizens in Mumbai and 30.5 per cent in Delhi have been victims of crime. Sexual assault was higher in Mumbai (3.5 per cent) as compared to Delhi (1.7 per cent). Both cities score poorly in corruption, with 22.9% in Mumbai being exposed to bribery as compared to 21% in Delhi.

Recognition of the environment’s contribution to quality of life and health has meant that place is now considered an important factor in explaining health and quality of life.

These results highlight the need to reassess specific elements of urban

Design and their relationship with crime levels, particularly as regards citizens’ fear of crime and its consequences on health.

We aim to answer two questions: 1. Can urban planning help reduce urban crime and violence? 2. How can planners create safe and healthy places?

Causes of Crimes Associated with Urbanity

The phenomenon of urban crimes could be attributed to a host of factors that are economic, social, political and even moral or spiritual in nature. Among these are:

1. Poverty

Many authorities in the field of criminal justice say that poverty is a major cause of crime. This is not of course to say that it follows that a person who wallows in wealth cannot be a criminal. Many crimes are committed even by the rich. Furthermore, many people mired in poverty, have remained respectable and exemplary citizens. It is evident that poverty Per Se is not the only reason or cause but it is a major predis positive factor.

Nonetheless, the problem of massive poverty is the primary breeding ground or root cause of crime in countries similarly situated as the Philippines. Its concomitant deprivations and hardships are unemployment, underemployment, low income and productivity, malnutrition, big families, rapid population growth rates, and low standard of living. Crime rate appears to be notably higher in poorer neighbor hoods and in areas with high population density, deteriorated living conditions and unemployment problems.

People resort to crimes on the street to alleviate or escape from their miseries and frustrations or to answer a need. Illustrative examples are parents who sell their children to paedophiles or a father who resorts to robbery just so he could buy medicine for his sick son.

The urban poor are also plagued by among others, the high cost of living, financial difficulties, unstable jobs, lack of capital, limited educational opportunities, inadequate health and sanitation, and inadequate housing. National and local government planners and implementers therefore face increasing demands for urban services like public transportation, garbage collection, piped water, electricity, schools, health and transportation. A deterioration of living conditions in urban areas has produced its share of crime, juvenile delinquency, drug addiction, prostitution, mental illness, physical disability, suicides, family and personal disorganization, environmental degradation, pollution, garbage and sewerage disposals, and traffic jams and congestion.

2. Lost Family Values

Today as the country becomes more and more industrialized, there is an evident loosening of family ties -the family gets together less and less as a group, with all members present, except during special events.

Each member of the family has his own schedule of activities, his own interests, his own friends. All these factors prevent family members from having opportunities for cooperative activity, preventing the development of strong personal relationships.

Several family values that promote and nurture solidarity and love within the family, such as respect for and obedience to parents, have been eroded and polluted by modernization. The Western culture is making widespread and deep-seated inroads into Philippine society through modern communications and the mass media. These lost family values result in many broken homes or families. As children are separated from their parents or reared by single parents, they go wayward and become misguided. Many become addicted to prohibited drugs, unwed and/or separated parents and eventually become criminals or victims of crime.

3. Working Mothers

The employment and exodus of women from the home where mothers like me have to be employed, some out of necessity others to augment the family income, have somehow contributed directly or indirectly to the commission of crimes.

At times, the frequent absence of the mother weakens the fundamental relationship with children resulting sometimes in feelings of insecurity and rejection that lead to maladjustments.

4. Ignorance

The majority of our population do not know many of our laws and the repercussions they face once they commit violations thereof. They do not know many of their rights, the due process of law and many other related matters. In fact, many of our hapless folks do not know what democracy is all about and how they can make it work. This results in a “crisis” of citizenship characterized by widespread apathy, indifference, “spoon-feeding” syndrome, or lack of discipline and self-restraint. This affects both the criminals and victims alike in many ways. Because of their scanty legal knowledge and lack of awareness of its repercussions, many criminals, especially first offenders, readily perpetrate crimes based on a mistaken notion and false belief.

Many become victims of crime because they are not aware of the modus operandi of crime syndicates and are not crime prevention-conscious. Often times, instances of miscarriage of justice on the part of either the offender or the victim, could be blamed on their ignorance.

5. Injustices/Abuses

These constitute the powerful motives for most of the crime against persons perpetrated either by the victims or their loved ones as cases of revenge or vendetta. Worse yet, these could serve also as the reason for the same criminals to yet perform some more crime as a way of pre-empting a vendetta or silencing the victims and/or their witnesses. The high propensity to avenge injustices/abuses among Filipinos makes this factor abet crime in a very potent and violent manner.

6. Soft State

Non-enforcement of several laws and ordinances, massive graft and corruption, absenteeism on the part of government officials or lack of basic services give rise to the lack of discipline and low regard for the laws by the citizenry, which spawn lawlessness and crime.

For monetary considerations or plain laziness, traffic laws and ordinances are not enforced by traffic policemen or aides. Consequently, drivers, passengers and pedestrians alike violate traffic rules and regulations left and right. From minor violations, gradually these offenders commit more and more serious infractions of the laws, thereby abetting crime.

7. Fear

This problem is so pervasive that it affects practically the entire society. Whether rich or poor. People are afraid, not only while they are on the streets; but also right inside their homes. Kidnapping for ransom, bank robberies/hold ups, murders, homicides, crime against chastity and other heinous crimes instil so much fear among the citizenry Fear is an unseen force that breeds crime in many ways. Victims of kidnap for ransom are easily paralyzed into inaction by the kidnappers; such that they will give in to the demands of kidnappers, including that of not reporting the incident to the police. Victims of crime and their witnesses are easily threatened to keep silent and not to file charges and testify in court. Even when not actually threatened, many victims and witnesses refuse to cooperate with the police in solving and prosecuting crimes.

As a result, many criminals go scot-free and are emboldened to perpetrate more crimes. As aptly stated by Edmund Burke, “For evil to triumph, it needs only good men to do nothing”; like victims and witnesses keeping quiet about crime.

8. Others

There are many other breeding grounds of crime.

(i) Movies that glorify criminals and show a lot of violence and tabloids that depict lewd scenes contribute to the rise in crime;

(ii) Modern technology that tends to increase the capabilities of crime syndicates to perpetrate more crimes that are becoming more difficult to bust and/or solve; and

(iii) Lack of sound crime prevention planning and the apathy of the community towards involvement in anti-crime campaigns.

Rational of the study

Urbanization is a newly invented matter. But crime isn`t5.but there ar4e huge number of relation between crime and urbanization. IN urban area is full of facility which facility are responsible to occur crime in urban area. Relationship between crime and urbanization may be uncertain. Mash and Masih state “At low levels of the urbanization, crime may be high because of sparsely urbanization may lead to decrease in crime because of closer proximity of and finally, with even urbanization, crime may rise because individuals may not identify whether they are engaged in a legal or illegal activity” (1093). Indeed, Gaviria and Pages, (2002:193) found positive relationship between city size and. Thus, we can say that urbanization may have both negative and positive effects on crime in different urban setting. It needs an empirical investigation to see which effect outweighs.

Urbanization has also brought new challenges in terms of conflict, violence and urban governance – and citizen security in particular. The World Bank’s landmark 2011World Development Reporthighlighted the significance of violence as a development problem. Its work noted how violence is changing, becoming less structured around notions of civil war and conflict, and more focused around criminal violence, terrorism and civil unrest.

Urban crime concept has developed from the nature of crime. If we notice the nature of crime so it will be clear to us the consequences of crime. Many of the population suffer from urban crime. Specially young people Who involved in this crime.

Conceptual framework

Are many cause of urban crime. Especially when a men being psychologically handicapped then he can commit crime .different situation are mainly responsible for this problem. Young people take drug, and then their mental situation become abnormal. Sometime many facility are responsible for becoming g frustrated to younger. So it’s clear to us that psychological cause is the basic cause of urban crime. Criminologists believe that certain predispositions of an individual and his personality traits have a predominant role when it comes to his criminal behavior. These predispositions and personality traits rise from the occurrences in the surroundings, and the person’s tendency to relate to these occurrences the two factors which comes into play are genetics and neurological development of the individual.

Economic factor mainly responsible to occur crime in urban area. Some of the people when fac economic crisis then he commits crime in urban are. Especially when we talk about the economic factors which make a person resort to violence or crime, the first thing that is likely to come to your mind is poverty, and this is true to a great extent. The desperation that comes with poverty eventually gives rise to anger, and this anger makes the person take some drastic measures, thus making him get involved in crime acted by urbanization. Which matter is so destructive for urban people.


Crime is a social disease. It destroys our social life and our basic production. Urbanization has created much scope in this factor. From old time to today’s modern societies, crime has always been a hot subject and kept its place in every day’s agenda. In particular, as and development of countries increase, in general, from to another, it is expected that crime rate should decline over time. However, it does not decline, and it has become more important in the second half of this century. As Becker pointed out years ago that “Crime has probably become more important during the last forty years”. Every society has its own values system. Crime is defined by mainly this values system. For one reason or the other, there has been crime in every society throughout history though the rate, type, cause, and effect on each society might be highly different.

While 35 percent of world population was living in urban areas in 1980, it was about 53 percent in 2005, and estimated to reach 75 percent in 2030.1 Therefore, it is crucial to understand the relationship between crime and urban areas.


There are many problem in urban area .Crime is the major problem in urbanization. Every citizen should concern about this problem. Bangladesh is a developing country, and it’s an over populated country. Many population involved in different types of crime. Some recommendation are noted here-

  • Urban citizen should concern about urban crime.
  • Government should take different preventive stapes.
  • Crime related journal should broadcast in media.
  • Daily newspapers should publish pure and truthful news.
  • Police has to play an important role to recover crime from urban area.
  • Judicial system will run without political handicapped.


Akkas, Ali, Sarkar” Law of Criminal Procedure.”

Adler, Freda “Distinguished professor of Criminal Justice School of Criminal Justice, RutgersUniversity.

Mueller o.w, Gerhard “Distinguished Professor of Criminal Justice Rutgers’s university.

Paranjape.V.N”Criminology and Phonology 14thedition,Central law publication,107,DarbhangaCastle,Allahbad.

islam,aminul”Research Methodology” Chawdhury,Dr,Haider, Criminology.

(CIA world Fact book) (Hider 2006): Journal.

Mashi and Mashi ,criminal justice.

Gumus findings 2004, Journal.

Becker view on crime in urbanization (1968-172), Journal.

Ijere, N. J. (1994) “Gender and Rural-Urban Migration in the Ecuadorian sierra” Columbia University Press, Columbia.

Jack Harvey, (2000) “Urban Land Economics” Palgrave Macmillan, Fifth Edition pp 256-257.

Jelili, M.O (2012) “Urbanization and Future of Cities in Africa: The Emerging Facts and Challenges to Planners” Global Journal of Human Social Science, Volume 12 Issue 7.

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