Our Readers' Opinions
July 30, 2004

The root causes of crime in society

Please permit me a space in your paper to deal with crime.
I remember as a boy growing up that what our parents gave us, we had to be satisfied with. Now over the last 50 years almost every country in Western Europe and North America has experienced an enormous increase in crime rates. {{more}}Neighbourhoods that once were safe at night have become dangerous during the day; random acts of violence, once almost unknown have become common. The good news is that rates seem to have stabilized in the 1990s; the bad news is that it appears to be largely a demographic issue.
Most perpetrators of crime are young men. In fact you can pick a social ill at random and you will find that the correlation with having no father is clear and direct: depression, suicide, dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy, drug use… To summarize, fatherless children are five times more likely to commit suicide, 32 times more likely to run away, 14 times more likely to commit rape and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. Fatherless children are also, according to one British study, about 33 times more likely to be abused. In 1983, the United States Department of Health and Human Services found that 60 per cent of children are abused by mothers with sole custody of their children. Almost all of the rest come from other members of her entourage, especially boyfriends and second husbands. Under these circumstances you would think that there would be an enormous amount of research under way by the police to understand what is happening. The media should be demanding answers.

Wilbert Scipio