Library Dissertation Showcase

Child poverty and crime: gendered differences

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

The number of children living in poverty in the UK has increased in recent years. Research has found that exposure to poverty can lead to an individual to commit crime. The importance of understanding the influence of child poverty on levels of crime is increasingly being researched. The research project investigates the relationship between childhood poverty and crime rates in Birmingham, Manchester and London. More specifically the research focuses on whether childhood poverty influences males or females to commit more crime. Previous research has looked at gendered differences in terms of crime, but not investigated the ways in which poverty can lead to gendered differences of crime committed. The methods undertaken in the project involved producing child poverty choropleth maps and anti-social behaviour hotspot maps. Youth offences behaviour which contained gender information was also analysed to determine if males or females commit more crime. The results showed that areas with high amounts of poverty in Birmingham, Manchester and London also displayed hotspots of anti-social behaviour. Analysis of gendered crime data discovered that males are responsible for a much larger percentage of offences than females. The results also discovered that 15 to 17-year olds are accountable for a large majority of youth offences. The discussion found that a combination of the effects of poverty such as reduced access to employment opportunities and poor qualifications once leaving education, has negatively impacted males. These impacts can increase the risk of an individual committing crimes, and since it was concluded that males commit more crime than females, this would suggest that child poverty increases the likelihood of males offending more than it does for females. Future policies to tackle child poverty in the UK will need to be government led, as it was identified the government’s efforts surrounding child poverty can have serious impacts. Furthermore, policies to reduce crime levels in poverty ridden areas can now be targeted towards males. By tailoring policies for males, the effectiveness of the policies is likely to increase rather than implementing broader policies.

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