Why People Commit Crimes

Why People Commit Crimes






Why People Commit Crimes

A crime refers to an act that depicts violation of the law in the society such as destruction of property, robbery, violence or murder among others. There are many reasons why people indulge in crimes because they have varying desires and they are driven by different motives. Individuals who commit crimes in the society by defying the standard rules are convicted by the governing authority as stipulated in the constitution. Once they are rendered culpable, they are subject to punishment according to the judgment imposed on them as a corrective measure. Different countries or states across the world have governments that are developing new rules to combat the high rate of crime and insecurity (Sharma, 1 June 2010). However, little has been thought about the high rate of crime and the reason behind them. This paper explores why people commit crimes in the society.

Poverty is the main factor of crime because people who are poor lack basic needs. Therefore, in a bid to satisfy these fundamental needs they risk their lives by breaking the law (Roleff, 2000). A man is forced to kill another person for money or rob a bank by the urge to provide for his large family, which he looks after without financial security. This does not justify the fact that the crime is committed but by having a clear understanding of the reason behind it, people in authority can mitigate the problem by facilitating better opportunities that raise living standards. Terrorists or dug barons take advantage of poor people by giving them directives to kill, distribute illegal drugs and rob respected people. Due to poverty, individuals have no choice but to abide by the ‘rules’ of senior and salient law breakers and commit the crimes for the sake of money. Unfortunately, sometimes these individuals are not paid enough so they have to continue committing the crimes to be assured of a level of income. According to Kelley (2006), the criminals also begin to abuse the drugs they sell and this continues to affect their psychological response to crime in the society.

Sharma (1 June 2010) Points out that greed is another reason why individuals are involved in crimes. This situation overwhelms people who are dissatisfied with the meager income they receive from their work or areas where they put so much effort to make a living. They feel the need to have affluent lifestyles because of the pressure he or she gets from the rich people in the society. One desires to posses materialistic things to experience luxury effortlessly. Hence, they are ready to commit crime to achieve his or her aspirations. For example, an individual can kill a person promoted at work just to be put in the position and to enjoy the added benefits. Greed can lead to complete change in the personality of a person because he or she begins to be driven by selfish motives that make him or her susceptible to criminal indulgence.

Some media channels air violent programs that interfere with the psychology of individuals. This is another factor leading to crimes because vulnerable viewers are likely to ape the dangerous fighting mechanisms when dealing with their confrontations in real life. Small children grow up with the perception of violence and they gradually feel the urge to experiment the violence. They always opt for video and computer games that have violent action. This creates an insecure environment where people have the fear of the unknown. Such an environment is characterized by homicides, random shooting, carjacking, rape cases or kidnapping. This factor can help parents to regulate the degree of media exposure the children have so that they grow up as responsible people who know that violence is a serious crime (Roleff, 2000).

Anger also appears to be the driving force of a person to commit crime. People with poor anger management are capable of worse criminal actions such as cruel killings of innocent people (Sharma, 1 June 2010). They become mentally disturbed and can issue extreme threats. However, at times of committing the crimes, such people experienced guilt slightly because they acted out of emotional compulsion, killing an innocent person. People with lack of anger control should be advised or directed to a qualified counselor who will help them develop a sense of emotional management. These criminals do not know how to deal with their feelings so they directed towards others as a way to dispel their anger. The anger may come from bitterness in the past to the present. It may lead to revenge where the person decides to harm a person of a certain family line because of a complicated history. Therefore, an innocent person pays the price of his or her deceased relative.

Racism is also a factor of crimes. It relates to pre-conceived ideas about a group of people of a different race. This group is usually the minority in any particular society. They are powerless since they are forced to succumb to the conditions generated by the majority. However, the perception can be stretched further to remorse or hatred leading to murder. Criminals kill people because of their race as a method of eliminating them from the community or society as a whole. Human rights are inevitable in every society therefore, the specific authority establish rules to protect these rights. However, a few people are rebellious in this case since they have not embraced diversity and they are still determined to eliminate people from another race through mystery murders.

Gambling can cause an individual to commit crime because it is addictive and it involves money (McCorkle & National Institute of Justice (U.S.), 2004). In gambling, individuals make a bet on a certain amount of money according to unsure outcomes. This is popular in casinos and sports where fans bet on the outcomes of a game. In case a gambler loses the bet, he owes the opponent an amount of money. If he continues betting with an aim of reclaiming the money, he might find himself in a tough situation when the amount doubles or triples after subsequent losses. Therefore, to obtain the money to pay off the debt, he will be forced to commit a crime like steal, kill, kidnap for ransom or sell illegal drugs. Most times, the opponent issues a threat to the vulnerable gambler. The threat normally concerns the risk of the gamblers life or that of his loved one. To avoid the repercussions, the gambler is forced to commit any type of crime to raise the amount of money.


Kelley, M. S. (2006). Readings on drugs and society: The criminal connection. Boston, MA: Pearson Allyn and Bacon.

McCorkle, R. C., & National Institute of Justice (U.S.). (2004). Gambling and crime among arrestees: Exploring the link. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.

Roleff, T. L. (2000). Crime and criminals. San Diego, Calif: Greenhaven Press.

Sharma S. (1 June 2010). Why do People Commit Crime. Retrieved from http://www.securityworldnews.com/2010/06/01/why-do-people-commit-crime/