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NCJ Number: 66719 Find in a Library
Title: UNEMPLOYMENT AND CRIME
Journal: POLIZEI  Volume:68  Issue:11  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1977)  Pages:345-348
Author(s): R RUPPRECHT
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 4
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RISING CRIME RATES AND INCREASED UNEMPLOYMENT AND DIFFICULTIES IN VERIFYING THE RELATIONSHIP USING WEST GERMAN FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL STATISTICS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: FIGURES SHOW A RISE OF 5 TO 5.5 PERCENT IN WEST GERMAN CRIME RATES EACH YEAR FROM 1972 TO 1976, WITH INCREASES OF 23.8 PERCENT FOR PHYSICAL INJURIES, OF 16.6 PERCENT FOR ARMED THEFT, OR 17.3 PERCENT FOR SIMPLE THEFT, AND OF 36.6 PERCENT FOR FRAUD. UNEMPLOYMENT HAS RISEN RAPIDLY IN THE SAME PERIOD. A CONNECTION BETWEEN INCREASING CRIMINALITY AND UNEMPLOYMENT SEEMS LIKELY BECAUSE LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT TENDS TO UNDERMINE LOYALTY AND CONFORMITY, TO CAUSE DEPRESSION, AND TO WORSEN THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF AFFECTED PARTIES. MOREOVER, UNEMPLOYED INDIVIDUALS ARE LEFT WITH A GREAT DEAL OF TIME ON THEIR HANDS AND A HEIGHTENED DESIRE TO STRIKE OUT AT A SOCIETY PERCEIVED AS UNSUPPORTIVE. UNFORTUNATELY, A CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP IS DIFFICULT TO PROVE STATISTICALLY. FEDERAL CRIME STATISTICS DO NOT DIFFERENTIATE EMPLOYED FROM UNEMPLOYED SUSPECTS, BUT EVEN IF THEY DID, THIS WOULD NOT PROVE A CORRELATION. THE UNEMPLOYMENT AND CRIME RATES ARE NOT ABSOLUTELY PARALLEL, AND BECAUSE OF THE HIGH DARK FIGURE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT, NO CONCLUSIONS CAN BE DRAWN IN EITHER DIRECTION. STUDIES OF STATISTICS ON THE STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL HAVE PRODUCED THE SAME INCONCLUSIVE AND CONTRADICTORY RESULTS, IN PART BECAUSE OF METHODOLOGICAL SHORTCOMINGS. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT WEST GERMAN STATISTICAL STUDIES ARE INADEQUATE TO ESTABLISH A CLEAR RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN UNEMPLOYMENT AND CRIME RATE INCREASES AND THAT ONLY SURVEYS OF REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLES TAKING INTO ACCOUNT OFFENDER MOTIVES CAN RESOLVE THE ISSUE. TABLES AND NOTES ARE FURNISHED. --IN GERMAN.
Index Term(s): Crime Causes; Crime Rate; Crime Statistics; Economic influences; Germany; Research methods; Unemployment
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66719

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