The Independent today covers new research on long-term trends in crime to be presented at an event this coming Friday (18 September) at the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.
Researchers from the Universities of Sheffield, Southampton and Sciences Po in Paris argue that the association between unemployment and property crime – which was strong in the 1970s and 1980s – weakened after 1995 and became non-existent by 2005.
Professor Will Jennings of the University of Southamptom, who will present the research on Friday, commented:
'Changes in the labour market may have dampened some of the effects of recent economic downturns.
'Compared to the 1980s, when whole industries and communities were affected, recent economic downturns have not led to the same levels of unemployment. This means that unemployment rates are no longer such a good indicator of the social and economic strain that society is under, and therefore of crime rates.
'Developments such as zero hours contracts effectively remove people from the unemployment statistics, which alters the relationship between the official rate of unemployment and recorded crime.'
Other research to be presented at the event will show that those living in socially rented accommodation are at a much greater risk of property crime victimisation than owner occupiers. Changing attitudes to crime across the generations since the First World War will also be explored.
- The Independent: Zero-hours contracts 'have helped to break link between unemployment and crime'
- The Yorkshire Post: Link between unemployment and crime rates has ‘broken down’, study claims
- Science Daily: Link between the economy, crime rates has broken down, new research finds
- Express and Star: Higher unemployment rate 'not behind a rise in crime'
- Europawire: UK and French universities research challenges the link between unemployment and rising crime
Read Will Jennings paper on the link between crime and economic trends.