Morality, not poverty, is biggest factor for crime

Daily Mail (UK) 24 June 2012
Children commit crime because they lack morals and not just because of the environment they live in, according to a new study. Cambridge University studied around 700 young people in Peterborough for over a decade and discovered that most adolescent crime is not just youthful opportunism. In fact, while it is agreed that urban environments trigger some young people to commit crime, it is their morality which is the biggest factor. Other teenagers remain highly resistant to committing crime – regardless of the circumstances. The Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study was carried out by Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology. Professor Per-Olof H Wikström, responsible for the study, said: ‘Many young people are ‘crime-averse’ and simply don’t perceive crime as a possible course of action – it doesn’t matter what the situation is. ‘The idea that opportunity makes the thief – that young people will inevitably commit crime in certain environments – runs counter to our findings.’