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The crime rate in the UK is continuously increasing and more people are facing different types of criminal activities in different parts of the UK. All the criminal cases that are recorded in the UK in recent years can be a divided in different categories(Kaufman, 2017). The most common type of crimes that are recorded in the United Kingdom is theft, burglary, possession of drugs and possession with intent to supply drugs, affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. In all these categories, knife crime is most common in the UK. This study will be providing an overview of knife crimes that are recorded in the United Kingdom in past few years. The case study of Alison Hunt will be considered to explain the type of knife crimes that are available in the police records.
These type of crime are mainly observed in the UK in the last few years. In the United Kingdom till the end of March 2019, there was a total of 259 homicides were recorded. In all these homicides sharp objects like knife, sharp instruments and broken bottles were used to physically assault the victim. Knife crime is a common type of crime that is recorded in the UK. Till the end of March 2020 total, 46000 offences were involving knife of sharp object in England and Wales. In the past 10 years, highest knife crimes were recorded in the UK. From the below data, rate of knife crime can be explained for some of the well-known areas of the UK.
Figure 1 Record of Knife Crime
(Source: Knife crime statistics, 2020)
As per the above record, the highest number of knife crimes has been recorded by UK police in the year 2020. These type of cases are continuously increasing in some of the highest populated areas in the UK. In the yearend total 259 homicides recorded till March 2019 which was 39 % of all the cases that are recorded in the UK. In this 39 % cases, sharp objects like knives, sharp instrument and broken bottles were used.
Figure 2 Age of Perpetrators in Knife Crimes
(Source: Ten charts on the rise of knife crime in England and Wales, 2019)
Most of the perpetrators in knife crime are over 18. Till year ending March 2019, 16855 perpetrators are aged over 18 years and only 4306 were aged 10 to 17. As per the records it can be said that knife crimes are continuously increasing in the UK and most of the perpetrators in the knife crimes are over 18. As per the case study of Alison Hunt, on 16 January 2019, her ex-partner Vernon Holmes, (47) stabbed her 18 times on the doorstep at her home in Swinton. Later the accused was sentenced for life imprisonment with a minimum term of 25 years in prison. In this case, Vernon Holmes killed his ex-partner after 18 times stabbed her in head, chest and neck with severe force. Controlling and Jealous behaviour was the major reason for assault and killing in this case.
There are different theories can be considered to understand the crimes that are performed for different purposes. This is important for the authorities to understand the crimes and implement various methods to prevent crime in the country(Wilcox and Cullen, 2018). Main theories that can be used to understand the crime are- Classical, Biological, sociological and interactionist. These theories are considered as the most effective theories to understand the reason for the crime. The reasons for violence and crime can be considered to impose some changes in legal and social systems to reduce the crime rate in the country.
Classical Theory of Crime
This is considered as the oldest theory which was used to explain the crimes that are committed by different criminals. This theory was mainly considered during late 1700 and 1800s. According to this theory, criminals are rational human beings who pursue their interest, all they are doing is to maximise pleasure and minimise their pain. They can stop their criminal activities unless they face the threat of swift, certain and appropriately severe punishment. They can commit crimes to meet their self-interests(Thornberry, 2018). As per this theory reason of crime is related to the force of nature and force of the world. Absence of effective punishment can be considered as the reason for the crime. The classical theory was developed as the reaction against the harsh, corrupt and often arbitrary nature of the legal system at that time. Main solutions that are provided in the classical theory of crime are related to suggest and impose some change in the system for the reform of the legal system. This theory is based on the thought that people have the freedom to take decision and punishment can be a deterrent for crime. People will tend to commit crime until the punishment is proportional. This theory argues that people are rationale and they commit crime to avoid pain the sorrow that is developed by the forces that are beyond the control. This main target of this theory is to blame harsh, arbitrary and corrupt system that makes the people commit crime(Karstedt, Brehm and Frizzell, 2020). The classical theory states that crime that is performed by the criminals are mainly dependent on the swiftness, certainty and appropriateness of the punishment faced by them. As per this theory, this is important to have an effective and specific system or punishment in response to the crime. The main purpose of the criminal justice system is to prevent and reduce crime by deterrence.
Biological Theory of Crime
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This theory is completely different from the classical theory of crime. According to this theory, people are born criminal and this is not possible to threaten these people by punishment or system to stop their criminal activities. According to this theory, these people commit crime because some biological reasons that prevent them to control their anger and emotions. Biological theory states that people commit crime because they do not have control over feelings and anger due to some physical and mental disability. This is also not possible for these people to control their behaviour because of physical disability.
In this theory, biological reasons are considered over the actual and natural reasons for criminal activities. In modern Biological theory of crime, criminologist considers two different factors to state the reason for criminal behaviours of people. In this process, two main factors are focused by these criminologists which are- genetic predisposition and person's social environment. In this process interrelation between the environment and genetic predisposition are considered to find the reason for the criminal activities that are performed by the criminals(Natarajan, 2017). On basis of this assessment or analysis, these criminologists have said that risk related to the criminal activities that are prompted by biological factors. This is how biological theory states that by focusing on the biological predispositions criminal behaviour of people can be controlled.
Main factors that are considered in this theory are related to the roots of the criminal behaviour of people. For example, child development can be focused to avoid further circumstances. In this process, high-risk people can be considered for education to avoid issues in the child development process. For example, people like single parents, teenagers and low-income individuals can be focused to mitigate biological issues that might lead the person towards criminal behaviour.
Sociological Theory of Crime
In the social theory of crime, various social structural factors are analysed for the generation of criminal activities and criminal behaviour of people. In this theory main reason for criminal activity and behaviour of people in society. In the study, various factors are considered that make impact on the socialization in which criminal behaviour is conventional. For the analysis of these social factors both explicitly and implicitly processes are analysed by the people to understand the impact of social factors that can lead to development of criminal mind-set. The major concept that is considered in this process is related to the environment and surrounding condition of people. For example, a person is surrounded by criminally minded people then they will learn and adopt the criminal mindset(Walters, 2020). The impact of the social environment is major reason for change in the behaviour of people. The values that are gained by the person can be analysed to predict their behaviour in future. In the sociological theory, it is stated that criminal activities and behaviour are shaped by various external factors to a person. The experience that is gained by the person in neighbourhood, social group, peers and family can be considered as external factor that can develop criminal mindset in people. The strain between goals and means can result in frustration in behaviour and resentment. This condition can encourage or motivate some people to use illegal processes to achieve success quickly. Pressure from social values and structures can force a person to commit crime. This is how social pressure on person can force the person to commit crime.
Interactionist Theory of Crime
The perception that is used in the Interactionist Theory of Crime is quite different from the theories that are explained above. As per this theory, deviance and crime are constructed by the agencies of social control. There are different powerful agencies are present in the society that promotes criminal activities in people. For example, media can be considered as social control agency that can control the behaviours of people. As per this theory, people see the crimes that are committed by powerless groups as dangerous activities and the crimes that are committed by the powerful people are avoided by the people. There is huge role of media in amplifying deviance by the way they report the criminal activity. The role of the media and other powerful agencies in this theory to understand deviance that is created in the general people and the impact of this deviance is also considered to evaluate the impact on behavioural changes in people.
The case study of Alison Hunt is directly related to the sociology theory of crime and biological theory of crime. These theories can be used to explain the crime that is committed by Vernon Holmes. The horrific act performed by Vernon is related to biological predisposition and situation he was facing. Less control over anger and current situations has made him commit crime.
Notion of Moral Panic
The notion of moral panic can be explained as a problem or challenge that is faced by the public as a response to the threatening the moral factors and standards in society. Generally, it can be explained as a condition where the entire public is affected by come conditions and challenges that are present in society. This type of situation where the large group in public is affected by the social or administrative issue. The case study that is considered in the report can not be considered as a result of moral panic. The act that is performed by the perpetrator can be explained with help of the biological theory of crime. Act which was performed by Vernon Holmes was the result of his thinking and personal situations that are faced by him in past. Along with this major reason for the crime was related to the biological situation where lack of control on emotion has made him stab Alison Hunt in the doorstep.
This report is providing an analysis of a case study of Alison Hunt 42-year-old women who was stabbed by her ex-partner in doorstep of her home. Brief overview of crime has been provided in the report. Various theories that are related to the criminal behaviour of people has been explained in the report to explain the criminal activities that are performed by people. The concept of each theory has been provided in the report. On basis of these theories, a proper explanation has been provided for the case study that is considered in the report. Through this study effective understanding of criminal activities has been developed. Law assignment help.
Books and Journals
Karstedt, S., Brehm, H.N. and Frizzell, L.C., 2020. Genocide, Mass Atrocity, and Theories of Crime: Unlocking Criminology's Potential. Annual Review of Criminology. 4.
Kaufman, J.M., 2017. Anomie, strain and subcultural theories of crime. Routledge.
Natarajan, M. ed., 2017. Crime opportunity theories: Routine activity, rational choice and their variants. Routledge.
Thornberry, T. ed., 2018. Developmental theories of crime and delinquency. Routledge.
Walters, G.D., 2020. Positive Peers—The Neglected Stepchildren of Social Influence Theories of Crime. Journal of abnormal child psychology, pp.1-14.
Wilcox, P. and Cullen, F.T., 2018. Situational opportunity theories of crime. Annual Review of Criminology. 1. pp.123-148.
Knife crime statistics, 2020. [Online]. Available here.
Ten charts on the rise of knife crime in England and Wales, 2019. [Online]. Available Through.< https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42749089>.
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