Essay on economic model of crime

1769 Words8 Pages
Consider major government policies and events since the last general election and evaluate their likely impact on crime. Base your arguments on the economic model of crime. In this essay I will examine how government polices since the last general election have impacted crime levels. The economic model of crime pioneered by Gary S. Becker in 1968 describes how criminals weigh up the costs and benefits of criminal activity against the legal alternatives. The model has four main aspects in it, which are: the utility derived from legal work (U (W)), the likelihood of getting caught when engaging in criminal activity (p), utility from successful crime (U(W ͨ )) and the disutility from punishment when getting caught (U(S)) U (W) <…show more content…
The Home Office has also created an offence of possessing illegal firearms with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. By introducing new offences the Home Office have increased the likelihood that a person will be caught when engaging in criminal activity which means according to Becker’s model of crime the number of crimes being committed will reduce as the possibility of being caught increases. This means that the benefits are less likely to outweigh the costs of criminal activity. By increasing the maximum penalty for a crime the Home Office will also deter people from committing crimes as the punishment for the crime is greater and according to the model the greater the disutility from punishment the less likely it is that a person will commit a crime. The Home Office’s policy of reducing gang, knife and gang crime has been successful to date as there has been a 10% drop in recorded crime under the coalition government. The number of recorded crime has dropped from 4,388,295 in March 2010 to 3,720,629 in June 2013. This shows the policy has clearly affected Becker’s model of crime as some criminals are choosing not to commit crimes as the benefits of committing a crime are not greater than the benefits of leading a legal life. Another crime associated with gangs is drug use and distribution. For people between the ages of 16 and 24 19.3% of them have taken an illegal drug. Also crimes
Open Document