I’m very sorry to say that St Petersburg has lately got a notorious reputation of a criminal capital of our country. Almost every day is fraud with danger. Nowadays people spend thousands to burglar – proof their homes. They try to avoid dangerous areas at night, they encourage the authorities to light up dark streets, foster Neighbourhood Watch schemes and sentence the criminals to death penalties life imprisonment of solitary confinement. Yet the crime rate speeds up and we are doomed to hear the chilling statistics of violence, murders and assaults in the broad day light, robbery, burglary, sexual offences, thefts and smuggling.
For ages scientists, philosophers and doctors are desperately trying to find out what makes people commit crimes. If we look at the wild life the man seems to be the most aggressive ant cruel of all the living creatures. Actually no beast is behaving as violently as man. An animal only performs ritual gestures of hostility to warn off the
intruder, but never kills his relatives for food, territory or profit.
However, when an animal finds itself in abnormal conditions, it may show abnormal aggressiveness. Some zoologists and psychologists compare a modern man to a caged lion. Living in crowded cities, they say, are similar to those of animals in a zoo and make the inhabitants abnormally aggressive. If the human population had not multiplied to such an alarming degree, people would have had more space and freedom.
But perhaps the major cause of crime nowadays is the widening gap between the middle class and those living below the poverty line. If the have-nots do have a television at home, they are bombarded with adverts for all sorts of goods, which they can’t afford. Many of these families live in crowded, impersonal, high-rise housing estates and their kids mix in the street gangs, where are very often caught red handed in mugging, burglary or drug peddling. On the other hand, the rich commit crimes for the sake of easy money, drugs or to beat boredom and get an adrenaline buzz.
Many psychologists, however, spotlight the breakdown of family life as prime cause of crimes. About 90% of young offenders are products of unhappy families. It is asserted that high divorce rates, stress in single parent families, lack of extended families, decline of discipline and loss of respect at home and school instigates both young and mature criminals.
I’d like to point out that the general belief that TV violence and gore causes crime has been very much doubted lately. Social studies and researches show that the children who had been heavily exposed to violence are far more likely to take part in a serious crime. In Great Britain 92 teachers are attacked every day.
An English proverb says: ”When the cat is away, the mice can play.” It is no secret that if the estate or property is not properly guarded and there is no permanent bobby or policeman walking around, most of the households become potential victims of housebreaking, burglary or vandalism. Personally I think that the present day police is to be reorganized considerably. First of all policemen should be given a professional training. Secondly, their wages should be risen at least five times, so that bribing and corruption would stop. Thirdly, more civilians should be hired to free officers from desk jobs. Besides, people shouldn’t be afraid to intervene during the street attacks.
I think that violence itself is a very vicious circle.