The Police statistics out today show the crime rate continues to follow the unemployment rate. With unemployment on the rise, so is crime. Recorded crimes per person leapt 2.8% in the June year, as unemployment climbed from 4% to 6%.
It’s obviously not a coincidence. Crime is a symptom of a society in distress, the root cause is unemployment – causing poverty, disconnection from society, and a lack of positive ways to spend one’s time. When we look at which offences are increasing, it’s burglary, car conversion, drugs offences, and violence (although hopefully that’s still due to higher reporting, nearly all the increase is recorded violence in homes).
What should be clear is that ‘getting tough on crime’ isn’t working. It has never worked. Judith Collins can play at being crusher all she likes but, despite locking more people up than ever, despite making parole tougher, crime is going up and will keep on going up as long as unemployment does.
Punishing people after the fact will never be a solution to crime. All the science, all the studies going back decades prove that. We need sensible policies, not knee-jerk ideology. We need our society to stop creating criminals in the first place, rather than simply trying to catch and punish people once crimes have been committed. The single best way to do that is a full employment policy.