Drug related crimes are criminal activities such as shoplifting, burglary, vehicle crimes and robbery which are committed by the youth due to the influence of alcohol or under the influence of alcohol. Therefore drugs are related to crime in two ways: possession, use and distribution of drugs is a crime and the effect which drugs exhibit on the user which include violence or any other illegal activity such as drug trafficking are also crimes. The following table shows the relation between drugs and crime in a survey done of 24500 victims in a London police department.
|Arrested and booked||Drug abuse in past year||Drug abuse in past year||Drunk for more than 100 days in past year||Drunk for more than 100 days in past year|
|Yes 4140||No 20380||Yes 1025||No 23475|
|Motor vehicle theft||0.4%||0||0.8%||0|
From the figures indicated above it is very clear that a person who was under the influence of alcohol is prone to committing a crime and get booked for the offence.
Causes of drug related crimes
Drug related crimes are mainly caused by the victims’ urge to satisfy themselves by buying the drugs. Since most of the users are the youth who are not working then they are forced to indulge in criminal activities with the aim of acquiring money to buy the drugs. Through this the victim graduates and becomes a perpetual criminal. The victim reaches a point of no return where even after being booked for an offence he still goes ahead with the activities. Another cause of the crimes is the parents. Parents have neglected their roles in bringing up their children leading to poor nurturing.
Due to this the child is exposed to drugs at a very tender age and so the drugs become part of him. Social background also causes drug related crimes. It has been found that children from social class v are prone to these type of crimes than their counterparts in social class I. this is attributed to poverty where those from the higher class have the ability to buy the drugs should they get addicted as opposed to the others in the lower class. The prevailing social trends also influence drug related crimes. Some youths are influenced by their peers to join drug gangs while others who have been victims of assault join the drug gangs so as to revenge, (Prinz, 62).
Effects of drug related crimes
The effects of drug related crimes such as shoplifting, robbery, and date rape among others include swelling of the population of the prisons, infection by deadly diseases, unwanted pregnancies, death, and school drop out (Reinarman, 24). Individuals who have fallen victim of the drug crimes are arrested and booked for offences which in turn earn them admission into prisons or in the young offender’s institutions (Prinz, 61). This eventually increases the number of inmates in such places. Date rapes which are caused by influence of drugs can result to unwanted babies and/or infections by diseases dangerous to the health.
These two can lead to school drop out. Individuals who have become drug addicts also drop out of learning institutions. Another major effect of these crimes is expenses to the society due to loss of labor force to the drugs and/or prison as well as money spent in trying to recollect the already acquired traits. Individuals who have fallen victims of drug related crimes are unproductive and thus a loss to society. They are in turn a liability since money has to be spent in trying to solve their predicaments.
Prevention of drug related crimes
Drug related crimes can be alleviated through the use of several methods which include;
Measures for improving the socio-economic conditions
Since most victims of these crimes are searching for money due to poverty, then policies that bring about equality in social status will reduce these crimes. This is because delinquencies of higher level are attributed to poverty.
Enforcement of drug laws
London should enforce the prohibitive drug laws designated by major conventions on drugs so as to control drug abuse. Should the laws be enforced then acquisition of the drugs would be difficult and therefore less users leading to reducing the economic compulsive as well as psycho-pharmacological crimes (Reinarman, 28).
Situational crime prevention
This is a precaution measure in which a potential drug abuser is not allowed to coincide with drugs or criminal opportunities without a guardian. This way the likelihood of the individual to commit an offence is greatly reduced.
The children as well as the youth should be educated on drug issues so that they are made conversant with the dangers posed by drug abuse. This will avert some of them from abuse of drugs and the consequences ahead.
Drug related crimes are mainly attributed to poverty and therefore the state should consider poverty stricken areas to be prone to drug abuse and take the necessary precautions. The male are the worst hit victims and focus should therefore be laid to them. Although the crimes related to drugs have a very high magnitude, they can still be controlled.
It would be recommended that both primary and secondary control measures be applied in curbing crimes related to drugs. The males being the endangered species should be carefully observed so that criminal opportunities are not exposed to them.
Prinz, R.J. “The first track project”. A journal of abnormal child psychology, (2000): 61- 62.
Reinarman, C. Levine “crack in America Demon drugs and social justice. USA: University of California press, 2004.
Wilkinson, R.G. Unhealthy societies: The afflictions of inequality. London: Routledge, 1996.
Young, J. Cultural criminal unleashed. London press, 2004.