Crime as a Social Problem

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Crime is an unlawful activity that is committed by a person against the interests of the public or society. The person who commits the crime is liable to punishment by law according to the nature of the crime committed.

Hence, crime is an unlawful act that is harmful to society and also to its inhabitants.


Section 11, 44, 189, 190, and 385 of the PPC 1860 deal with crime.

What does crime actually mean?

In a Literal sense, Crime means all the activities that involve the breaking of the law.

In a Legal sense, Crime means all the offenses which are punishable by the law.


Crime is generally defined as

 “An action or omission which constitutes/represents an offense and is punishable by law.”

According to Wikipedia

“A crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority.”

According to Sir James Stephen

“Crime is an act which is prohibited by the Law of Land as well as by the Moral Values of the society.”

What is a Social Problem?

social problem is a condition that has negative consequences for a large number of people that is generally recognized as a matter that needs to be addressed.

A social problem is one that disturbs the normal social patterns of society by creating a problem for its inhabitants. Crime and social problems are interrelated.

For example; Poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy

The perspective on Social Problem

The particular perspective of the social problem shows that the social values of poverty, unemployment, and a defective educational system contribute a lot to promoting crime in a society.

It is noted that people are unable to access quality education. Domestic violation and improper means of positive socialization are the core causes of the existence of crime.

How To Deal With Social Problems

According to the experts, social programs must be conducted for the rehabilitation of people. This may help in the improvement of the quality of life and also prevent the development of a criminal attitude.

How Crime is a Social Problem?

Crime becomes a social problem due to certain reasons. The following causes of the crime help us to understand the fact that how crime is a social problem.

1. Poverty

Poverty is the state where one lacks a socially acceptable amount of money. Poverty exists in a society when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs.

Poverty is one of the main causes of crime. It will not be wrong to say that it is the root cause of many crimes directly or indirectly.

Poverty results in prostitution, adopting illegal means, corruption, and also committing suicide.

There are various types of poverty;

  • Cyclical poverty

  • Collective poverty
  • Concentrated collective poverty

  • Case poverty

2. Unemployment

Unemployment is the second major factor in the promotion of crime in a society. It plays an important role in committing crimes. Due to unemployment, a well-educated young man is unable to get jobs in governmental offices. This situation irritates him and he turns into a thief or robber. He may grow a violent attitude due to this reason.

In undeveloped countries, the opportunities for employment are low whereas the rate of crime is high.

In this way, unemployment also becomes a social problem and indirectly becomes the cause of crime.

3. Illiteracy

illiteracy and poverty are the major factors that instigate an individual to commit the crime.

The literacy rate of developing countries is very low. Unluckily, the educational system that provides the base for the development of any country, is not fulfilling its duties.

The current educational system is unable to impart good values to the students such as having a good character and morality which is a core force to maintain a continuous check on crime.

The young students cannot get jobs on time due to which they are attracted to crime.

4. Alteration in Values

Due to advancements in the fields of science and technology, social values have been changed to a very large extent. Today, collectivism and blind faith are being replaced by new ideas. Due to this reason, social values have also been altered.

The restrictions have also been reduced and this reduction in the restrictions has resulted in committing various crimes.

5. Division of Wealth

The unequal division of wealth also promotes a sperm of crime in the masses. When the rich do not promote the flow of wealth toward the poor, the poor develop a spirit of hatred for the rich.

Sometimes, in the essence of their hatred, they commit crimes to harm the rich who, in their point of view, is responsible for the poverty in society.

Poverty is the state where one lacks a socially acceptable amount of money. Poverty exists in a society when people lack the means to satisfy their basic needs.

6. Religious Differences

During the last two decades, people commit crimes using the name of their Religion.

People believing in one religion, cannot bear/digest the people believing in another religion. So, it is also a cause for the promotion of crime in society.


It is concluded that all types of crimes have their origin in society. The reason why it is called a social problem is that it affects the whole society entirely.

Crime also gets deep roots due to the company of bad friends and also due to the difference in opinion.

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