Knife crime and homicide figures reveal the violence of austerity

James Treadwell’s article in The Conversation make for grim reading. I see the latest crime statistics are confirmation in reverse of arguments put forward by the “rogue economist” Steven Levitt in Freakanomic.

The Conversation

In Freakanomics Levitt researched the statistics on crime in the 1990’s. He realised that the legalisation around abortion in the United States in the 1970’s was the reason crime came down in the 1990’s. Put simply, the unwanted children of the 1970’s were not born. Twenty years later, these children were not there to be the criminals of the 1990’s.

The Tories can only see the world from their position of privilege. They are wilfully blind to the pressures on the most vulnerable, because they have never been venerable. Austerity removed services that helped the most in need. No services there to intervene, to help, vulnerable individuals can easily become involved in things like crime.

The Tories presume it’s a choice to become involved in crime, as if the most vulnerable can choose to hide huge sums of money in off-shore accounts to avoid paying tax. Crime for the vulnerable is not a choice, it is a consequence. No money, poor housing, disrupted education, this list could go on, and on, and on. Show me a circumstance and I’ll give you a reason why someone might end up getting involved in crime.

It’s not as simple as the Tory narrative would have us believe. What they’re doing is blaming the victim for the crime, without seeing the cause.

There are no easy fixes for the problems caused by austerity. It’s taken ten years for austerity to get us where we are now. It may take ten years after it’s ended, if it ever does, to see crime figures decline. 

What if austerity continues? What will Britain look like with ten more years of rising crime figures? If it’s a “war zone” now, what will ten more years of austerity bring, an apocalypse?

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