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What proportion of violent street crime is drug or alcohol related?

Causes Of Crime

Steve Bending (DSI) gives expert video advice on: What is the relationship between alcohol and violent crime? and more...

It's difficult to say how much violent street crime is drug or alcohol related, in terms of an exact percentage or proportion, but it is certainly clear in terms of assaults and violence late at night, that a significant amount of violent street crime is a result of alcohol consumption. People will generally lose their inhibitions, some people will lose their perception of risk and people who have not have sought to escalate a situation will actually become violent and aggressive. Statistically, most violent street crimes do take place late night in pubs, clubs or the surrounding areas. Alcohol is certainly a potential cause of violence. In terms of drugs it's a similar picture, but to a lesser extent. Drugs do, to some extent, drive inquisitive crime; people will try to steal property in order to be able to fund their drug habits. Thus, there's two drivers of drugs and alcohol in relation to violent street crime.

Which cities in the UK have the most Street Crime per person?

Well that's one that we can talk about in broad terms, or generally speaking. Most violence and most personal robbery offenses in the UK occur in places where more people are, so that inevitably will be in town centers and in city centers. So broadly speaking the bigger the town the more personal robberies and the more violent crime there will be in relation to the number of people that live in that town. I think it's important to put this into context in terms of large cities. Actually most cities' violence is down compared to where it was a year or even two years ago, both in terms of robberies and in terms of assaults. Statistically, when you look at the chances of becoming the victim of crime and assault it is actually relatively rare unless you are in specific locations or specific times -- i.e late night, outside at clubs or pubs, etc.

What is the relationship between alcohol and violent crime?

To some extent, there is a link between the consumption of alcohol and violence. People who drink too much alcohol will lose their inhibitions and potentially will perceive actions by others as being aggressive, when in fact they probably weren't. Grievances, that when sober would be resolved quite quickly, escalate. Over-consumption of alcohol can lead to an increase in violent crime.

Why do hoodies have a bad reputation?

I think the bad reputation of hoodies is probably more perception than reality in most cases. Most young people are law-abiding people. I think the issue around people who wear hooded tops is that they have got their faces hidden, so there's a perception amongst people that not only is their face hidden, but they're hiding something else, too. There's another reason behind the fact that their face is hidden to some extent. This behaviour by hoodies then generates a perception or fear of crime.