My friend Daniel DeKroter attorney at law in Des Moines Iowa, is a resident of the tiny Osceola County, Iowa like myself. We were speaking last week about crime, and why big cities seem to have a higher amount of crime than smaller areas, rural or otherwise. I know that there are many examples of crime rates which you could point to that indicate crime per head is lower in some urban areas than some rural, but generally speaking the majority of crime is taken up by the big cities. Dan studied this at college and told me the following on this subject.
The first ting to look at is the number of people which cities hold, this is not to say that more people equals more crime, because we look at this based on crime per person. With this being said however, the crime of one person is far more likely to inspire another crime from another person in contact with the first criminal. Think about gangs for example, if a gang was created in a small town it seems less likely that it would grow at the scale that it could in a city, because there are more people who can be affected and influenced.
Rich and Poor
In many big city sin the US there is a huge disparity between rich and poor, and very often these neighborhoods are side by side. Add to the mix the fact that many people who are living below the breadline have less opportunities, frustration can grow, and people without, see those with, and want to find a way to get it, often looking at crime as the answer.
It is far more probable that in big cities you will have a wide mixture of races, cultures and backgrounds, than you would do say in a small rural town. As history has shown us, often these races and religions can collide, thus inspiring more criminal activity.
There is far more competition inside a major city, competition to succeed, competition to earn money, and competition for opportunities. The result of this heightened competition is that many people end up failing, and therefore look at other ways to make money, other ways to find opportunities, crime often being the perceived answer.
Most communities that exist in big cities are small sections of people from similar backgrounds, belief systems or ethnic origins, these make up several small communities rather than one large community as you would find in a small town. The erosion of community is a huge factor in increased crime rates, and it is no surprise that in location where there is a tight knit community and a support network for the residents, that there is also much lower crime rates in these areas.