Of the many problems in the world today, none is as widespread, or as old, as crime. Crime has many forms, including crimes against property, person, and government. There is even a class of crimes called "crimes without victims". Crime, in all its forms, penetrates every layer of society and touches every human being. You may never have been robbed, but you suffer the increased cost of store-bought items because of others' shoplifting and you pay higher taxes because of other's tax evasion. Perhaps your house is not worth as much today as it was a few years ago because of the increased crime rate in your neighborhood, or maybe your business is not doing as well as it used to because tourism is down due to increased terrorism in your part of the world. Whatever you do, wherever you live, you are a victim of crime whether you like it or not, whether you know it or not.
Crime, especially violent crime, has risen to a point where many people are afraid to walk alone in their own neighborhoods, afraid to open their door after dark, afraid to speak out and voice their own opinions. Some citizens have reacted by arming themselves with various weapons, legal and illegal, to defend themselves. Citizen groups have taken the law into their own hands by forming their own vigilante groups to administer "judgement" when they feel that their criminal justice system has not performed its duty.
Experts argue whether the number of crimes committed is actually on the rise or whether there is simply a rise in the number of crimes reported. This issue is particularly true in cases of conjugal violence, the abuse of spouse or children. Throughout much of history, cases of family violence and neglect often went unreported because of the attitude of society, which considered family matters to be private.
Other experts argue about who is really to blame for criminal behavior: the individual or society. Researchers in the United States and Canada have identified several factors in society that contribute to the crime rate: massive urbanization, unemployment and poverty, and a large immigrant population. Other countries are more affected by factors such as politics, government corruption, and religion.
The most important problem that still remains unsolved, however, is how to stop crime from happening. So far, different types of solutions have been proposed to combat various specific crimes. Are they all very effective? No, not at all. Therefore, more effective measures and more powerful actions are to be taken against all sorts of crimes so that our world may be a better place to live in.