Criminals: Born or Made?


In class we asked ourselves four questions; one of the questions we asked was 'ARE CRIMINALS BORN OR MADE?'. This made me really think and I thought it could be good material for a post because it could fire up some really smart questions. So today we ask ourselves 'ARE CRIMINALS BORN OR MADE?'


Criminals. Though it is only a label, in many cases criminal activity can start from a very young age. The worst crime rate in the U.K is in London and the worst crime rate in London is Southwark. The average income in Southwark is £23841 which is £3459 less than the national average. Does this suggest that with a less-advantaged financial background also comes with a higher likelihood to turn to crime? I think these statistics may suggest that criminal behaviour starts at birth.

I believe that gangs are started out of desperation and need to have money. When people run out options, in some cases they will turn to crime or join a gang. Gangs cause a lot of lot of havoc and trouble but they don't always do it for money. In some cases, people join gangs for revenge. So the question we ask is 'ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE ENEMIES THOUGHOUT THEIR LIFE MORE LIKELY TO TURN TO CRIME?'

So what have we said so far. We have asked ourselves if finance and if they have made has enemies anything to do with the likelihood to turn to crime.

Another suggestion that came up during the session is that if they are brought up in a crime-ridden environment then it is more likely that they will be a criminal. In further explanation, this ultimately means that when you are born you don't know the difference between right and wrong and if they are brought up in the wrong way they will continue and do bad things for the rest of their lives and therefore be classified as a born criminal.

I know they are not made because nobody can force you to do what you don't want to do so how can someone be made into a criminal. It is simply uncomprehendable!


Just because you may live in a criminalised area or have exposed to criminal activity and then later on in life become a criminal doesn't mean you are born a criminal. It may sound a bit strange but all it means is that you weren't living in a suitable environment and have been influenced. I will be talking about influence in one of the following paragraphs however I want to talk about something else first that came up in the session.

Manipulation. I looked up the definition -on Encarta Dictionary- of manipulation and it said 'to change or present something in a way that is false but personally advantageous'. This is what gangs can do to young children. In school, we watched a video about a person called Sephton. When Sephton was eight a gang managed to use him as a drug dealer by at first comforting him and befriending him then asking young Sephton to do some 'favours'. As the years went on Sephton began to get deeper and deeper into the 'gang' duties and before he knew it he was one of the feared in the business. Luckily, Sephton managed to get himself out of his mess with the help of prison education and a mentor.

Now, what is influence? The dictionary definition of influence is 'the effect of something on a person, thing, or event' the environment they live in and the behaviour their parents display to them (especially as a young child) can affects someone's life largely.

Lastly, as life flows people can get themselves in issues that later lead onto crime e.g. someone gets into a big argument and seeks for revenge however there's nothing we can do to prevent people from getting into those arguments and stuff like that, all we can do is educate our youth.


I used to think both for all of the previous reason but after longer reflection I realised that no matter what your friends, parents, environments are like it doen't mean you were born a criminal. Everything about you is defined by circumstance not by birth. So criminals aren't born nor are they made they are shaped by circumstance.


If you have any questions ask them and I will try to answer as many as possible.

Comments (1)

  • Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
    28 Jan 2019

    It's great to hear about the discussions you have been having during your sessions, and it's especially good to see you using your Burnet News Club skills to reflect on your discussion. I wonder if you have any questions to ask other people, it would be great to see what you are curious about to do with this topic!

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