One Reason for Crime Drop: Grand Theft Auto Isn’t Stealing Real Cars


Is crime down because of actions the justice system is tasking or something else entirely? Your guess is as good as mine, says criminal justice blogger Scott Henson of Grits for Breakfast. He theorizes one reason is that young people lots of time with technology like the Internet, video games, and cell phones that didn’t exist 25 years ago. These activities occupy time of teens and young adults who are the most likely to commit crimes, Henson says, adding, ” The kid perfecting his skills at Grand Theft Auto V may not be preparing himself for the job market, but he isn’t out stealing my car.”

On property crimes, the proliferation of cheap, mass-market goods has contributed to reducing theft because lots of things we own have relatively low resale value and simply aren’t worth stealing anymore. Henson says some theorize that improved pharmacology reduced crime, thanks to improved antipsychotic and anti-depression drugs for adults and potentially because of earlier diagnosis and more frequent medication of mental illness among juveniles.

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