Social-economic factors influencing the crime rate in Meru Municipality, Kenya
Arimi, Caroline N
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This research project was concerned with the social-Economic factors influencing the crime rate in Meru Municipality, Kenya. The objectives of the study included; to establish the influence of poverty on crime rate, to establish the influence of unemployment on crime rate, to establish the influence of education background on crime rate, to establish the influence of family structure on crime rate, to establish the influence of peer influence on crime rate and to establish the influence of drug and substance abuse on crime rate. The study used descriptive survey design. The sample size comprised of 100 respondents who were above 18 years old and of sound mind from five sub locations and 2 chiefs and 5 assistant chiefs making a total of 107 target respondents. Stratified sampling was used to a draw a sample size of 100 respondents and simple random sampling was used to select the larger sample, purposive sampling was also used to select key informants. Questionnaires were used as the main tool to collect the data and face to face interviews. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and SPSS and then displayed by use of frequency tables, percentages and texts. It was found that poverty had influence on crime rate since those who were poor lacked education thus leading to criminal thinking, those who were poor were also homeless and most of the time was spent on the streets and this increased the chances for involvement in criminal activities. It was found that unemployment had influence on crime rate in that those who were unemployed got involved in criminal activities to finance their living, education background, family structure, peer influence and drug and substance abuse also had influence on crime rate in a number of areas. It was recommended that opportunities of employment to be increased, education awareness programmes to be strengthened, availability of drugs and substance to be curtailed, recreational facilities to be made easily accessible and special family programmes to be developed. It was also suggested that further research to be done on other factors influencing crime rate beside social economic factors. This include; biological factors influencing crime rate, family environment and juvenile delinquency, single parenthood and escalating delinquency among others.