Every day, people make choices that impact not only themselves but also those around them. There is a responsibility to treat ourselves and others with respect. While not an absolution from responsibility, a person may choose an action that results in criminal behavior because, in their mind, there is a need for that decision. Understanding what may cause criminal behavior can not only help a person understand their own decisions but also allows the community to help that person through resources and proper criminal defense.

Unfortunately, there are many individuals in the Riverside community that are part of marginalized groups. They face disadvantages that may leave them feeling that the only way they can improve their situation is through criminal activity. For most people, the choice to avoid this type of activity may seem easy, but most have not faced situations where that feels like the only option.

In Riverside, there are three main causes of criminal activity:

  • Economic factors/poverty
  • Social environment
  • Family structures

What are the top 3 causes of crime in Riverside, California?

Economic Factors/Poverty

A person who experiences financial hardship or is raised in poverty is more likely to commit a crime to obtain goods and services that would not be available otherwise. This is sometimes out of necessity for basic products such as groceries, gas, or other daily needs. While many may argue that a person in financial hardship could easily get a job, there are systemic issues that may confront a person in this situation.

If, for example, a person is raised in poverty, they are more likely to be excluded from educational opportunities because they feel it is unaffordable. If they lack an education, they may not always be able to obtain employment that provides adequate compensation for themselves or their families. When confronted with the reality of being an unreliable provider, some may turn to criminal behavior so they can be that provider.

Social Environment

Humans are social creatures, and we seek out communities where we can fit in. Unfortunately, some communities are at a disadvantage due to other societal setbacks. Local neighborhoods or districts are impacted by the decision-making of the greater community, but often the decisions that impact communities are not equitable. This lack of equity can lead to discrepancies between communities that include:

  • Inequality
  • Lack of support for families
  • Real or perceived lack of access to services
  • Lack of shared leadership
  • Placing a low value on individual community members such as the youth or elderly
  • Lack of community activities, leading to an overexposure to television and social media as recreation

These factors create systems that allow criminal activity to feel justifiable to create equity where there is a perceived lack of it.

Family Structures

It is generally agreed that people are not born to be mean or have ill intent but that it is learned behavior. Families have a responsibility to raise healthy, productive, and morally upright children. However, the past experiences of the family can contribute to a linear continuity of criminal behavior. Beyond societal factors that may lead an individual to crime, there are circumstances within the family unit itself that can cause additional criminal activity. These include:

  • Inadequacies of the parent
  • Parental conflict
  • Parental criminality
  • Lack of quality communication (or quantity)
  • Lack of respect and responsibility
  • Child neglect or abuse
  • Violence within the family

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Is the Crime Rate in Riverside, California?

A: The crime rate in Riverside County is 39.04 per 1,000 residents per year. The county has one of the highest crime rates in the country, with the national average at 47.70 per 100,000. On average, in Riverside, the odds of experiencing a crime may be as high as 1 in 13 or as low as 1 in 40.

Q: What Is the Murder Rate in Riverside, California?

A: Murder in Riverside remains statistically low, with an occurrence of 0.0376 per 1,000 people. Of the four major violent crimes (assault, robbery, rape, and murder), it ranks the lowest. The rates in Riverside for the four major crimes are:

  • Assault: 1.913 per 1000
  • Robbery: 0.9788 per 1000
  • Rape: 0.3794 per 1000
  • Murder: 0.0376 per 1000

Q: Is Riverside, California a Safe Area?

A: Riverside ranks in the 40th percentile for safety, making 60% of counties safer but 40% of counties less safe. The southwest area of the county is statistically safer than other areas, whereas the southeast corner of the county tends to be the least safe. It is important to know that many crimes happen where people congregate, not necessarily where people live. Areas such as parks or airports will experience higher crime rates.

Q: What California County Has the Most Crime?

A: San Francisco County leads all the counties in California as having the highest crime rate, taking the lead in both violent crime rates and property crime rates. Per 1000 people, San Francisco County sees an 8.2 rate of violent crime and 55.4 for property crimes. Because crimes happen where people live, the population density likely plays a factor, as the county also has the highest population density in California.

No matter the cause of the criminal behavior, it is the responsibility of the community to put programs in place that can help individuals who feel marginalized or “forgotten” in Riverside. While solutions may seem simple to many, the problems result from the complexities of the situations that individuals face. While criminal behavior is never justified, it may also seem unavoidable.

If you or a loved one is facing legal trouble for criminal activity, you should have the support that you deserve. You need someone who can help you through the legal system and provide you with the resources to ensure that you can avoid that process in the future. The team of legal experts at My SoCal Lawyers are ready to fight for your rights and help provide you with the resources and support you need. Contact us today for a consultation.