There is a link between poverty and crime, but it is not such a strong one. This has been proven by research in the United States where economic downturns did not result in increased crime. However, there is no co-relation between increased prosperity and crime either. There are other factors at work.
If we feel that most criminals are from the lower strata of society, this is because criminals from the higher strata of society are more likely to commit frauds and cyber crime, while poorer people tend to commit violent crime. And there is an increase in violent crime, with increase in poverty. But let’s face it: the poor are more often the victims or violent crime than the upper classes.
Poor people do not have access to mental health professionals and often unemployed. They may not have access to education, and violent crimes are very often committed by adolescents. The peak age incidence for violent offenders is 18 years!
So what are the critical factors which lead to increased crime? It is not poverty per se. It is the issues that poverty often brings with it: lack of community support for youngsters, lack of role models, unemployment, poor parenting and greed. They all play a part.