As a result of tightened budgets, law enforcement agencies from countries such as Greece and United States have been troubled with providing the same level of service with far fewer resources. But even if the precise relationship between crime and the economy is murky, some scholars say we are likely to see spikes in crime if the recession lasts for too long.
Last week, Reuters reported that violent crimes in Spain have spiked since the economic crisis began in 2008, with thefts involving forcible entry into properties increasing by more than 25 percent in 2012.
Studies show that crime rates have increased during every recession since the late 1950s, and many criminologists, sociologists and police chiefs are predicting a rise in crimes as countries such as Greece and Spain sink deeper into recession and unprecedented unemployment.
According to Roger Lane, a Haverford College professor and author of Murder in America: A History says the economic downturn will almost certainly contribute to increased crime rates in the near future.
Hundreds of thousands have already been thrown out of work and those individuals may now face new lifetime limits on welfare and find themselves in a particularly porous safety net, Lane said. "In a short period of time we may see levels of desperation that we have not seen in a long time.”