IELTS Writing Task 2/ Essay Topics with sample answer.

IELTS Essay # 1514 - Poor people are more likely to be involved in petty and serious crimes

IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Many studies show that poor people are more likely to be involved in petty and serious crimes than people who come from higher-income groups.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer 1: [Agreement]
Many studies shed light on the fact that individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are more prone to engage in both minor and grave crimes than those who come from privileged backgrounds. I subscribe to the studies’ findings, and this essay will discuss how poor individuals’ socioeconomic conditions contribute to their criminal tendencies.

Individuals who come from lower-income families are more vulnerable to crimes due to their socioeconomic conditions. They quite often have limited access to basic resources, such as education, job opportunities, and means of economic progress. This results in low wages, chronic unemployment, and economic instability. In consequence, they struggle to meet the fundamental needs of life. This eventually forces them to engage in criminal activities as a means of survival for their families. For example, individuals who cannot even afford to buy the bare necessities of life may commit petty theft because the gravity of the daily subsistence struggle takes priority over anything else.

Likewise, socioeconomic inequalities also drive some individuals to carry out heinous crimes.  Systemic disparities can inculcate a sense of discrimination and marginalization among poor people. When they perceive inequalities of opportunity as an obstacle in the way of upward social mobility, it can breed desperation in alleviating their social status. This, in turn, can increase the likelihood of committing serious crimes so as to climb the socio-economic ladder. In pursuit of upward social mobility, for instance, many individuals from disadvantaged families can engage in criminal activities, such as woman trafficking, drug smuggling, and bank robbery,  to gain wealth and power that they deem impossible through legal means.

To recapitulate, I believe that there is a close relationship between poverty and crime because limited access to basic resources and systemic disparities can encourage poor people to commit crimes. 

Model Answer 2: [Disagreement]
Many studies show that individuals from lower-income backgrounds are more likely to engage in petty and serious crimes than their wealthier counterparts. However, I disagree with this statement. While socioeconomic factors can influence criminal behaviour, it is overly simplistic to attribute crime predominantly to poverty. Numerous other factors, including social environment, education, and mental health, play significant roles in shaping criminal tendencies.

Firstly, crime is a complex phenomenon influenced by a myriad of factors beyond economic status. For instance, the social environment in which an individual is raised can significantly impact their propensity for criminal activity. A study by the National Institute of Justice found that children from stable, supportive families, regardless of income, are less likely to engage in criminal behaviour. Conversely, those exposed to domestic violence, neglect, or peer pressure in crime-prone neighbourhoods may be more inclined towards criminality. Therefore, it is not poverty alone but a combination of adverse social conditions that contribute to higher crime rates.

Secondly, education and employment opportunities play crucial roles in deterring crime. Lack of access to quality education and subsequent employment can lead to frustration and a sense of hopelessness, potentially pushing individuals towards illegal activities. However, this is not exclusively a problem for the poor. Wealthy individuals who lack direction or face personal issues may also resort to crime. The infamous cases of white-collar crimes, such as fraud and embezzlement, are often perpetrated by individuals from affluent backgrounds. These examples highlight that crime is not confined to any particular socioeconomic group.

In conclusion, while poverty may contribute to higher crime rates in some places, it is not the sole determinant. Crime is influenced by a complex interplay of factors, and attributing it predominantly to economic status oversimplifies the issue.

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