What are the Causes?

What are the Causes of Crime?

Below is a short story about a young person called Peter and how he got arrested for shoplifting. The next page describes the various reasons why Peter did it.


Peter had his 17th birthday last week; he is a keen footballer and enjoys watching all sports. Peter has been homeless from the age of 15, since then he has been living on and off with relatives and in a homeless hostel in Dublin’s inner-city. For the past week Peter has been bullied by another young person in the hostel. Yesterday morning Peter felt he had enough, and that the only option was to leave the hostel. Peter managed to get a bed in a friend’s house last night, in the past he has had to sleep in doorways.

This morning Peter had to leave his friend’s house at 8am, as his friend was leaving for school. Peter used to go to school, he enjoyed it, but left before his Junior Certificate when he became homeless. He felt too ashamed to go back to school after he moved into the hostel. Moving into the hostel was very difficult for Peter.

At around 1:00pm Peter was starving, but had no money to buy food. He went into a supermarket and put a sandwich and bottle of coke up his jumper. This wasn’t the first time Peter had stolen food, but he still felt guilty for doing it.

On the way out of the supermarket Peter was stopped by the security guard and the Gardaí were called. Peter is not sure what will happen, he has spent time in prison before for being drunk and disorderly and possession of cannabis. He doesn’t want to go back.