William Eichler 11 October 2018

Poverty can lead to self-harm and violent crime, study shows

Poverty can lead to self-harm and violent crime, study shows image

Children from poorer families are at ‘significantly greater risk’ of being involved in violent crime and harming themselves later in life, according to a new study.

Published by the University of Manchester, the research shows that children from families who remained in the least affluent fifth of society were seven times more likely to harm themselves and 13 times more likely to commit violent crime as young adults.

In contrast, children who remained in the top 20% of the wealthiest families over their first 15 years of life were the least likely to harm themselves or commit violent crime between the ages of 15 and 33.

Children from families whose income dropped from the top fifth to the bottom fifth were 2.9 times more likely to commit violent crime and 2.3 times more likely to self-harm as young adults, the study also reveals.

And children from families whose income rose from the bottom fifth to the top fifth were 1.6 times more likely to self-harm and to commit violent crime as young adults.

The research was based on a study that was funded by the European Research Council of the young adult population of Denmark and published in The Lancet Public Health.

One of the report’s authors, Professor Roger Webb, argues that the results are relevant to the UK because Denmark’s population demographics are similar, as is their health system.

He also noted that as income inequality in the UK is more pronounced than in Denmark, the reality could be even more stark.

Warning that 10 years of austerity is likely to ‘escalate and entrench’ issues relating to self-harm and violent crime, Professor Webb said: ‘This study underlines just how important it is to tackle socioeconomic inequalities during childhood.

‘That encompasses access to public services, good housing and education but also things like local and social environments.’

Declaring a climate change emergency image

Declaring a climate change emergency

Local authorities can play a key role in tackling climate change – and there is plenty for them to do. Never before has thinking globally and acting locally been more important, says Mark Whitehead.
Open letter to Boris Johnson image

Open letter to Boris Johnson

The MJ's editor Heather Jameson asks the new PM a simple question: do you want to fund local government or do you want to scale back services to the basics?
Highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Currently seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Chief Executive

Norwich City Council
Competitive Salary
Could you lead an organisation with a £120m turnover? Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norwich City Council

Lifeguard

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 3 - Starting at £17,931 per anum and rising to £19,131
Riverside Leisure centre has now opened and its new exciting 25 metre 10 lane pool with Learner Pool, Splash Zone and Flume needs you to help us ma... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Technician

Derbyshire County Council
£22,628 - £24,455 per annum
Two posts have become available in the Council's Highways Development Control Section Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Business Systems Support Officer

South Holland District Council
£21,166 - £24,799
Starting salary
Recuriter: South Holland District Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine