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ACCORDING to Criminology (the study of crime and criminals) there are distinctive factors as to why people involve themselves in criminal activities.

Throughout history scholars and criminologists have tried to explain what causes criminal behaviour.

Efforts to control this unpleasant behaviour go back to ancient Babylon’s Code of Hammurabi some 3, 700 years ago.  By the 21st century, criminologists looked at a wide range of factors to explain why a person would commit crimes – these included biological, social and economic.

Recently in Lusaka, there has been a sharp and rapid rise of crime with a notable case being of a 27-year-old woman of Chalala who was robbed and raped by four criminals who have since been arrested and the stolen goods recovered.

Furthermore, there have been reported cases of women and school girls being attacked and robbed in public transport minibuses and also late night attacks and robberies in various communities within the greater City.

According to the Zambia Police Service latest third quarter crime statistics for July to September, Lusaka Province recorded the highest number of cases accounting to 26.08 percent followed by Copperbelt Province with 14.89 percent of the 14, 569 cases recorded countrywide.

These statistics substantiate the fact that Lusaka is the most crime infested city in the country. 

These acts of criminality in Lusaka can be attributed to the following distinctive factors:


Scholars and Criminologists have established that children who are neglected or abused in their infancy are more likely to commit crimes later in life than others.

In contrast, children raised by supportive and loving parents who respond to their basic needs are generally well-adjusted in relating to others and are far less likely to commit crimes.


According to a survey of inmates conducted in the United States of America in the 1990s – it was discovered that very low education levels contributed to the high levels of crime.

Many inmates could not read or write above elementary school levels.  The most common crimes committed by the inmates were robbery, burglary, automobile theft, drug trafficking, and shoplifting. 

These survey findings are applicable to the Lusaka high crime rate. Most of the individuals involved in these criminal activities in Lusaka have not gone far in education hence engaging themselves in criminal activities to sustain their lives.


Peer influence or peer pressure is also another social factor that can influence a person to commit a crime. Young boys and girls who do not fit into certain expected standards of their peers’ “cliques” may be forced to commit crime to be accepted as members of the criminal cliques because membership of such gangs earns them respect and status of some sort.


Drug and alcohol abuse is another social factor that poses a strong influence over a person’s ability to make choices or lack thereof. In Lusaka, youths who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are often referred to as “junkies.” 

The increase in numbers of junkies has consequently led to the increase of crime because it is the junkie’s urge to support the drug habits that leads them into committing crimes.

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