IELTS Writing Sample #181

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Each year, the crime rate increases.

What are the causes of crime and what could be done to prevent this rise in criminal activity?

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

Write at least 250 words.

Test Tip

Good writers often consider other arguments that are different, before presenting their own views. For example:
Although some people would like to have a lot of children (concession),
the cost of raising them has to be considered first (writer’s view)

The following expressions are useful when making concessions:

It could be argued that …
Despite the fact that …
Admittedly / Certainly … but/ However …
Even though …
It may be true that …

Sample answer

Crime is an issue of increasing concern around the world, and more money than ever before is being spent on the detection and punishment of criminal activity. The reasons why people commit crime are countless, but drugs and alcohol, social problems and poverty play a major role. To solve these problems, governments can either focus on draconian punishments, or improve employment opportunities, invest in good housing projects and tackle drug and alcohol abuse.

One of the main causes of criminality is the use, sale and trafficking of narcotics. For example, the sale of drugs is organised by armed criminal gangs who illegally traffic drugs and control their business with extreme violence. Drug-related crime does not end there; drug users often steal to fund theft habit, resulting in further acts of petty crime. The social problems connected with crime are said to be the result of single-parent families, absent role models and bad living conditions. The children from these broken families often become criminals because they feel alienated from society. Poverty is also a reason behind crime. When unskilled jobs pay so little and prices are so high, it's easy to see why some turn to crime for an income.

Crime can, of course, be dealt with by toughening criminal laws and introducing longer custodial sentences for persistent criminals, but some of the best ways to deal with crime may be to deal with the social causes. Increasing employment opportunities in poorer areas would improve living standards, which would mean access to affordable housing and education. Government funding for drug and alcohol rehabilitation programmes would help reduce dependency on stimulants and the need for the criminal activity that surrounds them.

In conclusion, crime is a major issue, but cracking down on offenders with a harsh penal system is not the only way. These problems can be solved through the government providing jobs and funding which should raise living standards and dramatically reduce crime levels.

(323 words)

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