According to some, crime rates have been falling for a while now. The validity of these claims is disputed, but even if there has been a decrease in the number of offences committed, what are the reasons for this? Is it tougher laws? Is it increased police numbers or better training? Or could it be down to an increase in the availability of psychiatric medication?
I recently read an American article which claimed that their own decline in crime had paralleled a period of improvement in the treatment of mental health and behavioural problems. Could it be the same on this side of the Atlantic? Could it be that the availability of anti-psychotics (and even such medication as ritalin for ADHD) could be responsible for our crime rates going down? I won’t pretend to know the answer to this but it’s an interesting thought and, according to the article I read, a 10 percent increase in prescription rates could decrease the violent crime rate by up to 0.7 percent, which would prevent as many as 10,000 violent crimes in the United States alone.