The availability of quick means of transport in cities offers better opportunities for delinquents to escape detection and arrest. The incidence of juvenile delinquency, shop lifting, petty thefts and sexual offences are more common in slum areas and poverty-stricken homes. That apart, the recurrence of white collar crimes, bank-offences, frauds, embezzlement, racketeering and the like are mostly confined to urban regions.
Conversely, some crimes are exclusively confined to rural areas and they rarely occur in cities. Thus, the thefts of crops and cattle, arson and trespass are predominantly the offences of rural setting. Commenting on the incidence of crimes in urban and rural regions Donald Taft opines that the number of crimes committed in rural areas are far fewer than those committed in urban cities because of the greater homogeneity of rural population, lesser mobility and absence of adequate opportunities for the criminal to escape.
Greater mobility due to migration and immigration of labour, overcrowding in urban dwellings, the absence of effective family or community control and lack of constructive influences are the main causes for multiplicity of crime in urban regions.
The rural migrants in new cities are unable to easily adjust to the impersonal heterogeneity of urban life. They are no longer controlled by the traditional norms and family loyalties. They become restless persons without associates. In the words of Durkheim, they become small particles in that world of “disorganised dust”. This hetrogeneity of urban life destroys their earlier congenial social relationships, creating a social vacuum which proves to be a fertile ground for criminality. Under such conditions, violence and crime proliferate.
Again, the inhabitants of rural areas are by nature simple and law-abiding as compared with their urban counterparts, probably because of illiteracy and their modest living. Moreover, limited contact with outside world keeps them unaware of the technicalities of criminal life.
It is generally believed that crimes relating to property are predominantly committed in urban areas while those against person are more common in rural regions. However, this hypothesis does not seem to be wholly correct. Property crimes are as common in villages as in towns. Likewise, crimes relating to person are as rampant in cities and towns as in rural areas.