Analysis of the Status of Crime in Tehran
The present study examines the theoretical and urban crime situation in the city of Tehran. Statistics indicates the quantitative and qualitative growth of crime in Tehran over the past few decades. The research method is library and part of the research data is obtained through secondary analysis and previous studies.
Theoretical approach of research is based on a social disorganization approach which is taken from the theoretical foundations of the Chicago School. In this approach, urban crime is associated with issues such as heterogeneity, density, and city largeness. In addition, the negative effects of urbanization such as the feelings of relative deprivation and social exclusion, etc. affect the processes of urban crime.
The statistics show that about one-third of the total robbery is taking place in Tehran. Furthermore, the status of the conflict indicates that the province of Tehran has the highest rate of such crimes in the country.
The comparison between Tehran’s 22 regions in 2009 indicated that, according to five types of crime (i.e. murder, robbery, social corruption, conflict and property crimes), the robbery occurred more than the other ones in Tehran, and the highest rate was recorded in the regions 3 and 4.
After the robbery, individual and collective conflicts stood in the second place with 24672 cases. The highest level of conflict occurred in region 4. The crimes related to social corruption stood in the third place with 11002 cases, which mainly occurred in the region 6 with 981 cases.
Property and ownership crimes were in the fourth place. The highest crime rate occurred in the region 12 of the municipality with 11.3 %, which is due to the nature of market in this area.
Keywords: Tehran, urban crime, social disorganization, immigration, negative effects of urbanization, robbery
Introduction and statement of the problem
Although cities and especially metropolises are the center of civilization, growth and multiple opportunities, they can turn into places of fear, insecurity and different types of social hazards and problems.
Today, metropolises of the Third World and developing countries are dealing with numerous issues in a way that solving and controlling them cannot be managed by urban managers. Among such issues are immigration, urbanizations and its numerous consequences.
The metropolis of Tehran is not an exception in this issue and in the past decades, due to unconditional immigrations, the balance of the urban system was disrupted. One of the consequences of this condition is the occurrence of various urban crimes in this metropolis.
At first glance, it can be stated that social hazards and damages in general and the crime in particular are among the phenomenon that accompanied the collective life of humans from the beginning. A few societies can be found in which crime and social deviations have not occurred in them.
Nevertheless, identification of social, psychological and biological factors have been considered as the constant concern of sociologists, psychologists and biologists. Crime and social deviations experts have constantly tried to answer this question that “Why does crime and social deviation happen and what are the related factors of their occurrences?”
Psychologists are often looking for social roots of these phenomena such as crime and accordingly try to find the main factor of crime occurrence and social deviations among human social contexts. Previously, ulterior affairs were used to identify the crime. However, with the growth and emergence of the modern era, the experts have tried to explain crime and social deviations.
Nonetheless, in contrast to previous traditional periods, the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of crime and social deviations have changed in today’s modern world. On the one hand, the rate of different crimes have been increased in comparison to the past, and on the other hand, today’s world has faced new and creative types of deviations (e.g. cyber crimes and cyberspace).
If we search for the center of modernism in cities and specifically metropolises, we will come to the point that the cities have changed to major settlements for humans and are considered as main places for social disorders including crime.
The sudden growth of cities in today’s world is unbelievable and according to current statistics in many developing and developed countries, urbanization has been increasing rapidly. Industrial countries (west Europe and north America) have the most rate of urban residents, while only 46% of population live in cities in semi-desert areas of Africa and Oceanic Asia (Torenz, 2002, 56).
While this growth can be considered as a means of human’s development, it can cause many problems and challenges. Among the examples are social alienation of individuals, social inequalities, suburbanization, violence and different types of social anomalies.
In the past decades, we have observed the growth of urbanized population in Iran and specifically the metropolis of Tehran. This growth have occurred mainly as a result of unwanted immigrations during periods such as land reform. Consequently, big cities are facing numerous challenges in Iran.
The land reform plan during the 40s and eight years of imposed war are two events that have influenced the phenomenon of urbanization in Iran within the last decades significantly and brought about harmful social, economic and cultural consequences to cities and suburbanization. Inappropriate housing around or even at the center of cities and metropolises are among such consequences. This condition caused social system of cities to face new challenges including the occurrence of social anomalies such as urban crimes.
As the most important metropolis of the country, huge part of urban population are settled in Tehran who live and work alongside each other in a condensed manner. Due to specific characteristics such as congestion, existence of immigrant groups with different ethnic and cultural diversity, inequality in facilities and opportunities and inability of administrative organizations in exerting optimal management, the context of metropolis has negative effects including erosion of social order and occurrence of social issues such as the feeling of insecurity and urban violence.