Discuss the growth of urban crime in the Third World and the major obstacles to reducing that crime.

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In many countries in the developing world (the term “Third World” is not used all that much anymore) there is a great deal of crime in urban settings.  This crime can get so bad that the governments of some countries essentially lose control over parts of their cities.  We have seen this recently in such countries as Brazil and Jamaica.  In Brazil, the government is having a hard time taking control of the favelas or slums from drug gangs before the country hosts the World Cup and the Olympics.  In Jamaica, the government had to fight pitched battles with gangs when it tried to find and arrest a gang leader on drug charges.

This sort of crime is very hard to curtail largely because the countries are not rich enough.  There are two ways to reduce crime rates.  One is to have very good policing.  These countries tend to lack that.  This is largely because they do not have the money to pay for wages and training for police.  The police end up being ineffective and/or corrupt.  The better way to reduce crime is to provide good lives for the people.  The problem is that these countries’ economies are not strong enough to provide good jobs for large sections of the population.  Until the countries get richer, it will be very hard for them to prevent crime in their cities.

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