The social dislocation that encourages migration is also likely to increase crime.

Globalization is making crime much more transnational. Criminals are among the first to take advantage of any relaxation of national border controls and advances in transportation and communications. Drug trafficking and money laundering are two of the most widespread criminal activities -over $100 billion worth of drug money has been laundered annually in Europe and North America over the past decade.

But crime statistics always need to be interpreted with caution. Even the advanced industrial countries have inadequate statistical evaluations of crime, and many developing countries have no reliable crime data at all. And the figures that do exist may say more about the criminal justice system than about the real number of offences: police records only reflect reported crime, which is usually the tip of the iceberg, and even crime surveys may underestimate crimes such as household violence or rape, which victims are often reluctant to mention. The vagueness or unreliability of statistics means that public perceptions of crime are built on shaky foundations, and people's fear of crime may bear little relation to the real risks they face. A more fundamental difficulty in interpreting crime figures is that they are determined by each society's value judgements about what is considered a crime, and which crimes are believed to be more important. Thus massive corporate fraud or State violence or torture may go undetected and unpunished because those in power do not see these as a priority, while the crimes that most worry the middle classes -typically street crimes and burglary- receive a lot of police attention.

Most politicians respond to rising crime rates by resolving to "get tough on crime". But such crackdowns have generally created more prisoners without significantly reducing levels of crime. Crime policy could be part of a broader framework that addresses the social and economic context from which crime emerges. If so, in in the long term, when people have a job, a meaningful family relationship and are part of a stable community, they are less likely to see crime as an attractive option.

Sources: See Globalization adjustments

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