Studying criminal psychology can help prevent more crimes from happening in future.
Ultimately, understanding a criminal’s mind is the best way to reduce crime. Sure, police can arrest criminals, but this doesn’t prevent others from committing the same crimes, or even worse crimes, in the future.
Once we understand how criminals think, we will be able to understand why they are committing crimes in the first place, and stop it from happening.
For example, some people may become abusive because they were abused as children, while others might commit a crime because they are mentally ill. All of this information is incredibly useful.
Encouraging universities to offer more programmes on criminal psychology will raise public awareness about the issue.
Then people will be better educated, and may be able to stop their friends from engaging in criminal behaviour.
I think having more criminal psychologists would definitely benefit society and make our city a safer, happier place.
Icy Wong Wing-lam, King Ling College
From the editor
Thank you for your letter, Icy. Criminal psychology is a subject close to my heart as I am currently studying it. It is a hugely fascinating subject but there is so much we don’t know.
Luckily, Hong Kong has an extremely low crime rate. I come from South Africa which
has an extremely high crime rate with violence that seems worse than anywhere else in the world.
What we do know, though, is that childhood plays an important role in whether someone will become a criminal. However, as with all psychology, nothing is certain. Someone can have a perfectly good childhood and end up being a criminal anyway. But the average chance of a person becoming a criminal depends on certain factors.
I feel that an important factor is what kind of friends you choose. If you hang out with people who have bad habits, the chances are very high that you will end up doing the same thing.
So the best thing a teen can do is to be friends with people who they want to be. If you want to be an athlete, then hang out with athletes; if you want to get good grades, then hang out with kids who have a good academic record.
This opinion is purely personal and does not reflect the view of Young Post or the South China Morning Post.