Intersectionality In the UK and Wales, crime levels have been on a gradual decline over the recent past. However, the figures remain unacceptably high with over 85 000 people incarcerated (Berman & Dar, 2013). Earlier in October 2013, the Office of National Statistics (ONS), through the annual ‘Crime in England and Wales’ bulletin reported that crime had fallen by 7% and the lowest ever recorded since 1981(Crime falls, 2013). The data is collected through Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) which commenced in 1981. The survey collected data from the public on incidences of crime against households and adults.
The government and the public has on the other hand intensified the fight against crime through a number of measures. The government has created more specialized forces to deal with specific types of crimes such as the recently created National Crime Agency which replaced the Serious Organized Crime Agency, formed in April 2006. The budgetary allocations to such bodies have increased with the NCA accounting for £500m a year (Symonds, 2013). The government has also instituted a number of studies to understand the motivations for crime and the trends.
The public has played its role through community policing and volunteering information about criminals. The attempts to fight the escalating crime rates are based on various theoretical grounds. One approach to understanding crime and its motivation is based on the socioeconomic background of the offenders. Criminologists have over time indicated that individuals from poor socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to commit crime than individuals from socioeconomically stable backgrounds. This perception does not only exist in the UK but also in other developed countries.
One of the greatest sources of socioeconomic imbalance in developed countries and more so in the UK is the proliferation of immigrant population. From the 2010 census Berman and Dar (2013) observe that 11.2% of the UK population was born outside the country with 7.7% born out of the EU. A significant percentage (27%) of the offenders in the UK prison system is from ethnic minority groups. In the US and other developed countries, minority groups have showed higher likelihood to crime. For instance, in the US Hispanic race accounts for 16.3% of the country’s population but 20.6% of all the offenders in the prisons.
By gender, 5.5% of male population was imprisoned compared to 1.12% in women. In the UK, 21% of the minority population (Asian 6.0%, Black 2.9%, Mixed 1.9%, Chinese 0.8%, Other 0.8) in the country accounts for 62% of the prisons population as of 2012 while women account for only 4.5% of the population and the rest is male (Berman & Dar, 2013). In 2012 in the UK, 3% of women had experience sexual assault compared to 0.3% of men.
On the other hand, young men were twice as likely as women to experience violent crime. In terms of homicide, children less than one year old were most likely affected at 21 homicides per a million people followed by 16-29 years age group at 15 homicides per a million people. These figures practically indicate that gender, race and socioeconomic background can predict crime. This is captured by the intersectionality approach. Intersectionality is an approach that was originally coined and popularized by feminists for feminist analysis. This approach tended to view the individual as a composition of the identifying elements such as religion, race, class, sexuality and gender (Vakulenko 2007).
The author cites another approach to conceptualizing intersectionality as an approach of conceptualizing gender, race, sexuality, class, etc. in “terms of forces that shape societies rather than as traits featured by individuals” (Vakulenko, p. 185). McCall (2005, p1771) defines intersectionality as “relationships among multiple social dimensions and modalities of social relations and subject formations” (Griffin & Museus, 2011. p7). There is no single universally accepted definition. However, different authors have developed different definitions that are loosely similar.
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