Experts say criminal activity by women is on the rise - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Experts say criminal activity by women is on the rise

You probably remember the mother who took her two-year-old on a wild ride this week. She was accused of car-jacking before attempting to rob a bank.

What about Melissa Ferris? She's currently behind bars for killing her boyfriend and is charged with murdering a fellow stripper.

News that other crimes might involve women is not surprising to experts.

"Larceny, theft numbers are increasing," says University of Memphis criminalogist David Forde, Ph.D. "Aggravated assault and violent crimes are also increasing."

In fact, from aggravated assaults to auto theft, burglary, robbery, homicide and even rape, there has been a nearly 10% increase in crimes by women over the last year in Memphis. There were 5,384 in 2004. There were more than 5,800 in 2005.

"The biggest contributing dynamic to women being involved in violent crime is changes in the labor force participation rates," says Forde.

Specifically, more and more women have gone from being house-wives to part of the work-force.

"So, if they're not in the house, they're out in public in contact with other persons where opportunities for these crimes present themselves," says Forde.

He says the fact that Memphis and Shelby County have one of the nation's highest poverty rates doesn't help. Until that changes, more women and men may continue to turn to a life of crime.

Powered by Frankly