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Marriage 'is key to ending life of crime' on The EXPERT SAYS MOST YOUNG OFFENDERS 'GROW OUT OF IT'.

Byline: TOM BELGER Social Affairs Reporter tom.belger@trinitymirror.com @tom_belger

PUNISHMENT and rehabilitation are supposed to stop criminals re-offending - but an expert says getting married is the real reason many break the habit.

Professor George Mair, an expert in criminal justice at Liverpool Hope University, said people are most likely to offend in their late teens.

But the professor, head of the university's social sciences department, said most young people "grow out of it" when they find a partner, have children or get a job.

The ECHO reported this week how one prolific burglar, Luke Duffy, had admitted a string of gun and knifepoint robberies at Liverpool crown court.

The 24-year-old's lawyer reported his "chaotic and disruptive" childhood in care in a previous case and he appeared via videolink from Ashworth high-security psychiatric hospital on Monday. Professor Mair said difficult home and school lives often made crime more likely, but said these were part of the explanation rather than an excuse.

He also said it was wrong to assume most criminals were mentally ill.

If you again you lose your kids, job... why lots young grow out Professor He told the ECHO: "The peak offending age is the late teens, but the key thing is most people don't carry on beyond their mid-20s.

"By that age most people have grown out of it. The usual story is the guy - it almost always is guys - finds a good woman, settles down, has a job.

"They have connections to the community, have kids - those things stop people offending.

"If you offend again you might lose your wife, kids, job - that's why lots of young people grow out of it."

offend might wife, that's of people of it George Mair " He added: "People often stop committing crime because they are afraid o getting caught, rather than afraid of the punishment.

"People carry on doing it because they have never been caught, because of peer pressure, as a way of earning money as they get older or if they have a drug habit which costs money they don't have.

"There's a difficulty when you've been to prison that you go for a job and get asked about your record.

"People think prison means you have done something serious, but it's not always true. So people carry on offending.

"It's a vicious cycle. The longer you go on, the more difficult it is to get out."

He added: "People offend for all sorts of reasons.

"It might be because their mates do it, it's fun, they are having a hard time at school or at home, they need money for drugs, they don't have any skills or things to look forward to, they live in dreadful areas.

"I think the 'fun' thing we often forget, and it is particularly true for young people - like drinking and taking drugs.

"People think you are excusing it, but those are not excuses. Lots of people with those circumstances do not commit crime."

If you offend again you might lose your wife, kids, job... that's why lots of young people grow out of it Professor George Mair

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 3, 2017
Words:525
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