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Criminal tendencies

March 2014

People who regularly visit a place of worship are less likely to be involved in low level crime and delinquency, research from the University of Manchester has found.

Led by PhD student Mark Littler, the research analysed survey data and in-depth qualitative interviews with young members of the UK’s major faiths, to ascertain whether a religious upbringing or background had an effect on young people.

He said, ‘The act of visiting a place of worship may trigger a significant reduction in the likelihood of involvement in certain types of criminal and delinquent behaviour. In line with existing American research, my results suggest that it is the act of mixing with fellow believers that is important.

‘This is irrespective of whether this is through formal worship, involvement in faith-based social activities or simply through spending time with family and friends who share your faith’.

The study was funded by the Bill Hill Charitable Trust and interviews were carried out with 1214 18-30 year olds in the UK.

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