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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from the real IELTS exam about the topic of crime, which comes up frequently on the test.

These questions are really common in the writing test and can come up on IELTS speaking as well.

Read my sample answer below and practice some of the vocabulary related to crime!

Here is some review on IELTS Task 2 Writing structures.

These are some other IELTS Task 2 Writing Sample Answers that I wrote!

If you want to get over your IELTS fears and achieve your dreams (of going abroad or getting a better job), I now offer online lessons complete with feedback, videos, workbooks and more – you can learn more here!

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer (Crime and the Police)

Some countries are struggling with increases in crime rates. Some believe that having more police on the streets is best way to reduce and combat crime. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Many countries today are grappling with the best ways to curb rising crime rates and some have suggested that increased police presence on the streets is the optimal solution. Although I think this would have a positive effect for obvious reasons, the best solution is more nuanced and requires a deeper understanding of the sources underlying crime.

There is little doubt that employing greater numbers of police officers will have an adverse affect on criminality. One of the best examples of this would be in New York City under Mayor Rudy Giuliani during the late 1980s and early 90s. At that time, New York was a haven for criminals and many areas of the city were deemed too dangerous by residents to safely live in or walk through at night. One of the many measures that Giuliani used to reduce crime was significantly increasing the number of police officers during his time in office. This led to a reciprocal decline in crime and made the tourist-heavy neighbourhoods almost entirely safe and the rougher districts at least passably crime-free.

The above-mentioned measures were only effective because administrators also tackled the root causes of crime. It is generally agreed upon that the principle causes of crime are related to education indirectly and poverty more directly. If you look at countries with extremely low poverty and unemployment rates, such as Japan, you will see correspondingly low rates of crime. In Japan, this begins with one of the world’s most renowned educational systems. Students graduate from high school and university with immediately employable skills and most are employed throughout their lifetimes. Since they have money to afford a good standard of living there is little incentive for criminal behaviour and the crime rate is among the lowest in the world.

In conclusion, the best way to reduce crime in the long-term is to invest more in education and the economy to stimulate job growth and address the catalysts spurring on crime. Any government that is serious about making their country a safer place must first take steps to improve their educational system as that will have the largest impact on creating the stable jobs that discourage criminality in all its forms.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis (Crime and the Police)

1. Many countries today are grappling with the best ways to curb rising crime rates and some have suggested that increased police presence on the streets is the optimal solution. 2. Although I think this would have a positive effect for obvious reasons, the best solution is more nuanced and requires a deeper understanding of the sources underlying crime.

1. My first sentence quickly restates the topic for the essay – spend a lot of time understanding the question correctly but don’t waste time writing this sentence – it isn’t that important!

2. Next is my opinion. State your opinion 100% clearly or you could get a task achievement band 5!

1. There is little doubt that employing greater numbers of police officers will have an adverse affect on criminality. 2. One of the best examples of this would be in New York City under Mayor Rudy Giuliani during the late 1980s and early 90s. 3. At that time, New York was a haven for criminals and many areas of the city were deemed too dangerous by residents to safely live in or walk through at night. 4. One of the many measures that Giuliani used to reduce crime was significantly increasing the number of police officers during his time in office. 5. This led to a reciprocal decline in crime and made the tourist-heavy neighbourhoods almost entirely safe and the rougher districts at least passably crime-free.

1. The first sentence is my topic sentence with the topic (police on the street) and my main idea (negative effect on crime).

2. My second sentence already begins my example. Don’t waste time – run right to your example as fast as you can!

3. The third sentence further develops the same example – don’t run away from the example – stick with it!

4. My fourth sentence continues to develop the same example.

5. Even my fifth sentence develops this same example! You can also include a conclusion sentence for the paragraph if you have time.

1. The above-mentioned measures were only effective because administrators also tackled the root causes of crime. 2. It is generally agreed upon that the principle causes of crime are related to education indirectly and poverty more directly. 3. If you look at countries with extremely low poverty and unemployment rates, such as Japan, you will see correspondingly low rates of crime. 4. In Japan, this begins with one of the world’s most renowned educational systems. 5. Students graduate from high school and university with immediately employable skills and most are employed throughout their lifetimes. 6. Since they have money to afford a good standard of living there is little incentive for criminal behaviour and the crime rate is among the lowest in the world.

1. The first sentence is again the topic sentence for the paragraph with my main idea – tackling the root causes of crime.

2. My second sentence explains my main idea before I get to my example.

3. The third sentence begins my example by mentioning Japan and why its crime is so low.

4. My fourth sentence continues to develop the answer about Japan.

5. The fifth sentence still continues describing the example of Japan.

6. My sixth sentence concludes the example and paragraph.

1. In conclusion, the best way to reduce crime in the long-term is to invest more in education and the economy to stimulate job growth and address the catalysts spurring on crime. 2. Any government that is serious about making their country a safer place must first take steps to improve their educational system as that will have the largest impact on creating the stable jobs that discourage criminality in all its forms.

1. My first sentence says my opinions for the second time. Be clear! Don’t sit in the middle with your opinion, you must choose a side!

2. The second sentence adds an extra detail to the paragraph that many examiners will require for at least band 7 for task achievement.

Sample Answer Vocabulary

What do the words in bold mean? If you’re not sure, don’t use a dictionary – try to figure out the meaning from the whole sentence then check your answers below!

Many countries today are grappling with the best ways to curb rising crime rates and some have suggested that increased police presence on the streets is the optimal solution. Although I think this would have a positive effect for obvious reasons, the best solution is more nuanced and requires a deeper understanding of the sources underlying crime.

There is little doubt that employing greater numbers of police officers will have an adverse effect on criminality. One of the best examples of this would be in New York City under Mayor Rudy Giuliani during the late 1980s and early 90s. At that time, New York was a haven for criminals and many areas of the city were deemed too dangerous by residents to safely live in or walk through at night. One of the many measures that Giuliani used to reduce crime was significantly increasing the number of police officers during his time in office. This led to a reciprocal decline in crime and made the tourist-heavy neighbourhoods almost entirely safe and the rougher districts at least passably crime-free.

The above-mentioned measures were only effective because administrators also tackled the root causes of crime. It is generally agreed upon that the principle causes of crime are related to education indirectly and poverty more directly. If you look at countries with extremely low poverty and unemployment rates, such as Japan, you will see correspondingly low rates of crime. In Japan, this begins with one of the world’s most renowned educational systems. Students graduate from high school and university with immediately employable skills and most are employed throughout their lifetimes. Since they have money to afford a good standard of living there is little incentive for criminal behaviour and the crime rate is among the lowest in the world.

In conclusion, the best way to reduce crime in the long-term is to invest more in education and the economy to stimulate job growth and address the catalysts spurring on crime. Any government that is serious about making their country a safer place must first take steps to improve their educational system as that will have the largest impact on creating the stable jobs that discourage criminality in all its forms.

Answers:

grappling with: strugglling with/fighting

curb: slow down

crime rates: the level of crime

increased police presence: more police on the streets

optimal solution: best way of dealing with

obvious reasons: clear, definite justifications

nuanced: complex

requires a deeper understanding: needs more study/analysis

underlying: root causes/foundation

There is little doubt that: no question that

adverse effect: negative impact

criminality: crime

under: while someone serves in office (under Obama, Trump, Napoleon, etc.)

haven: safe place for

deemed: considered/thought to be

measures: methods

reciprocal decline: related decrease

tourist-heavy neighbourhoods: areas where tourists frequent

rougher districts at least passably crime-free: dangerous areas at least mostly free of crime

above-mentioned: said before

administrators: people working in offices/government

tackled: combatted

root causes: sources

principle causes: main reasons

indirectly: not directly

poverty: being poor

directly: from a clearly identified source

unemployment rates: the number of people without jobs

correspondingly: related

most renowned educational systems: good schools

employable skills: skills that help you to get a job

lifetimes: as long as you live

good standard of living: good quality of life

little incentive: no reason for

long-term: over a long period of time

stimulate job growth: increase the number of jobs for people

catalysts spurring on: causes leading to

take steps: take action towards

stable jobs: good jobs that don’t go away easily

discourage criminality in all its forms: decrease all crimes

Pronunciation

ˈgræplɪŋ wɪð 

kɜːb 

kraɪm reɪts 

ɪnˈkriːst pəˈliːs ˈprɛzns 

ˈɒptɪməl səˈluːʃən 

ˈɒbvɪəs ˈriːznz 

nju(ː)ˈɑːnst 

rɪˈkwaɪəz ə ˈdiːpəˌʌndəˈstændɪŋ 

ˌʌndəˈlaɪɪŋ 

ðeəɪz ˈlɪtl daʊt ðæt 

ˈædvɜːs ɪˈfɛkt 

ˌkrɪmɪˈnælɪti 

ˈʌndə 

ˈheɪvn 

diːmd 

ˈmɛʒəz 

rɪˈsɪprəkəl dɪˈklaɪn 

ˈtʊərɪstˈhɛvi ˈneɪbəhʊdz 

ˈrʌfə ˈdɪstrɪkts æt liːst ˈpɑːsəbli kraɪmfriː 

əˈbʌvˈmɛnʃ(ə)nd 

ədˈmɪnɪstreɪtəz 

ˈtækld 

ruːt ˈkɔːzɪz 

ˈprɪnsəpl ˈkɔːzɪz 

ˌɪndɪˈrɛktli 

ˈpɒvəti 

dɪˈrɛktli 

ˌʌnɪmˈplɔɪmənt reɪts 

ˌkɒrɪsˈpɒndɪŋli 

məʊst rɪˈnaʊnd ˌɛdju(ː)ˈkeɪʃənl ˈsɪstɪmz 

ɪmˈplɔɪəbl skɪlz 

ˈlaɪftaɪmz 

gʊd ˈstændəd ɒv ˈlɪvɪŋ 

ˈlɪtl ɪnˈsɛntɪv 

ˈlɒŋtɜːm 

ˈstɪmjʊleɪt ʤɒb grəʊθ 

ˈkætəlɪsts ˈspɜːrɪŋ ɒn 

teɪk stɛps 

ˈsteɪbl ʤɒbz 

dɪsˈkʌrɪʤ ˌkrɪmɪˈnælɪti ɪn ɔːl ɪts fɔːmz

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Many countries today are _____________ the best ways to _____________ rising _____________ and some have suggested that _____________ on the streets is the _____________. Although I think this would have a positive effect for  _____________, the best solution is more _____________ and _____________ of the sources _____________ crime.

_____________ employing greater numbers of police officers will have an _____________ on  _____________. One of the best examples of this would be in New York City  _____________ Mayor Rudy Giuliani during the late 1980s and early 90s. At that time, New York was a _____________ for criminals and many areas of the city were _____________ too dangerous by residents to safely live in or walk through at night. One of the many _____________ that Giuliani used to reduce crime was significantly increasing the number of police officers during his time in office. This led to a _____________ in crime and made the _____________ almost entirely safe and the _____________.

The _____________ measures were only effective because _____________ also _____________ the _____________ of crime. It is generally agreed upon that the _____________ of crime are related to education _____________ and _____________ more  _____________. If you look at countries with extremely low poverty and _____________, such as Japan, you will see _____________ low rates of crime. In Japan, this begins with one of the world’s _____________. Students graduate from high school and university with immediately _____________ and most are employed throughout their  _____________. Since they have money to afford a _____________ there is _____________ for criminal behaviour and the crime rate is among the lowest in the world.

In conclusion, the best way to reduce crime in the _____________ is to invest more in education and the economy to _____________ and address the _____________ crime. Any government that is serious about making their country a safer place must first _____________ to improve their educational system as that will have the largest impact on creating the _____________ that _____________.

Crime Links from YouTube and Articles

Why Japan’s Crime Rate Is So Low

CRIME:The Animated Series – Marcus Mcghee – MOCAtv (Explicit Language)

Why should you read “Crime and Punishment”? – Alex Gendler

Comment below – Have you ever committed a crime?

Lots of times! I remember once I …

Just the once … 

Yeah, a few times…

What?! I’d never…

If you want more helpful resources check out my private Facebook group, my YouTube channel and my Instagram – keep up to date with your English and your IELTS (and up to date with me)!


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