It is difficult to find a succinct, broad and non-technical discussion of the causes of crime. This bulletin provides a brief overview, in simple terms, of what we know about those causes. After presenting some basic facts about crime, the bulletin is divided into three main sections. The first looks at the factors which makes some individuals more likely to become involved in crime than others. The second looks at the factors which make some places (neighbourhoods, cities) more crime-prone than others. The third looks at the factors which make crime rates rise and fall over time. The conclusion of the bulletin highlights both the multiplicity of factors which influence crime and the need for a wide range of strategies in preventing it.