English Reading Exercises for B2 – Solving crime

1. Complete the newspaper article with the words below.

combat      commit      cut      petty      prevention      rate      violent      wave

Statistics show that the local police force has 1 _______ crime by 15%. However, this fall has only affected 2 _______ crimes such as murder. The crime 3 _______ for 4 _______ crimes such as shoplifting has gone up. This crime 5 _______ is affecting small shops and businesses. The police are working with shop owners to help them 6 _______ crime. They want them to install security cameras and participate in other crime 7 _______ efforts. Shopkeepers, however, are asking for more severe punishment for people who 8 _______ crimes and break the law.

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1 cut   2 violent   3 rate   4 petty   5 wave   6 combat

7 prevention   8 commit

2. Read the article. What problem could the technology mentioned in the article cause?

Robo-Cops

Police forces have always used technology to help them combat crime, but as collecting data and storing it becomes much easier, more and more police forces are using it to improve crime prevention and therefore to predict crime before it happens.

A Crime prevention software called PredPol helps the police predict where crimes are likely to occur. The softwave analyses years of data on the location, time and nature of crimes committed and predicts where and when crime is most likely to occur in the future. Police officers receive this information on the computers in their cars and they then spend more time in these areas. As a result, the increased police presence in these neighbourhoods has cut crime significantly. Crime figures for one area of Los Angeles, USA, were reduced by 12% in 2011 when police officers used crime prediction software. In the same year, burglaries were cut by 26% in Manchester, UK, using the same methods.

B As well as software that predicts crime, companies are also developing technology that will help police patrols catch criminals before they can leave town. By combining information such as the places where crimes frequently take place with the routes that allow the fastest escape, computers will direct patrols to where they can arrest criminals.

C However, although the makers of this technology claim it will help reduce crime rates, some people are not so sure. Not all crime is reported and if the police just focus on the neighbourhoods where most crime occurs, they will neglect others. Some experts claim that if police officers just pay attention to the information that has been stored in their devices, crime rates could actually rise in some areas.

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It could cause crime to increase in some areas if the police only concentrate on reported crimes.

Reading Strategy

When matching questions with texts, remember that the key words from these questions may not appear in the text. The same information may be expressed in different words.

3. Read the Reading Strategy. Match paragraphs A-C with questions 1-6 below. Each paragraph may be matched with more than one question.

Which paragraph mentions ___

1 the disadvantages of a new technology?

2 successful results from new technology?

3 stopping criminals from getting away?

4 a reduction in UK crime?

5 police ignoring crime in some cases?

6 a possible increases in crime rates?

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1 C   2 A   3 B   4 A   5 C   6 C

Extra exercises

Strategy

When you do a gapped sentence task, read the missing sentences A-E, and decide what the main focus of each is. This will help you match the sentences with the ideas expressed in the sentences before and after the gaps in the text.

1. Read the Strategy and look at the sentences in exercise 2. Find the words that indicate the focus of each sentence.

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A Or the Singaporean tourist who died ___

B The alternative to taking the unnecessary risks

C ___ a public education campaign ___

D ___ more and more people are putting their lives at risk ___

E   ___ thousands of ‘likes’ ___ something to be admired

2. Read the text. Four sentences have been removed. Match missing sentences A-E with gaps 1-4. There is one extra sentence.

Dying for a selfie

Most of us have taken a selfie at one time or another, be it a photo of ourselves in a beautiful place, during a performance by our favourite band, or on a memorable night out with friends. Even monarchs, prime ministers and presidents have been seen in the news grinning inanely at the screen of a smartphone. 1 ____ . In several cases, this action has had disastrous consequences.

Take, for example, the Spaniard who was killed by a bull while he was taking a selfie during the annual bull run in a village near his hometown. 2 ____ . Incidents such as these have led to the death toll from selfie-related incidents reaching double figures for the first time in 2015, overtaking the number of victims of shark attacks. Most of the cases involve people taking selfies while posing with animals, or falling from high places.

Despite the risks, social media is full of pictures, featuring near misses that could have been fatal under other circumstances. Under the caption ‘Most dangerous selfie ever’, a woman posing at a stadium can be seen narrowly avoiding being hit in the head by a baseball approaching her. 3 ____ . What is even more worrying, however, is that the woman herself dares others to better the shot, seemingly overlooking the fact that by doing so, she is endangering the lives of her ‘friends’ as well.

In response to the increasing threat posed by the selfie, the authorities have started to take action. National parks, such as the Waterton Canyon in Denver, Colorado, have closed their gates to visitors who have been getting too close to the bears to get them in the photo. 4 ____ . But if instructions like these are really necessary, then perhaps it is about time we asked ourselves which is more important, a ‘like’ or a life?

A Or the Singaporean tourist who died when he fell from cliffs on the coast of Bali.

B The alternative to taking unnecessary risks is to use Photoshop to create outrageous pictures.

C The Russian Interior Ministry has launched a public education campaign advising selfie-takers against balancing on dangerous surfaces or posing with their pets, among other things.

D But today, more and more people are putting their lives at risk in an attempt to get the most shocking picture to share on social media.

E Yet the photo has received thousands of ‘likes’, and the comments below it suggest that this behaviour is something to be admired.

Show answers

1 D   2 A   3 E   4 C