Civilisation is the advanced social development that is believed to owe its origin to human interaction in cities. But cities do not always have a civilising effect. In early nineteenth century Britain, when industrialisation attracted vast members of ruralCivilisation is the advanced social development that is believed to owe its origin to human interaction in cities. But cities do not always have a civilising effect. In early nineteenth century Britain, when industrialisation attracted vast members of rural immigrants, cities became the scene of crime and social unrest, and this has happened again since World War II with planned out-migration to reduce population density. Why should these two contrasted conditions promote the same sort of social breakdown, when the intervening century of city growth saw a steady fall in crime followed by a sustained low-crime period. in-migrants, cities became the scene of crime and social unrest, and this has happened again since World War II with planned out-migration to reduce population density. Why should these two contrasted conditions promote the same sort of social breakdown, when the intervening century of city growth saw a steady fall in crime followed by a sustained low-crime period.