Crime is an act or omission prohibited and punished by law (The Collins Concise Dictionary Plus, Collins London and Glasgow 1990). Crime can be committed against a person, place or company. In this essay 4 types of crimes will be explained, defined and measured, along with prevalence and offender/victim characteristics.
How do we define property crimes, violent crimes, white-collar crimes and Internet crimes?
• Property crimes are defined and categorised as household and vehicle theft, burglary, arson, theft including shoplifting, pick pocketing, bag snatching, graffiti and vandalism
• Violent crimes, being homicide, kidnapping/abduction, assault, sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence and child abuse against a person
• White-collar crimes defined as crimes or activities that include theft, fraud, deception, embezzlement harmful behaviours, environmental or health and safety hazards
• Internet crimes consisting of cyber-crimes, piracy, frauds, identity theft, cyber-stalking, computer hacking and hate/harmful speech and obscene imagery.
What are property crimes, violent crimes, white-collar crimes and Internet crimes?
Example of property crimes is breaking into a car and the stealing of a mobile phone, trespassing into a property to commit an offence or the setting of fire to property. Unlike Property crimes, violent crimes are committed against a person and as such explained as the indecent assault of a person/s against their will, taking a life with or without intent to kill, taking of a person against their will or threats, force or violence against a person. In general there is no agreed definition for white-collar crime. Rather, the term covers a range of criminal activities or breach of regulatory activities undertaken by highly regarded professionals/educated professional in positions of trust such as employer provides inadequate working conditions causing serious personal injury to employees or company director misleads shareholders about its financials and continues to operate regardless of its inability to pay debt. Internet crime is explained as the unauthorised access of and taking of financial records or sabotage of a persons computer, illegal downloading of movies or songs and bogus websites set up to entice the unsuspecting person to give access to their personal details and accounts.
How do we measure property crimes, violent crimes, white-collar crimes and Internet crimes?
We can measure detected and reported property crime via administrative data. Administrative data gives a high level of property crime reporting, mainly because there is less fear or shame from reporting of property crimes and also police reports are often required for insurance reporting requirements. Its limitation is it does not encompass undetected and unreported crime known as the ‘dark figure’ of crime (Coleman & Moynihan, 1996). Detected and reported violent crime can be measured using administrative data. Violent crime can also be measured by victimization and researcher surveys where victims do not report crime for various reasons such as victims often knowing the offender and/or fear of reprisal. The Australian Bureau of Statistics Administrative data on crime victimisation can be derived from a number of sources including police, hospitals and community service agencies. Internet crimes have considerable lower reporting under administrative data due to the non detection or victims unaware they have been a victim of internet crime. We can measure internet crime by surveys such as victimization surveys or measurement against the ongoing extent of the crime. White-collar crime with the exception of fraud under criminal law is extremely difficult to measure due to the complexity of each crime/activity, some activities are regarded as regulatory and not criminal and the interpretations of a crime/activity can be perceived differently among...
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