Introduction To Crime,
Defining and Measuring Crime
Alistair Van Oudtshoorn
Due Date: 23 April, 5:00pm
Tutor: Thalia Edmonds
Tutor Group: Wednesday 10:00am-10: 50am
Table Of Contents.
Crime has always been a shadow upon societies image, these learned behaviors can be seen in all shapes and sizes, in the cities, in the streets and even in homes. The media has controlled the image of what is perceived as crime. But what truly stalks the streets at night, is it the sadistic men who care so little about human dignity they travel from coast to coast sexually assaulting women? Or is this just a small portion of the true offender/victim population. Also there are many different forms of crime the most publicly known violent and property crime make up the larger fraction of crimes in Australia, although crimes such as internet and white-collar crime accounts for a significant part of the total crime costs. Then there is also the “dark figure” of crime, which forms the significant inaccuracies that are found especially in sexual assault offences. The most important aspect of all crime statistics are the trends which only within the last 30 years have been successfully recorded in such a way that can be effectively used to provide evidence for the prevalence of some crimes in society.
Violent crimes constitute a range of offences including Homicide, abduction, sexual assault or domestic abuse. This form of crime can be defined as the unlawful use or exhibition of force. In crimes such as assault this force would be considered physical but in cases such as stalking this would be considered psychological force. It is mainly due to the overwhelming emotions resulting from these crimes that make it so considerably underreported. It is significantly due to the severity of these crimes in particular offences such as sexual assault. It is estimated that two thirds of all violent crime is reported (ABS, 2006). This portion of unreported offences are referred to as the “dark figure” of crime. Only recently have police and other organizations managed to formulate proper practices that assist in a greater portion of crime being reported, which is another reason for violent crime having a history for being inaccurately represented. To aid the precision of violent crime data, victimization surveys are circulated to the public, this facilitates for a section of unreported crime to be anonymously reported minimizing the emotional stress of public recollection. General trends in data show that across all forms of violent crime men aged 19-24 are the most likely to offend, and similarly men aged 19-24 are also the most victimized. In most cases including assault and homicide this is true but it has been found that in terms of sexual assault women aged 14-19 are the most likely victims, 80% of the time their attacker is also known to them (Hayes and Prenzler, 2008). Current predictions estimate that violent crime in Australia is nearing a stable stage at 1000 offences per 100,000 (ABS, 2006). Violent crime is one of the most underreported forms of crime but preventative measures are being implemented to prevent those cases that are reported which have shown immediate results in the stabilization of crime.
White-collar crime is a constantly debated issue, as it has no real definition that constitutes all aspects that may be prosecuted as a white-collar crime. Some of the offences that are commonly scrutinized as a white-collar crime consist of fraud and workplace related accidents. This is a high stakes, high benefit crime that pushes even people held in respect within their own society. These crimes are usually committed by people of financial power, in particular public servants and accountants, with their victims...
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