Why Has White Collar and Corporate Crime Remain Difficult to Study?

Topics: Criminology, Crime, White-collar crime Pages: 2 (548 words) Published: June 23, 2013
White-collar crime is a financially motivated, nonviolent crime committed for illegal monetary gain. Within the field of criminology, white-collar crime initially was defined by sociologist Edwin Sutherland as "a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation". These crimes are often difficult to study as they are highly under reported hence the 'dark figure' for white collar crimes is huge. Gary Mars expanded the concept of white collar crimes. The extensive illegal activities incurred at the job were termed as 'fiddling' according to Mars because the actors themselves may not see their activities as criminals; rather they see them as perks of the job. The importance of white collar crimes and 'fiddling' lies in the way that they are so largely under reported. Carson further suggests that white collar crimes are under reported because they are victimless crimes eg bribery may be a crime where both the participants gain. Secondly, the victim is general public. When individuals or firms evade taxes, it is the society who suffers the reduction in revenue. Moreover, many firms do not want negative publicity hence they have inside tribunal squads that deal with it. However, crimes that companies commit themselves in the pursuit of maintaining or increasing their profit margins are called 'corporate crimes'. These crimes can cover activities as varied as contravening pollution laws, neglecting health and safety legislation or breaking the Food and Drugs Act. The diverse nature of these crimes means that it is not usually revealed in police statistics, issued by the Home Office or Central Office of Information, but separately in information issued by the government bodies. Michael Clark argues that ordinary and white collar crimes differ in that white collar criminals commit crimes in places where they can normally be expected to be found and the police are unwillingly to enter and are hard to prove. Moreover...
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