Four Different Types of Crime Essay

Course Conover: Dr Hennessey Hayes Tutor: Dr Jacqueline Homel Course Code: CCJ15 Course name: Introduction to Crime and Criminology Assessment number: 1 Due Date: 23. 04. 10 Extension confirmation number: 14177 Student name: Tamara Chatterton Student number: S2736240 This essay will examine four different types of crime. These include: Property, Violent, White-collar and Internet crimes. To examine these in detail this essay will define and explain each one. It will then describe how they are measured and how data id gathered for each of them.

It will then go on to identify the typical offenders and victims of each individual crime and finish with a description of how much the occurrence of these crimes are costing the community. Defining property crimes would be any offence that involves property, such as “theft which is the deprivation of another? s property without consent and with the intention of doing so permanently. ” (Findaly, 2009, p11). Then there are “offences of damaging or destroying another? s property. ” (Findaly, 2009, p11). This is also extended to offences involving government property, eg; graffiti and vandalism.

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Violent crimes are defined as crimes that are against a person. “Crime against the person have traditionally involved… acts which result in harm against a distinct person or persons as opposed to the general public. ”(Hennessey, 2008, p98). Serious types of crimes include; homicide, assault and sexual assault. Sutherland defined white-collar crime as „crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.? (White-collar crime [1949]1989:7, cited in Hennessey, 2008, p134).

The problem with this definition is that it is still not clear what activities are considered to be white-collar crime. Some common types, just to name a few, include; state crimes, environmental crimes, computer or technology crimes and financial crimes. Internet crimes are crimes that are facilitated by the internet, which are „computer enabled? offences. “Crimes that use computers but can also be committed without their use,” (Hennessey, 2009, p168) such as fraud, harassment and child pornography. However this essay will focus more on the range of „computer focused? crimes that have emerged only with the creation of the internet and could not exist apart from it. ” (Hennessey, 2008, p168). Measuring crime involves looking at and analysing statistics. When looking at these statistics, it is clear that there is a pattern in the types of crimes and their offenders. The following statistics are taken from police records of crimes detected and reported the courts and correctional facilities, as well as surveys of offenders, victims and the general public. There are two types of data. Administrative data are drawn from the administrative records from police. (Hennessey, 2008, p36).

The only problem with this data is that it does not take into account the dark-figure of crime, which is “the amount of crime that is undetected, not reported and not recorded. ” (Hennessey, 2008, p35). Property crimes such as theft are usually committed by “juveniles aged between 10-17 years had higher rates for property offences” (Hennessey, 2008, p80) than any other age group. Violent crimes, such as murder, sexual assault and robbery, are generally committed by young male adults aged between 18-24years. In Australia in 2004-2005 the average for convictions for these crimes was a huge 92% of males compared to only 8% of females. Hennessey, 2008, p83). Less violent crimes such as white-collar crimes like fraud are a higher split for females at 34% though males are still the majority at 66%. (Hennessey, 2008, p83). For internet crimes, statistics are harder to come by as the offenders are harder to tack and even detect. The type of internet crimes that are of concern are computer hacking and paedophilia. Hacking involves crimes like id theft, credit card fraud or “the unauthorised access and subsequent use of other people? s computer systems. ” (Taylor, 1999, p6 cited in Hennessey, 2008, 169).

Accessing others computers to plant Virus and Trojans has largely become more common with the advancement in the internet. “In 1998 the FBI reported that computer intrusion incidents had increased 250% over a two year period (Lilley, 2002, p32 cited in Hennessey, 2009, p169) and subsequent studies reveal a continued upsurge in hacking. (Yar, 2006, cited in Hennessey, 2008, p169). Paedophilia is usually committed by males towards young children. “Research has focused especially on internet chat rooms where adults use online communication in order to „identify, deceive, coerce, and form relationships with and also to abuse potential victims.? (O? connell, 2003, p3, cited in Hennessey, 2009, p172) (Hennessey, 2009, p172) One survey of 10-17 year old internet users found that 19% reported having been approached for sex online. (Stanley 2002, p7, cited in Hennessey, 2008, p172). There are a number of characteristics that are typical for offenders of crime and their victims. This essay will look at how age, gender, race and social class are linked to crime. Crime types and age are associated in that mostly young people aged 10-17 years commit property offences. A US Crime Report showed that most arrests for young offenders, below 18, were for theft. Hennessey, 2008, p80) Young adult offender? s ages 18-24 years are shown to be arrested mostly for violent crimes like murder, rape and robbery. Gender and crime are associated in that “about 80% of crime is committed by males and about 90% of violent crimes are also committed by males. ” (Hennessey, 2008, p83) Although when it comes to the victims, males up the large majority of victims of murder, assault and robbery. (Hennessey, 2008, p84) It is also interesting to look at the relationship between offenders and victims. Over half of females murdered are done so by a family member, compared to less than a quarter for males.

For sexual assault the average victimisation age is 10-14years for both females and males. Like murder most sexual assaults occur within private areas such as houses. For males normal assault is usually by someone they don? t know, however sexual assault is more likely to be by a family member or another known person. In contrast females are almost twice as likely to be sexually assaulted by someone they don? t know, though still in a private place. It is also important to note that women have a higher level of fear of crime than men.

Overall, males are the main perpetrators and victims, „although women suffer disproportionately from particular crimes? such as sexual assault committed by males. (Hennessey, 2008, p86) Race is a key variable linked to crime. „The link between race and crime is complex and not completely understood.? (Hennessey, 2008, p87) In Australia, Indigenous people only make up 2% of the population and yet a much higher proportion of arrested and jailed offenders are Indigenous. (Hennessey, 2008, p86) Indigenous people were more likely to be arrested for public drunkenness, assault and brake and enter.

They are largely over represented in the criminal justice system. Some have linked it to the high unemployment rate at 3 times higher than non-Indigenous people. (Hennessey, 2008, p86) LaPraine (1997) argues that it is linked to „social isolation and increasing dependence on social support like welfare. Social class is another important factor in crime. It is commonly known that „lowerclass people are, more likely to be arrested for „street crimes? like burglary and car theft. Though, white-collar crimes are usually committed by the upper class. Usually executives or CEO? of large companies, defrauding the company to remain an upper class citizen. The Criminal Justice Commission, 2007, showed that at least 50% of prisoners were unemployment at the time of their offence. It also showed that prisoners had a below standard average on literacy and education. There is a concept called the opportunity structure which is „important for showing how poverty may motivate people to offend.? (Hennessey, 2008, p93) According to the Australian Institute of Criminology, Property crimes such as theft, cost the community around 3%.

Violent crimes like homicide cost 4% assault 7% and sexual assault only cost 3%. White-collar and internet crimes can both consist of a large amount of fraud. Fraud is the highest costing crime within the community, costing around 40%. (AIC website) Crime within Australia is a common day occurrence. Statists can vary and crime can change from time to time, but it will never be removed completely from society. Offenders of crimes like theft fraud and even drugs fine them far too lucrative. Once those offenders are placed in prison, someone will take their place, and the cycle continues.

Though with understanding crime and why it happens one can hope to minimise cost and effect to victims and the community as much as possible. References Australian Institute of Criminology, 2008. Counting the costs of crime in Australia. http://www. aic. gov. au/en/crime_community/communitycrime/costs. aspx Findlay, M. , Odgers, S. and Yeo, S. 2009. Australian Criminal Justice, (4ed). Oxford University Press, South Melbourne. Hayes, H. and Prenzler, T. 2008. An Introduction to Crime and Criminology (2ed). Pearson Education, NSW.


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