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Why the Rich and Powerful Commit Crimes. | kdizaei

Many criminological theories often struggle with explaining why people of status commit crimes when, seemingly, they do not need to. There are several schools of thought on this. The Chicago School and The Bell Curve theories support the idea that crimes are committed by those who live in run down areas who are generally poor. These individuals tend to have a low IQ. These theories clearly do not support why high status individuals commit offences.

Classic criminological theories date back to the 1700s, specifically the work of Cesare Beccarias On Crimes and Punishments (1764). Firstly, he states that crime occurs when the benefits outweigh the costs and secondly, when people pursue self-interest in the absence of effective punishments. Although this is very early on in the development of criminological theories, there are clearly aspects of Beccarias theory that may help to explain why all people, including the powerful, commit crimes. Therefore, it can be cogently argued that a person of status and in a position of power is tempted to commit serious offences of dishonesty because the reward is great and often outweighs the cost, potential punishment and the diminished possibility of being caught.

However, in recent years, Law enforcement agencies and the courts have changed. There is more energy in prosecuting these offenders because of the true impact of their crimes on society. For example the Ponzi fraud scheme or the case of Michael Milken who paid $650 million in court-ordered restitution before he was even sentenced is a good illustration of the changing attitude towards these types of crimes. This in itself continues to beg the question, why do they do it when they have so much to lose? It appears that the two aforementioned points from Beccarias work do in fact fail to explain the causes or suggest the prevention of these offences, however, he does assert that crime is a free-willed choice of the party committing the offence, which is relevant to any person committing a crime, including powerful individuals.

Beccaria also supported the notion of rational punishment, whereby the punishment should be proportionate to the offence committed, whilst being served promptly and effectively. He believed this would be an appropriate deterrent to anyone who thinks about committing a crime or reoffending (known as recidivism). Although this seems fairly rudimentary and conservative, one must bear in mind that these powerful individuals are usually intellectual people who have spent years working to achieve such a status. Consequently, it can be argued that they would not need extreme punishment in order to deter these types of offences being committed and therefore as long as there is an expectation of punishment, (often a custodial sentence) that should be enough to prevent the majority from committing these offences. On the other hand, it could be submitted that rich and powerful people may sometimes have an attitude of being above the law and untouchable. Therefore, a harsher punishment with aims of exemplifying the criminals behaviour as unacceptable may be more effective as a deterrent to others. In summary, it may be said that a mixture of more robust law enforcement policies, harsher punishments by the court and the announcement of crime (irrespective of the status of the offender) does not pay, may reduce recidivism.

Edwin Sutherland has long been regarded as a criminological theorist determined to understand white-collar crime, why individuals commit this crime, and the impact these crimes have on the community as a whole. Simply, Sutherland knew that other criminological theories, namely that criminals come from broken homes in impoverished areas, would not stack up when attempting to understand the conundrum of white-collar crime. He noted that many of the law breakers in business were far from poor, but were from happy family backgrounds and all mentally sound. Sutherland makes interesting points in his work, one of which emphasises how moral and ethical codes can become lost in grey areas where the boundaries of right and wrong become hard to distinguish. For example, he explains that these crimes can be justified by others and be categorised as good business ethics, which appears to take the malice out of the act. Yet, regardless of how you try to dress-up or play-down these acts, they are in fact criminal offences and they are not victimless crimes. Furthermore, Sutherland stresses the impact that these crimes have on society as a whole, which according to his research, is large-scale anger and discontent with not only the offender, but at authorities in general who seemingly have failed to prevent these methodical crimes.

The fact surely must be that persons in positions of power have more opportunity (through social status, better education) to commit high value crime with little realistic prospect of being caught and genuinely (but foolishly) believe that there are no victims to their crimes. This mind-set creates a perfect incentive to commit offences by high status individuals.

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Why the Rich and Powerful Commit Crimes. | kdizaei

Victimless Crimes: Definition, Types & Examples – Video …

Study.com video lessons have helped over half a million teachers engage their students.

“The videos have changed the way I teach! The videos on Study.com accomplish in 5 minutes what would take me an entire class.”

– Chris F.

Students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.

U.S. Department of Education

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Victimless Crimes: Definition, Types & Examples – Video …

Victimless Crimes: Definition, Types & Examples – study.com

Study.com video lessons have helped over half a million teachers engage their students.

“The videos have changed the way I teach! The videos on Study.com accomplish in 5 minutes what would take me an entire class.”

– Chris F.

Students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.

U.S. Department of Education

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Victimless Crimes: Definition, Types & Examples – study.com

Environmental Crimes – UNICRI

Environmental crimes

UNICRI considers environmental crime, including its links with other forms of crime, a serious and growing danger for development, global stability and international security.

Since 1991, UNICRI has contributed to combating crimes against the environment and related emerging threats through applied research, awareness and capacity-building initiatives. UNICRI has built a strong international network of experts and practitioners from major international organization, law enforcement agencies, NGOs and academic entities active in the field.

Environmental crimes encompass a broad list of illicit activities, including illegal trade in wildlife; smuggling of ozone-depleting substances (ODS); illicit trade of hazardous waste; illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing; and illegal logging and trade in timber. On one side, environmental crimes are increasingly affecting the quality of air, water and soil, threatening the survival of species and causing uncontrollable disasters. On the other, environmental crimes also impose a security and safety threat to a large number of people and have a significant negative impact on development and the rule of law. Despite these issues, environmental crimes often fail to prompt the appropriate governmental response. Often perceived as victimless and incidental crimes, environmental crimes frequently rank low on the law enforcement priority list, and are commonly punished with administrative sanctions, themselves often unclear and low.

The involvement of organized criminal groups acting across borders is one of many factors that have favoured the considerable expansion of environmental crimes in recent years. Led by vast financial gains and facilitated by a low risk of detection and scarce conviction rates, criminal networks and organized criminal groups are becoming increasingly interested in such illicit transnational activities. These phenomena fuel corruption and money-laundering, and undermine the rule of law, ultimately affecting the public twice: first, by putting at risk citizens health and safety; and second, by diverting resources that would otherwise be allocated to services other than criminal activities.

The level of organization needed for these crimes indicates a link with other serious offences, including theft, fraud, corruption, drugs and human trafficking, counterfeiting, firearms smuggling, and money laundering, several of which have been substantiated by investigations. Therefore, environmental crimes represent today an emerging form of transnational organized crime requiring more in-depth analysis and better-coordinated responses at national, regional and international levels.

The first research projects conducted by UNICRI addressed the issue of environmental law, and in particular explored the limits and potentials of applying criminal law in crimes related to environment. In June 1998, UNICRI organised in Rome a seminar on international environmental conventions and the administration of criminal law. Since then, the Institute has focused on the involvement of organized criminal groups in environmental crime.

To increase awareness of the threat of environmental crime, UNICRI contributed to the organization of the conference entitled Illicit trafficking in waste: a global emergency (Rome, December 2011), with the participation of the Ministry of the Environment of Italy, parliamentarians, international partners such as the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), and many stakeholders involved in countering trafficking in and dumping of toxic waste. To enhance understanding of the dynamics of environmental crime, the Institute implemented a research and data collection project focused on the dumping of illegal waste and hazardous materials, including e-waste, and the involvement of organized crime.

In partnership with several research institutes, civil society organizations, and municipalities, UNICRI has launched a process for consultation at the international level on the involvement of organized crime in environmental crime, with a view to identify a set of recommendations for more effective policies and actions at the national, regional and international levels. To that end, the Institute, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), has organized an international conference in Italy on 29 and 30 October 2012 (see dedicated section).

UNICRI has implemented several international and regional applied-research projects related to the illegal trade and trafficking goods having an adverse impact on the environment, including e-waste, illicit pesticides and precious metals (see dedicated sections).

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Environmental Crimes – UNICRI

Economic and Social Effects of Crime – Growing Interest In …

Crime is a major part of every society. Its costs and effects touch just about everyone to some degree. The types of costs and effects are widely varied. In addition, some costs are short-term while others last a lifetime. Of course the ultimate cost is loss of life. Other costs to victims can include medical costs, property losses, and loss of income.

Losses to both victims and nonvictims can also come in the form of increased security expenses including stronger locks, extra lighting, parking in more expensive secure lots, security alarms for homes and cars, and maintaining guard dogs. Considerable money is spent to avoid being victimized. Other types of expenses can include a victim or person fearful of crime moving to a new neighborhood, funeral expenses, legal fees, and loss of school days.

Some costs of crime are less tangible (not easily or precisely identified). These kinds of costs can include pain and suffering, and a lower quality of life. There are also the traumatic impacts on friends and the disruption of family. Behavior can be forever changed and shaped by crime, whether it be weighing the risks of going to certain places or even the fear of making new friends.

Inmates led by a drill instructor at an Oregon correctional institution boot camp. About thirty states operate similar facilities, combining military-style workouts, strict discipline, and intensive substance abuse counseling. (AP/Wide World Photos)

Crime not only affects economic productivity when victims miss work, but communities also are affected through loss of tourism and retail sales. Even the so-called victimless crimes of prostitution, drug abuse, and gambling have major social consequences. Drug abuse affects worker productivity, uses public funds for drug treatment programs and medical attention, and leads to criminal activity to support the expenses of a drug habit.

Communities and governments spend public funds for police departments, prisons and jails, courts, and treatment programs, including the salaries of prosecutors, judges, public defenders, social workers, security guards, and probation officers. The amount of time spent by victims, offenders, their families, and juries during court trials also take away from community productivity. By the beginning of the twenty-first century it was estimated that the annual cost of crime in the United States was reaching upward toward $1.7 trillion.

Anderson, Elijah. Streetwise: Race, Class and Change in an Urban Community. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Beckett, Katherine. Making Crime Pay: Law and Order in Contemporary American Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Cook, Philip J., and Jens Ludwig. Gun Violence: The Real Costs. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Felson, Marcus. Crime and Everyday Life. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, 1998.

Gray, Charles M., ed. The Costs of Crime. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1979.

Madriz, Esther. Nothing Bad Happens to Good Girls: Fear of Crime in Women’s Lives. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997.

Skogan, Wesley G. Disorder and Decline: Crime and the Spiral of Decay in American Neighborhoods. New York: Free Press, 1990.

Welsh, Brandon C., David P. Farrington, and Lawrence W. Sherman, eds. Costs and Benefits of Preventing Crime. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2001.

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Economic and Social Effects of Crime – Growing Interest In …

Operators Join Forces With Law Enforcement, Driving Down ATM Crimes In New York City – Vending Times

NEW YORK CITY — By 2013, the Big Apple’s ATM operators were in crisis. According to industry sources, an estimated four to five automated teller machines fell victim to robberies once a week. That number would often jump to multiple robberies a day. As overall crime decreased to record lows in New York City, robberies of ATMs were incongruously soaring to new heights. Even for the city that never sleeps, this was a profoundly distressing pattern.

Jim Shrayef of Everything ATM (Brooklyn, NY) told Vending Times that the robberies took various forms. These included simply removing a freestanding ATM, using a handtruck, from a location during business hours, to well-coordinated efforts that saw machines yanked out of locations with a chain or rope. In several instances, the criminals attacked closed stores, breaking in with the specific purpose of robbing the ATM. Most disturbing, he said, were robberies of route personnel filling machines. Aside from the robberies, there was also a fair amount of vandalism taking place.

Shrayef operates equipment through Everything ATM, which also provides consulting services and support material to those entering the cash machine field. He found the stealing and crime situation particularly alarming. “These were not random attacks, and this was not stealing lunch money,” he said. “They were specialized criminals who saw ATMs as easy targets.”

Local police were initially less than responsive in the face of the crime wave, often only taking a report without a follow-up investigation. Sometimes suspicion would fall on the ATM operator or location owner. Part of the problem was the age-old view among law enforcement and the general public that ATM robberies, like those of vending machines, were so-called “victimless crimes.” As such, they were given low priority status.

The solution came when Shrayef began organizing independent operators to address the problem. Forming the Northeast Regional ATM Association, which unified ATM deployers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The concept behind the new association was not only to create a means of sharing information, but also to offer a way to lobby locally.

A first step for the new association was to educate ATM operators in best practices when it came to safety and security. This begins with identifying suspicious behavior and obtaining details of a robbery. The regional organization, which works osely with the much larger National ATM Council, also began lobbying the New York Police Department, eventually landing meetings with community affairs officers

Calling All Cars

Shrayef recalled that the initial meetings with the New York Police Department were often less than pleasant. “We thought it was going to be just a formality,” he said. “And some of the operators made angry comments to the officers. However, our complaints worked their way up to Police Commissioner William Bratton, and he lent an ear. He actually sent people out to do some fact finding.”

Bratton’s investigation discovered what equipment owners and operators had long suspected: ATM robberies were not random. Neither were they “inside jobs” committed by operators or storeowners. They were the work of organized criminal gangs operating throughout New York City’s five boroughs.

“Commissioner Bratton took the time to hear what we had to say,” Shrayef said. “And he understood how dangerous it was. He understood how our industry is necessary to neighborhoods underserved by banks.” In many New York neighborhoods, an ATM that goes out of service at the local grocery store can prove disruptive for the storeowner and the community at large. The ATM crime spree represented a quality of life issue.

A police taskforce was formed that soon led to arrests. Robbery incidents of ATMs began to drop quickly once the NYPD took action and allocated resources to the problem. “After some arrests were made, it was clear these were gangs that had knowledge of the industry,” Shrayef explained. “The criminals also realized the police were on to them, and they were taking a major risk by robbing ATMs. Within a year, there was a marked drop from the height of 2013, and within two years a major improvement.”

Present incidents of ATM robberies, as Shrayef reported, have dropped dramatically from the 2013 highs of several a week to one or two a month throughout the city. “Some months have been completely robbery free,” he added.

While Bratton may have left office in 2016, his successor, Commissioner James O’Neill, has kept up the proactive approach that has seen ATM robberies drop to new low levels that reflect the city’s historic low crime rate. And all it took was a group of dedicated operators who wanted their voices heard.

TEAMWORK CONTINUES: George Sarantopoulos (l.), chairman of the National ATM Council, Jim Shrayef (second from l.), president of the Northeast Regional ATM Association, and Danny Frank (r.), NRATMA’s executive director, meet with NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, who succeeded Bill Bratton last year.

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Operators Join Forces With Law Enforcement, Driving Down ATM Crimes In New York City – Vending Times

250000 of fake goods seized at Glen Park Market in Ingoldmells – Lincolnshire Today

Fake designer clothes and bogus perfume were among a staggering 250,000 counterfeit haul seized at Glen Park Market in Ingoldmells .

Amongst the items were: Adidas trainers, Superdry jackets, The North Face coats, Hermes bags, Chanel perfumes and watches.

The swoop was part of a joint operation between Lincolnshire Trading Standards, Lincolnshire Police, Immigration Enforcement, Brand Enforcement UK, Surelock, WRi, Adidas Group, REACT UK, IPMS, Cath Kidston and Deckers, alongside the market management .

Emma Milligan, principal trading standards officer at Lincolnshire County Council, said: By working together with the market management and the local neighbourhood policing teams to tackle these sellers, we are sending out a strong message that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

Lincolnshire Police Sergeant Kathryn Odlin said: This enforcement is a fantastic example of successful partnership working to investigate the counterfeit world.

The raids took place following intelligence from our partners and we hope it will remind people that fakes are illegal and will not be tolerated.

People often see selling knock-offs as a victimless crime, but buying fakes may help to line the pockets of criminals which can often fund more sinister crimes.

Graham Mogg from the Anti-Counterfeiting Group, added: The large scale availability of counterfeit goods at markets, as weve seen today, seriously undermines legitimate businesses and in turn impacts on the UKs ability to grow the economy through creativity and innovation.

A multi-agency collaborative approach is the only way that we can effectively undermine this criminal activity and to that end we are extremely grateful for the time, effort and professional approach by all the partners involved to tackle this problem.

Investigations are ongoing.

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250000 of fake goods seized at Glen Park Market in Ingoldmells – Lincolnshire Today

Postcode lottery for shops scared of theft | Express & Star – expressandstar.com

Fifty cases of shoplifting in the Dudley borough were reported to police in May, and that is compared to 24 in the Walsall borough.

In Sandwell there were 39 and in Wolverhampton 33. Meanwhile, in Solihull, there were just 18 offences. The figures, from a Freedom of Information Act request to West Midlands Police force, by the Lib Dems do not surprise traders in Dudley.

Mohammed Sagir, chairman of the Voice of Dudley Businesses, said about the new figures released: It is a subject which is raised increasingly by members. There are CCTV cameras all around Dudley, but too often we report crimes, get a reference number and then do not hear anything more, Mr Sagir added.

We want confidence that these people doing it are getting caught.

Mr Sagirs shop, which he wishes not to name, was targeted last month. A 500 Samsung S7 was taken during the incident. He said of how the offence was committed: They came in and they snatched the phone before getting in a get-away car.

I passed the CCTV on to the police, but havent heard anything since.

That was in January.

West Midlands Police did charge 561 in connection with shoplifting offences over the same month.

Sixty six others received a caution during the same period.

For those reported crimes where the value was reported to the police, 24 incidents were for 1 items. The highest value item stolen in a raid was 1,400.

Chief Superintendent Keith Fraser, force lead for business crime, said: Some people think of shoplifting as being a victimless crime but the impact it has on everyone should not be underestimated. In addition to the actual cost, these offences can have a detrimental and long-lasting impact on staff who work in shops and stores, the economy and also communities.

We are involved in a number of initiatives to target shoplifters in the West Midlands, including retail radio schemes which link officers with shopkeepers, shop security marking goods with invisible ink to help trace stolen goods and a robust offender management programme. We also put those found guilty through the courts.

We continue to work with the local business community and the Police and Crime Commissioner as part of a business crime partnership. This follows a force-wide consultation which has recently taken place to get views and opinions from the local business community.

The partnership gives us a strong voice. We take this crime seriously and will work with businesses and others to prevent and detect offences.

Earlier this year, a prolific thief, Gavin Garratt, who is 29, was jailed for 18 months after going on a shoplifting spree in Dudley town centre. He struck nine times in two months all in stores from which he had been outlawed taking food, cosmetics and even pens to feed his drug habit.

It started on January 5 and continued until his arrest on March 1 a period of almost two months.

CCTV was used to prosecute the criminal by the authorities.

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Postcode lottery for shops scared of theft | Express & Star – expressandstar.com

Operators Join Forces With Law Enforcement, Driving Down ATM Crimes In New York City – Vending Times

NEW YORK CITY — By 2013, the Big Apple’s ATM operators were in crisis. According to industry sources, an estimated four to five automated teller machines fell victim to robberies once a week. That number would often jump to multiple robberies a day. As overall crime decreased to record lows in New York City, robberies of ATMs were incongruously soaring to new heights. Even for the city that never sleeps, this was a profoundly distressing pattern.

Jim Shrayef of Everything ATM (Brooklyn, NY) told Vending Times that the robberies took various forms. These included simply removing a freestanding ATM, using a handtruck, from a location during business hours, to well-coordinated efforts that saw machines yanked out of locations with a chain or rope. In several instances, the criminals attacked closed stores, breaking in with the specific purpose of robbing the ATM. Most disturbing, he said, were robberies of route personnel filling machines. Aside from the robberies, there was also a fair amount of vandalism taking place.

Shrayef operates equipment through Everything ATM, which also provides consulting services and support material to those entering the cash machine field. He found the stealing and crime situation particularly alarming. “These were not random attacks, and this was not stealing lunch money,” he said. “They were specialized criminals who saw ATMs as easy targets.”

Local police were initially less than responsive in the face of the crime wave, often only taking a report without a follow-up investigation. Sometimes suspicion would fall on the ATM operator or location owner. Part of the problem was the age-old view among law enforcement and the general public that ATM robberies, like those of vending machines, were so-called “victimless crimes.” As such, they were given low priority status.

The solution came when Shrayef began organizing independent operators to address the problem. Forming the Northeast Regional ATM Association, which unified ATM deployers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The concept behind the new association was not only to create a means of sharing information, but also to offer a way to lobby locally.

A first step for the new association was to educate ATM operators in best practices when it came to safety and security. This begins with identifying suspicious behavior and obtaining details of a robbery. The regional organization, which works osely with the much larger National ATM Council, also began lobbying the New York Police Department, eventually landing meetings with community affairs officers

Calling All Cars

Shrayef recalled that the initial meetings with the New York Police Department were often less than pleasant. “We thought it was going to be just a formality,” he said. “And some of the operators made angry comments to the officers. However, our complaints worked their way up to Police Commissioner William Bratton, and he lent an ear. He actually sent people out to do some fact finding.”

Bratton’s investigation discovered what equipment owners and operators had long suspected: ATM robberies were not random. Neither were they “inside jobs” committed by operators or storeowners. They were the work of organized criminal gangs operating throughout New York City’s five boroughs.

“Commissioner Bratton took the time to hear what we had to say,” Shrayef said. “And he understood how dangerous it was. He understood how our industry is necessary to neighborhoods underserved by banks.” In many New York neighborhoods, an ATM that goes out of service at the local grocery store can prove disruptive for the storeowner and the community at large. The ATM crime spree represented a quality of life issue.

A police taskforce was formed that soon led to arrests. Robbery incidents of ATMs began to drop quickly once the NYPD took action and allocated resources to the problem. “After some arrests were made, it was clear these were gangs that had knowledge of the industry,” Shrayef explained. “The criminals also realized the police were on to them, and they were taking a major risk by robbing ATMs. Within a year, there was a marked drop from the height of 2013, and within two years a major improvement.”

Present incidents of ATM robberies, as Shrayef reported, have dropped dramatically from the 2013 highs of several a week to one or two a month throughout the city. “Some months have been completely robbery free,” he added.

While Bratton may have left office in 2016, his successor, Commissioner James O’Neill, has kept up the proactive approach that has seen ATM robberies drop to new low levels that reflect the city’s historic low crime rate. And all it took was a group of dedicated operators who wanted their voices heard.

TEAMWORK CONTINUES: George Sarantopoulos (l.), chairman of the National ATM Council, Jim Shrayef (second from l.), president of the Northeast Regional ATM Association, and Danny Frank (r.), NRATMA’s executive director, meet with NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, who succeeded Bill Bratton last year.

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Operators Join Forces With Law Enforcement, Driving Down ATM Crimes In New York City – Vending Times

Economic and Social Effects of Crime – Growing Interest In …

Crime is a major part of every society. Its costs and effects touch just about everyone to some degree. The types of costs and effects are widely varied. In addition, some costs are short-term while others last a lifetime. Of course the ultimate cost is loss of life. Other costs to victims can include medical costs, property losses, and loss of income.

Losses to both victims and nonvictims can also come in the form of increased security expenses including stronger locks, extra lighting, parking in more expensive secure lots, security alarms for homes and cars, and maintaining guard dogs. Considerable money is spent to avoid being victimized. Other types of expenses can include a victim or person fearful of crime moving to a new neighborhood, funeral expenses, legal fees, and loss of school days.

Some costs of crime are less tangible (not easily or precisely identified). These kinds of costs can include pain and suffering, and a lower quality of life. There are also the traumatic impacts on friends and the disruption of family. Behavior can be forever changed and shaped by crime, whether it be weighing the risks of going to certain places or even the fear of making new friends.

Inmates led by a drill instructor at an Oregon correctional institution boot camp. About thirty states operate similar facilities, combining military-style workouts, strict discipline, and intensive substance abuse counseling. (AP/Wide World Photos)

Crime not only affects economic productivity when victims miss work, but communities also are affected through loss of tourism and retail sales. Even the so-called victimless crimes of prostitution, drug abuse, and gambling have major social consequences. Drug abuse affects worker productivity, uses public funds for drug treatment programs and medical attention, and leads to criminal activity to support the expenses of a drug habit.

Communities and governments spend public funds for police departments, prisons and jails, courts, and treatment programs, including the salaries of prosecutors, judges, public defenders, social workers, security guards, and probation officers. The amount of time spent by victims, offenders, their families, and juries during court trials also take away from community productivity. By the beginning of the twenty-first century it was estimated that the annual cost of crime in the United States was reaching upward toward $1.7 trillion.

Anderson, Elijah. Streetwise: Race, Class and Change in an Urban Community. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

Beckett, Katherine. Making Crime Pay: Law and Order in Contemporary American Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Cook, Philip J., and Jens Ludwig. Gun Violence: The Real Costs. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Felson, Marcus. Crime and Everyday Life. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press, 1998.

Gray, Charles M., ed. The Costs of Crime. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1979.

Madriz, Esther. Nothing Bad Happens to Good Girls: Fear of Crime in Women’s Lives. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997.

Skogan, Wesley G. Disorder and Decline: Crime and the Spiral of Decay in American Neighborhoods. New York: Free Press, 1990.

Welsh, Brandon C., David P. Farrington, and Lawrence W. Sherman, eds. Costs and Benefits of Preventing Crime. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2001.

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Economic and Social Effects of Crime – Growing Interest In …

PHOTOS: Help Surrey RCMP ID suspect in attempted bank robbery … – Surrey Now-Leader

A photo of the suspect. (Photo: Surrey RCMP)

GUILDFORD Surrey RCMP hope the public can help them identify a suspect in an attempted bank robbery.

Police say on May 5 shortly after 11 a.m., a man entered a bank in Guildford, in the 10400-block of 152nd Street.

According to police, the man handed a teller a note demanding cash but for some unknown reason quickly left the bank empty handed.

The suspect is described as a Caucasian man in his late 20s, 160 pounds, five feet four inches tall, with blond hair.

At the time, the suspect was wearing black pants, clog-style plastic shoes, a reflective vest, a zip up fleece jacket, and a white and black Nike baseball cap.

Police say the suspect also has a tattoo on the left side of his neck, and on his wrists and fingers.

Surrey RCMPs Robbery Unit is leading this investigation.

If you recognize this man, call your local police right away, said Corporal Scotty Schumann. Bank robberies are not victimless crimes, as, staff can be traumatized by these events.

Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.

If they wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or solvecrime.ca.

A photo of the suspect. (Photo: Surrey RCMP)

A photo shows the suspects tattoo. (Photo: Surrey RCMP)

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PHOTOS: Help Surrey RCMP ID suspect in attempted bank robbery … – Surrey Now-Leader

Murder, rape, assault, vehicle theft rates up in Colorado | FOX31 … – FOX31 Denver

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DENVER — Colorado’s crime rate went up 5.5 percent in one year, according to a report released Tuesday by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

The 2016 Crime in Colorado Reportshows the number of major crimes that were reported, includinghomicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, other (simple) assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft.

There were increases in every category, with notable upticks in the number of homicides, rapes and aggravated assaults.

The category that saw the biggest increase wasmotor vehicle theft, which went up 22 percent in one year.

(Colorado Bureau of Investigation)

As the overall crime rate went up 5.5 percent, the number of arrests went up 0.4 percent. With 203,765 major crimes reported, there were56,430 arrests.

There were 155 arrests made for homicides compared to 189 reports.

For rape, assault and auto theft, the number of arrests is significantly lower than the number of incidents reported, according to the report.

In 2016, there were 480 rape arrests compared to 3,512 reports; there were23,504 assault arrests compared to 46,833 reports; and there were 2,705 auto theft arrests compared to 19,430 reports.

Police say an increase in vehicle thefts helps fuel other crimes. Most of the vehicle thefts — 4,784 — happened in Denver, followed by Colorado Springs (2,062), Aurora (1,538), Pueblo (1,169) and Lakewood (1,010).

“So often we think of auto theft as kids out joyriding, a victimless crime. We are seeing all these serious violent crimes involved with auto theft,” said Carole Walker with Coloradans Against Auto Theft.

“So as we are seeing an increase in drug trafficking, opioid use, gun involvement.”

She said eventually motor vehicle theft drives up costs for everyone.

“It’s contributing to what we pay for car insurance. It really is something we want to engage the public on,” Walker said. “We want them to see these numbers and do everything they can to not make selves an easy target.”

On Nov. 19, Kole Silz said surveillance video captured a thief stealing his customized F-250 from underneath his nose at work in Wheat Ridge.

“I couldn’t really believe it, until I looked at the cameras,” he said.

Silz, who ended up finding his truck on his own a month later, now has it alarmed to the hilt.

“Once the truck is armed, if you touch it, it sets the alarm off,” he said.

The thief had spray-painted over a blue stripe on the truck to disguise it and put about 1,000 miles on it in one month.

“They could have been running drugs or maybe using my truck to steal another truck with a trailer. I definitely think it was not for driving around,” he said.

Walker said people can avoid being a victim by doing common sense things, including locking vehicles, not letting it run when it’s vacant not leaving a spare key in it and parking it in well-lit, well-traveled areas.

The 2016 Crime in Colorado report includes statewide crime statistics reported by 244 law enforcement agencies across the state.

The report provides statistics on major crime trends, but the CBI does notoffer analysis as to the reasons for changes in the crime rates.

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Murder, rape, assault, vehicle theft rates up in Colorado | FOX31 … – FOX31 Denver

NB man charged in sex trafficking sting – ECM Post Review

Chad James Eckel

A North Branch man was among a group of people charged as a result of two-day sex trafficking sting conducted by the Anoka County Sheriffs Office last month. Chad James Eckel, 31, made his first court appearance on the charge June 30. His bail was set at $5,000 with conditions or $50,000 with no conditions. According to the Anoka County Sheriffs Office website, Eckel was released July 1 after posting bail. Chisago County Attorney Janet Reiter said one of the conditions of his release was that he have no contact with anyone under 18 years of age. His next court appearance is July 24. According to a press release from the Anoka County Attorneys Office, a total of 19 people were arrested in the sting, and the office has levied charges against 11 of them. Six more cases are under review by the office, and charges are likely. The defendants were arrested after soliciting sex acts from undercover officers who were posing as children. Each defendant is charged with one felony count of electronic solicitation of a child (engage in sexual communication). Earlier this week, law enforcement from multiple agencies executed a well-organized initiative targeting those with desires to prey upon the youth of our community, said Paul Young, chief of the Anoka County Attorneys Office Criminal Division. Simply stated, this will not be tolerated. Kudos to all of the law enforcement experience and labor channeled for this investigation. While this investigation and these crimes did not involve any real children, we know these are not victimless crimes. This type of crime predatory conduct in search of exploiting children has no geographic boundary and impacts our whole community.

Criminal sexual conduct charge Eckel was charged in Chisago and Hennepin counties with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony, in October 2015 related to an incident where he allegedly touched a girl under the age of 13 an act that included sexual penetration. However, prosecution has not moved forward on those charges. In December 2016, counsel for the defendant made a motion in the Chisago County matter to examine the defendants competency to stand trial, Reiter said. The defendant was found incompetent to stand trial in both the Hennepin County and Chisago County matters earlier this year. By rule, the prosecution of these matters is suspended. Prosecution may be reinitiated with a new evaluation of his competency. The Anoka County charge could lead to a reassessment of Eckels competency to stand trial. With the new charges in Anoka County, there will likely be additional reviews of the Mr. Eckels mental and cognitive status, Reiter said.

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NB man charged in sex trafficking sting – ECM Post Review

Once a drug user in Japan, always an outcast – The Japan Times

Since being arrested for possession of stimulant drugs on June 2, it is assumed that 30-year-old actor Ryo Hashizumes career is over. As Mark Schilling wrote in the June 15 Japan Times, Hashizumes latest film, in which he played a supporting role, was pulled from theaters. It reopened June 17, but with Hashizumes scenes deleted. For all intents and purposes, he had become a nonperson in show business.

And I mean that literally. Owing to the way drug busts are covered in the media, anyone even accused of using illegal substances is presented as not just a criminal, but something subhuman. This idea was established in the 1980s with an anti-drug public service announcement that used the slogan, Ningen yamemasu ka?, meaning, Will you stop being a person? By taking drugs, that is.

Media critic Chiki Ogiue mentioned the campaign on his Session-22 radio show back in January.

But do you stop being a person when you have cancer? he asked rhetorically, emphasizing that drug addiction should be treated as a disease rather than as a mortal sin. The stigma is built into the vocabulary used to talk about people with drug habits. Invariably, those who have kicked their habits through whatever means have been corrected (ksei), a word that stresses incarceration, whereas Ogiue thinks a better verb is recover (kaifuku), as if from an illness.

But ksei represents the reality in that drug convictions lead to time in prison rather than time in hospitals, and prisons arent designed to cure addicts of their dependencies. The radio show and other sources mention that in Japan, more than 60 percent of those who do time for drug crimes end up being rearrested for drug crimes after they get out of jail.

The public thinks drug users deserve hard punishment because drug use is seen as a lapse in moral rectitude that can have a bad effect on the community. Ogiue thinks the opposite is actually the case; that downplaying a drugs health-abating properties can make the drug attractive to certain people.

For these reasons, Ogiue, working with experts, former addicts and listeners of his program, came up with guidelines for the media when covering drug-related stories, since such coverage will affect addicts in treatment programs and their supporters, including families. The media should always stress that drug use is an illness requiring treatment rather than a crime that needs to be punished. It should incorporate coverage of people who give and receive such treatment, including recovering addicts. It should also show links between drugs and social problems, such as poverty and abuse, whenever applicable.

More significantly, the guidelines tell reporters what to avoid, including images of white powder and syringes, comments that express disappointment in the accused as either a person or a professional, extreme coverage using helicopters or hidden cameras, suspicion of drug use as the basis for a scoop and creating beautiful stories out of anecdotes of drug recovery with the help of loved ones.

For these efforts, Ogiues show received The Galaxy Grand Prix Award for excellence in broadcasting, though, given the usual overblown tone of the Hashizume coverage, those efforts dont seem to have had the desired effect yet.

In fact, the authorities seem to be moving in a progressive direction faster than the media is. On another radio show, Bunka Hosos (Nippon Cultural Broadcasting) June 13 edition of Golden Radio, writer Maki Fukasawa reviewed Ogiues guidelines and talked about how the government was now considering switching the impetus of drug sentencing from punishment to treatment in line with other countries approaches. Recently, Japans judicial system has expanded its use of suspended sentences for certain crimes. In the case of drug offenses, convicted persons spend part of their sentence in prison and part in a recovery program. The main purpose of the new law is to prevent repeat offenses, and as Fukasawa points out, the program will also need to ensure that ex-offenders can secure jobs once they are back out in the world, since unemployment is a strong incentive for falling back into a drug habit.

That includes show-business people. Fukasawa used the example of Robert Downey Jr., who was a serious drug addict at one point and even did jail time for his habit. He eventually got sober and is now one of the highest paid actors in the world, but as Fukasawa said, that couldnt happen in Japan because the media would never allow the public to forget about his drug use.

What Fukasawa didnt mention is that while Downeys career has been rehabilitated in the U.S., he is still persona non grata in Japan. Some years ago when he came here to promote one of his Iron Man movies, immigration officers detained him for six hours because of his felony drug conviction. Eventually, he was allowed in, but hes never been back since.

Drug convictions leave an indelible mark, and while the Japanese media perpetuates the stigma due to its proclivity for sensationalism, its the law and the rationale behind the law that creates the stigma in the first place. In his quest to change media behavior, Ogiue makes the age-old argument that personal drug use does not directly harm anyone else, but he doesnt go so far as to say that drug possession is a victimless crime. The victim is the user and, by extension, his or her family.

Given the examples he used, Ogiue was obviously talking about methamphetamines, but he doesnt distinguish between stimulant drugs and other kinds, because the police dont either. (There are different laws for stimulants and for narcotics, but no appreciable difference in how theyre prosecuted.)

Marijuana users in Japan are also branded as criminals, but can they also be described as being ill? In many countries now, pot itself is used to treat certain medical conditions. The demonization of drug users is a function of the demonization of recreational drugs, regardless of whether or not they lead to addiction.

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Once a drug user in Japan, always an outcast – The Japan Times

Calgary police ask for help in identifying potential victims of sexual … – CBC.ca

Calgary police say they’ve apprehended 11 youth who were being sexually exploited so far this year and helped another 11 adults exit the sex trade.

The statistics for the first half of 2017 are not up significantly from the same time last year, but Staff Sgt. Jason Walker said the numbers only scratch the surface of what’s actually going on in the city.

“These activities are beyond under-reported. They are, by their very nature, intentionally suppressed and hidden,” Walker said Wednesday in a release.

“Victims are often reluctant to self-identify or seek helpand, in some cases, research indicates that many cannot self-identify, as they are vulnerable and limited in their capacity to recognize that they are in fact being trafficked and sexually exploited to begin with.”

He said human trafficking and sexual exploitation remainhigh priorities for the Calgary Police Service (CPS).

In the summer, especially,with more people outdoors and in public places, police are nowasking the public for assistance in “recognizing potential signs” of victims being exploited.

Police said victims often don’t speak English, are kept isolated or guarded when in public and may be coached by others when they are responding to questions.

Victims may also be unaware of what city they are in and be scared to seek help because they fear it will bring harm to themselves or their families. They may even try to protect their traffickers from being detected, as they develop loyalties toward them as a coping mechanism.

“The illicit elements of the sex trade are not victimless crimes,” Walker said.

Traffickers cannot claim ignorance of an exploited victim’s age to avoid being charged with child sexual exploitation, he added.

For adults looking to exit the sex trade, theCPS Prostitution Exit Initiativeoffers immediate help and is available by calling 403-428-8585.

Anyone with information about human trafficking activity is asked to call police at 403-266-1234.

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Calgary police ask for help in identifying potential victims of sexual … – CBC.ca

"These Deaths Are Preventable:" Grieving Families Join Together To … – Townhall

Washington, D.C. -Illegal immigrant crime is facing new opposition with the launch of the Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime (AVIAC).

The group was founded by Mary Ann Mendoza and Don Rosenberg, who both lost their children to illegal immigrant felons. The founders are joined by more Americans whose children and loved ones have been killed by illegal immigrants. AVIAC aims to be a resource for victims of illegal alien crimes, such as assault and battery, identity theft and rape; the organization also seeks to serve families of these victims.

Representative Steve King (R-IA) is one of the organizations strongest advocates, promising to push legislation such as Sarah’s Lawand KatesLaw. Rep. King is a proponent of strong immigration policy and was the keynote speaker at AVIACs launch event. He cited a heavy amnesty time period under President Ronald Reagan:

In 1986, Ronald Reagan was honest. He called his legislation amnesty. Now, they just call it comprehensive immigration reform. We know it means amnesty…I thought he would veto it [amnesty] because I thought he understood that we have to uphold the rule of law.

Were on the cusp of restoring the rule of law, he said on the new administration.

Rep. King rightfully pointed out the sad truth that is often untold about illegal immigrant crimes: that each and every one is avoidable.

Every one of those lives that have been snuffed out by someone who is unlawfully in America, illegal aliens, is a preventable death, he said.

Rep. King brought up that although illegal immigrants commit more crimes than American citizens, the most crucial offense is executed on arrival by illegal immigrants. Coming to America illegally is a federal crime. He criticized Democrats for overlooking the immigration problem, and using it for political capital.

Hillary Clinton would fast track citizenship to anyone who would vote as a Democrat, King said.

Attendees of the event had the opportunity to hear from the families who lost their children and loved ones at the hand of illegal immigration. The group gathered from across the country, from California to Massachusetts, in support of the same cause, and with losing loved ones in common.

Michelle Root, who lost her daughter Sarah, who is the namesake of Sarahs Law, spoke to the support aspect of AVIAC:

When my daughter Sarah was killed last year, I wish I had an organization like this to turn to…AVIAC is important to me and the rest of the families standing here today, and many Americans…because we share the same grief. All of our loved ones would still be here today if it werent for the person who was here illegally.

We stand here today to speak truth, standing up for loved ones we lost, for other victims who have been silenced and for future generations of Americans who deserve to be safe and secure, she added.

The rest of the families shared their stories and passion for taking action on illegal immigration. The unique variety of tragic stories and diversity of the group proved that everyone is affected by illegal alien crime; and illegal immigration is not a victimless crime.

Watch the launch video for Advocates for Victims of Illegal Alien Crime here:

Kate’s Law Passes House

Excerpt from:

"These Deaths Are Preventable:" Grieving Families Join Together To … – Townhall

Alleged leader of Austin gambling operation faces up to life in prison … – KXAN.com

Related Coverage

AUSTIN (KXAN) A three-month long surveillance operation of a 53-year-old man suspected of running an illegal gambling ring in the Austin area culminated in his arrest by SWAT officers in Hutto on Monday.

The Austin Police Departments Human Trafficking/Vice Unit began their surveillance of Chong Pak in late January 2017 and, after several search warrants at various game rooms and the cooperation of people involved, detectives were able to identify Pak as the alleged owner of the operation.

On Monday, APD and Williamson County SWAT teams searched Paks home in the 1200 block of Augusta Bend in Hutto. Detectives say they found several documents linking Pak to illegal gaming operations.

They seized $724,736 in cash, believed to be income from the game rooms, three vehicles worth $94,550 and around $7,500 in gold and silver ingots, similar to gold bars.

Pak has been charged with first-degree felony money laundering and a state jail felony for engaging in organized crime. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Troy Officer, commander of the APD Organized Crime Unit, says there are about 80 illegal game rooms operating in Austin. Just one small game room can make at least $1.2 million a year, he said.

Anyone who says these game rooms are a victimless crime and people are willingly taking part in this, have no idea what the ultimate pocket is for the illegal activity, Cmdr. Officer said, estimating the hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash confiscated from Paks home is just a drop in the bucket.

The commander says game rooms are a breeding ground for robberies and violent crimes, and he wants to put their operators on notice. We may not get you today. We may not get you tomorrow, but we will get you, we will put you in jail, and we will come after your money and take what you covet most about doing these operations: your illegal games.

Cmdr. Officer says the money could be used for anything from financing drugs to terrorism. He says Paks game rooms were strictly running 8-liner machines, which are video slot machines.

The police department saying illegal gaming operations are bringing in millions of dollars every month citywide. Cmdr. Officer says theyve arrested around nine suspects related to Paks operation leading up to the arrest of the alleged ringleader himself. Investigators believe he owns six to eight game rooms and leases the machines for many of the other game rooms in the city, located in warehouses, homes or storefronts.

Police still consider this to be an active investigation and, with the help of the Internal Revenue Service, they expect to issue additional search and arrest warrants.

Heather Crawford lives two doors down from Paks home in Hutto. Its real quiet, everyone kinda keeps to themselves but everyone is real friendly with each other, Crawford said.

That quiet turned to a bit of chaos Monday morning for her and her family.

We heard another explosion and it shook the house and we thought, Oh my goodness whats going on? So my husband came outside to the front porch and he saw the police, he saw guns drawn. It was scary. Crawford said.

When the family found out hours later what the raid was for, Crawfords gut feeling kicked in.

Weve always kind of been suspicious of maybe illegal activities going on in the house, she said. There were always a lot of cars parked in the area and a lot of cars coming and going.

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Alleged leader of Austin gambling operation faces up to life in prison … – KXAN.com

Benefits cheat who swindled more than 6,000 by claiming she … – The Sun

Rhona Vessey, 50, claimed she ‘could only walk 20 metres without getting out of breath’

A BENEFITS cheat who swindled more than 6,000 by claiming she could barely walk was caught out after appearing with a marching band.

Rhona Vessey, 50, said her physical impairments meant she could only walk 20 metres without getting out of breath and could not carry a shopping bag.

SWNS:South West News Service

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But after receiving a tip-off, investigators carried out undercover surveillance and saw Vessey marching as a drummer with the band on three separate occasions.

She had fraudulently claimed for6,251.04 in disability benefits between October 3, 2014 and October 26, 2015.

Vessey, of Little Eaton, Derbys, admitted one count of fraud and was handed a ten-week community order at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates Court yesterday.

District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: This is not a victimless crime because there is no bottomless pit of money that people can fraudulently claim from.

You claimed benefits you were not entitled to and the reality is that society and the courts take a serious view on crimes like this.

You made the claim and then participated in marching activities with others.

SWNS:South West News Service

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Prosecutor Lynn Bickley said: We say this was a claim that was dishonest from the outset.

She made the claim saying she was virtually unable to walk, needed attention to her leg three times during the day and prolonged attention during the night.

In her claim she said she could only walk between 20 and 50 metres without getting out of breath.

She said often she could not go outside her front door, or go to shops and supermarkets on her own.

She said she could often not use shopping bags and felt anxious if people looked at her when she was outside.

But information was received that she was a member of a marching band and regularly took part in lengthy and complex marching routines.

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Miss Bickley said investigators for the Department for Work and Pensions went to investigate Vessey and used secret cameras to catch her playing in the Derby Midshipmen Band.

She said: The result of the surveillance was that on three occasions she was observed marching in the band with a drum strapped to her shoulder and there were no limitations on her mobility.

Judge Taaffe ordered that she pay 85 costs, an 85 victim surcharge and handed her a ten-week curfew, confining her to her address between 7pm and 7am each day.

Peter Jones, defending, said Vessey had lost her husband relatively recently and is currently jointly claiming employment support allowance with her new partner.

He said: This is a lady that feels great shame that she before the court.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at tips@the-sun.co.uk or call 0207 782 4368

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Benefits cheat who swindled more than 6,000 by claiming she … – The Sun

Benefits cheat who said she was ‘virtually unable to walk’ was drummer in marching band – Derby Telegraph

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A benefits cheat rom Derby who said she “was virtually unable to walk” was caught out – when it was discovered she was a drummer in a marching band.

Rhona Vessey told the Department of Work and Pensions “could only walk 20 metres without getting out of breath” and “felt anxious if people looked at her” when she was out.

The 50-year-old, of Little Eaton, also said she often “could not carry a shopping bag” because of her physical impairments.

But, following a tip-off from a member of the public, investigators carried out undercover surveillance on Vessey and on three occasions watched as she banged a drum with the marching band.

Handing her a 10-week community order, District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “This is not a victimless crime because there is no bottomless pit of money that people can fraudulently claim from.

“You claimed benefits you were not entitled to and the reality is that society and the courts take a serious view on crimes like this.

“You made the claim and then participated in marching activities with others.”

Lynn Bickley, prosecuting at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court said Vessey submitted a benefits claim on October 3, 2014 and continued receiving money, which totalled 6,251.04, until October 26 the following year.

Our reporter with the case details:

She said: “We says this was a claim that was dishonest from the outset.

“She made the claim saying she was virtually unable to walk, needed attention to her leg three times during the day and prolonged attention during the night.

“In her claim she said she could only walk between 20 and 50 metres without getting out of breath.

“She said often she could not go outside her front door, or go to shops and supermarkets on her own.

“She said she could often not use shopping bags and felt anxious if people looked at her when she was outside.

“But information was received that she was a member of a marching band and regularly took part in lengthy and complex marching routines.”

Miss Bickley said investigators for the DWP went to spy on Vessey, of Church Lane, to see if the allegations were founded.

She said: “The result of the surveillance was that on three occasions she was observed marching in the band with a drum strapped to her shoulder and there were no limitations on her mobility.”

Vessey was interviewed and claimed her claim was genuine and that her condition was getting worse.

But she later pleaded guilty to one count of fraud and the court was told she is currently paying back the money she illegally claimed.

Judge Taaffe ordered that she pay 85 costs, an 85 victim surcharge and handed her a 10 week curfew, confining her to her address between 7pm and 7am each day.

Peter Jones, for Vessey, said his client had lost her husband “relatively recently” and is currently jointly claiming employment support allowance with her new partner.

He said: “This is a lady that feels great shame that she before the court.”

He said she understood that it was wrong for her to not reveal she was playing in a marching band.

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Benefits cheat who said she was ‘virtually unable to walk’ was drummer in marching band – Derby Telegraph

Congress Proposes Outlawing Drugs Before Knowing What They Are – Observer

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein recentlyintroduced the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues (SITSA) Act of 2017. This act would create a Schedule A classification, banning importing new synthetic drugs deemed substantially similar to existing illegal drugs before testing their safety. If passed, the SITSA Act will be another step down the unfruitful path of prohibition.

Prohibiting a drug causes more problems than it solves. When a substance is banned, people can no longer rely on the government to enforce contracts for the sale and transport of the substance. This means that the only way to protect property and selling rights is through violence. Drugs dont cause violent crimeprohibition does.

Two years after Colorado legalized marijuana, the stateexperienced a 12.8 percent decrease in homicide rates. Colorado prosecutors charged 11,000 people with marijuana-related crimes in 2011 and charged only 2,100 people for marijuana crimes from January to October of 2015. It seems obvious that the number of charges would decrease when the drug became legal. What is less obvious, though, is the time, energy, and money saved when police arent wasting time on victimless crimes.

Prohibition often makes drugs stronger and more dangerous. In 1971, just before President Richard Nixon started the official War on Drugs, overdose deaths rates in the United States were slightly above one in 100,000. By 2008, this number jumped to 12 in 100,000.

If possession of a substance is a federal crime, many dealers and users cease using the drug in low concentrations. The more potent the drug, the more worthwhile the risk, versus potential profit. This is why we saw aspike in hard alcohol consumption during prohibition while beer and wine consumption dropped significantlyand why all these consumption rates returned to normal after the 21st Amendment was ratified. The War on Drugs makes drugs deadlier.

The SITSA Act is an attempt by Congress to ban substances before the government can even identify them. Substances could be banned for a predicted physiological effect on the human body. Grassley and Feinstein want to restrict drugs that they think might have an adverse effect on human health with no substantiated evidence.

The governments role is not that of an overprotective babysitter or frightened parent. Americans should be able to decide for themselves what substances to use if no federal testing has found them to be harmful.

This is reminiscent of the hilariously frightening pass it to see whats in it Obamacare debacle. Government officials want the power to ban substances without even knowing what they are. Dont worry, though, the government will figure out how harmful the drug is after its off-limits for an indefinite amount of time. Federal regulation has stopped U.S. scientists from researching medical uses for marijuana, MDMA, LSD and other illicit substances. Prematurely banning the transport of new drugs will keep them unavailable for private medical testing.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the man who just asked Congress to let him prosecute medical marijuana companies, claims the U.S. is in the throes of a historic epidemic of drug use. He predicts more violent crime and a huge public safety risk if medical marijuana operations arent shut down. Sessions doesnt understand that the danger, violence, and public health crises caused by drugs is not in their use but in their prohibition.

Portugal faced a similar situation in the late 1980s. At first, the country tried a rigorous conservative approach to drug use including social vilification and harsh legal penalties. It didnt work. By 1999, almost one percent of the population was addicted to heroin.

In 2001, the country decided to tackle the problem in a different way. Portugal decriminalized all drugs and focused on harm reduction measures. Since then, drug-induced deaths, AIDS diagnoses, and overall drug use have fallen significantly.

The U.S. government is actively harming its citizens with its predatory drug policy. The SITSA Act insults Americans, implying that the government knows what we should and shouldnt put into our bodies without any research to back up its claims. To curb the drug problems in America, we need to realize that prohibition invariably makes things worse.

Dylan Moore is currently a Young Voices Advocate.

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Congress Proposes Outlawing Drugs Before Knowing What They Are – Observer


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