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New Orleans City Council looking to throw out thousands of outstanding warrants – WDSU New Orleans

The New Orleans City Council is looking at throwing out a majority of the city's 56,000 outstanding municipal and traffic court warrants. Some of those warrants date back to 2002. Others say those people still need to face the consequences of their actions. "They're still locking me up behind the same tickets that are 30-something years old," said Anthony Lee. "And I'm still suffering behind it."Lee said he'd repeatedly been to jail for the same tickets. He said he hopes to see some relief soon. Councilman Jason Williams is proposing a resolution to wipe out thousands of arrest warrants and wave the accumulated court fines and fees. "Poor residents committing victimless crimes out of desperation and poverty are too often trapped in a hopeless cycle of outstanding fines, fees and resulting warrants that ultimately drain all of our taxpayer resources," Williams said. The resolution would apply to low-level, nonviolent offenses often associated with homelessness and poverty. The group "Stand With Dignity" says these offenses account for a majority of the 56,000 warrants for municipal and traffic offenses. "These issues are not criminal," said Councilman Jay Banks. "Economic poverty should not be a crime. Somebody that hasn't done anything that will affect anybody's life other than theirs and their family, they should not be called criminal."Rafael Goyeneche, the director of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, said there have to be consequences. Goyeneche said there are many layers to this issue and, while it may look good politically, it is doing a disservice to public service and safety. The City Council Criminal Justice Committee gave its full support to the resolution.

The New Orleans City Council is looking at throwing out a majority of the city's 56,000 outstanding municipal and traffic court warrants.

Some of those warrants date back to 2002.

Others say those people still need to face the consequences of their actions.

"They're still locking me up behind the same tickets that are 30-something years old," said Anthony Lee. "And I'm still suffering behind it."

Lee said he'd repeatedly been to jail for the same tickets. He said he hopes to see some relief soon.

Councilman Jason Williams is proposing a resolution to wipe out thousands of arrest warrants and wave the accumulated court fines and fees.

"Poor residents committing victimless crimes out of desperation and poverty are too often trapped in a hopeless cycle of outstanding fines, fees and resulting warrants that ultimately drain all of our taxpayer resources," Williams said.

The resolution would apply to low-level, nonviolent offenses often associated with homelessness and poverty.

The group "Stand With Dignity" says these offenses account for a majority of the 56,000 warrants for municipal and traffic offenses.

"These issues are not criminal," said Councilman Jay Banks. "Economic poverty should not be a crime. Somebody that hasn't done anything that will affect anybody's life other than theirs and their family, they should not be called criminal."

Rafael Goyeneche, the director of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, said there have to be consequences.

Goyeneche said there are many layers to this issue and, while it may look good politically, it is doing a disservice to public service and safety.

The City Council Criminal Justice Committee gave its full support to the resolution.

See the rest here:

New Orleans City Council looking to throw out thousands of outstanding warrants - WDSU New Orleans

Victorians less likely to be victims of crime today than in last 15 years – The Age

Chief statistican Fiona Dowsley said it was "certainly not" the case that the overall crime rate had risen in the past 12 months, although she pointed to a sharp increase in the number of family violence incidents recorded.

Family-related crimes increased by 8.6 per cent in the past 12 months to 82,652 incidents.

The rate of family violence also increased, by 6.4 per cent, reaching 1253.1 incidents per 100,000 people.

The agency, which uses Victoria Police data, said the state had recorded the highest number of unique alleged offenders or 84,989 individuals in the 12 months to June, which equates to about one alleged criminal for each 78 Victorians.

But this rise was accompanied by the lowest "victimisation rate" on record, which could be explained by the rise in "victimless crimes", or crimes against the state, like people breaching court orders.

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"In terms of the overall crime that's occured, that's obviously pretty stable," Ms Dowsley said.

"We are seeing record numbers of alleged offenders being processed by Victoria Police and the average age of these alleged offenders has been increasing," Ms Dowsley said.

"In terms of the victimisation rate [falling], that's unequivocally a good thing."

The average age of offenders is at an all-time high, with men 34.2 years old, and women 33.3 years old at the time of their alleged crimes.

A recent Ipsos study showed Victorians were more worried about crime than people in any other state, despite crime rates falling.

Forty per cent of Victorian respondents to a national survey nominated crime as their biggest worry, compared with 24 per cent in other states, where residents were more concerned about healthcare and the cost of living.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton, speaking with Police Minister Lisa Neville as the statistics were being released on Thursday morning, welcomed the drop in residential burglaries, which were down 11.2 per cent to 26,444 cases the lowest on record.

Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville Credit:AAP

However, other crimes continue to preoccupy police, like carjackings, aggravated burglaries and rammings. While less common, they had a bigger impact on people.

"Its an absolute priority," he said. "This is what were putting all our attempts into. We know they are crimes that the public are very frightened of and rightly so."

Early on Thursday, a police officer and a teenage girl were hospitalised after being hit by an allegedly stolen car driven by a 19-year-old man north of Geelong.

The police officer was left with a fractured leg.

"Thats what confronts out members everyday," Mr Patton said.

"One every day is virtually occuring. Thats happening on a daily basis. Thats frightening."

In terms of young offenders, he said there were fewer criminals, but those who were offending were committing more crimes until they were arrested.

"There's a small core group of youths who continue to commit serious and regular crimes," Ms Neville said.

The question now, she said, was what authorities could do to help them. Getting them off the streets and into education or training was not working for this group.

"These kids seem to not care."

Opposition police spokesman David Southwick said the figures showed the Andrews government had no answer to crime increases.

"Daniel Andrews and Labor have no plan to keep families safe in their homes, take guns and drugs off our streets, and save young people from a life of crime," he said.

"Todays crime statistics show why Victoria has the worst perception of safety in the nation and this will continue until Daniel Andrews puts community safety first."

Bianca Hall is a senior reporter for The Age. She has previously worked in the Canberra bureau as immigration correspondent, Sunday political correspondent and deputy editor.

Erin covers crime for The Age. Most recently she was a police reporter at the Geelong Advertiser.

Continued here:

Victorians less likely to be victims of crime today than in last 15 years - The Age

Benefit fraudster mum claimed son was ‘hiding in the loft’ but he was actually in the Philippines – Liverpool Echo

A mum stole 15,000 of benefits by claiming her disabled son was "hiding in the loft" when he had actually moved 7,000 miles away to the Philippines.

June Roberts lied to the authorities to bankroll Paul Roberts, 45, who had in fact jetted off to Southeast Asia to start a new life.

The 65-year-old, from St Helens, acted as the appointee for her son, who has schizophrenia, when making claims on his behalf in 2016.

Paul was said to be unable to work through ill-health and to have both severe mobility difficulties and significant care needs.

His Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP) were paid direct into his bank account.

But he booked a flight to the Philippines in May 2017 - where he then married - and never came back to Merseyside.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) rang Mrs Roberts in a review of his case that July.

She claimed he couldn't come to the phone because he was "hiding in the loft" and the dishonest scam continued undetected.

Paul continued to regularly withdraw cash in the Philippines until the DWP was alerted to a possible fraud and stopped his benefits.

On November 9, 2018, Mrs Roberts was interviewed and asked if she knew her son had moved to the Philippines.

The mum, of Sherdley Park Drive, St Helens, claimed: "Not really. Because Paul lives at home, he's at home now."

Mrs Roberts then conceded he may have been on holiday there for a few weeks, before admitting he had married out there.

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The officer asked why she hadn't told a DWP official in the July phone call that her son was really halfway across the globe.

She said: "I can't remember. I honestly thought he was upstairs in the loft because I shouted down to him to answer the phone."

Roberts, who now admits this was yet another lie, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud. She has no previous convictions.

David Polglase, prosecuting, today said the Crown Prosecution Service accepted the money went into Paul's bank account.

Zillah Williams, defending, said her client had back problems but assured the court she was willing to do suitable unpaid work.

She said Roberts had already paid about 4,000 back to the DWP and that she "made no financial benefit from this whatsoever".

Ms Williams said: "She feels extremely let down by her son, who has absolved himself of any responsibility it appears, even though he was the one who took himself out of the country, against her better wishes, and has made no contribution to repay her.

"Mr Roberts who sits at the back of court is equally dismayed by his son's actions."

Ms Williams said Roberts was made her son's appointee in 2007 and couldn't remember signing the form to do so.

Judge Sophie McKone accepted the mum's remorse was "significant and genuine" and that the case had caused her anxiety and stress.

The judge also accepted that Roberts didn't benefit personally from the scam, but said benefit fraud was not a victimless crime.

She said such crimes reduced the limited amount of taxpayers' money available to help those who need it most.

Judge McKone handed her a 12-month community order with 180 hours of unpaid work.

Simon Tunnicliffe, of the Crown Prosecution Service's Fraud Unit, previously told the ECHO that Roberts' committed a "substantial fraud".

He said: "Her claims to have told her son to come down from the loft to answer the phone when he was in fact in the Philippines were ludicrous.

"He'd been withdrawing cash from the Philippines and it was clear his mother was helping him.

"She'd contested a rejected PIP claim on the basis that Paul couldn't move about at all. He was living in another continent.

"As Paul's appointee, she was responsible for letting the authorities know if his circumstances changed. She didn't and may never have done so if the authorities hadn't caught up with her.

"This is public money, there are many demands on it and cases like this could affect the many people who really need the support of the state to survive."

A Proceeds of Crime timetable has been set up to recoup the money that was dishonestly claimed.

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Benefit fraudster mum claimed son was 'hiding in the loft' but he was actually in the Philippines - Liverpool Echo

‘No, your gun rights aren’t actually safe with Trump’ – Washington Times

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

For gun owners like me, its hard to forget President Trumps promise on his 99th day in office, proclaiming that President Obamas eight year assault on our Second Amendment rights had come to a crashing end. But in the years since Mr. Trump took his seat in the Oval Office, the eight year assault of the Obama administration has seemed more like a holiday by comparison. Just this week, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on banning assault weapons. Yet, the response from the Republican administration has been deafening silence, leaving millions of American gun owners like myself powerless against the continual assault to our constitutional liberties.

Mr. Trump and the Republican Party at large havent done gun owners any favors. The administration has managed to ban possession of bump stocks by administrative fiat, making felons out of tens of thousands of gun owners overnight. It also supported state efforts to implement red flag laws, restrict the gun rights of young adults, and threatened gun owners with domestic surveillance and unconstitutional seizures. So much for that crashing end to the assault on the Second Amendment.

Mr. Obamas administration, on the other hand, relaxed prohibitions on carrying firearms on federal land, and made it easier for people to acquire NFA items like suppressors and machine guns. Of course, it wasnt all good. The administration also cracked down on homemade firearms and tightened some import restrictions.

But despite constant claims that Republicans are beholden to gun rights organizations, when the GOP held the entire government in 2017 and 2018, nothing changed no concealed-carry reciprocity, no deregulation of firearm suppressors, no changes to any of the thousands of absurd regulations from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). In fact, during the time the Republicans controlled the entire government, all that passed was stiffer background checks. Mr. Trump couldve taken action on many of these items anytime he wanted. This doesnt sound like a party under the thumb of gun owners.

Clearly, the GOP has gotten lackadaisical on the concept of civil rights. Some Republicans are even throwing support to dangerous red flag laws and other worrisome proposals, such as the TAPS Act, which would see law enforcement combing social media for threats to manage. Meanwhile, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear, Senate Republicans are waiting for Mr. Trump to hand them an agenda on gun control entirely forgetting how our government is supposed to operate.

A seventh-grade civics class would tell you that its absurd for a president to tell the legislative branch what laws to pass. When it comes to laws that might abridge our rights, nobody should be deferring to anyone. But now the president is poised to tell the entire Republican Party just how much respect our Second Amendment rights are due, and it seems the GOP will follow along with whatever he says.

Of course, the majority-Democratic House has committed to redpen the Second Amendment out of existence. And since the Senate has deferred its judgment on our rights to the president, gun rights advocates need to make it clear to him that the haphazard approach hes taken thus far with our civil rights will no longer fly. If we dont, well suffer yet another one of the proverbial thousand cuts. Unlike your flesh, though, cuts to our rights dont heal after a few days.

The right to bear arms is about the right to stay alive to have a real way to protect yourself against anyone who wishes you harm. For the ruling class sitting in Americas ivory towers with their security details, gated communities and quick police response times, that can be hard to understand. For the rest of America, especially those living below the poverty line, the threat of unlawful force is real, and having an effective mechanism for self defense is literally a life-or-death proposition. What the American people dont need is one more excuse for an overzealous, militarized law enforcement to lock us in cages for victimless crimes.

What we need is for our government to respect our lives and liberty. Mr. Trump claims to be the champion of ordinary Americans. If he really means this, he could direct the ATF to roll back any one of the absurd regulations that are irrationally restricting the rights of Americans. Things like George H.W. Bushs sporting purposes test which keep effective, inexpensive arms out of the reach of ordinary Americans are long overdue to be repealed. If we ever have a president who cares about the Second Amendment, he or she will actually work to restore our rights, not ever-so-slowly remove them while we arent paying attention.

Matthew Larosiere is the director of legal policy for Firearms Policy Coalition and a senior contributor to Young Voices. He can be found on Twitter @MattLaAtLaw.

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Originally posted here:

'No, your gun rights aren't actually safe with Trump' - Washington Times

West Texas County Benefits From Oil Boom, Population Surge – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

By late afternoon on most weekdays, the orange brick Loving County Courthouse becomes an island in a rising tide of snorting, lurching oil field trucks.

The San Antonio Express-News reports at peak congestion, the wait to make a left turn on Texas 302 toward Kermit can be a half-hour or more.

"Sometimes the traffic on State Highway 302 is backed up 2 miles. It's gotten so bad that sometimes I have to get on a traffic vest and go to the intersection to direct traffic," said Sheriff Chris Busse, 51, who took office in 2015.

"When I was a deputy here in 2008, I was lucky if I saw 20 cars on Texas 302. Now you see 1,000 in half an hour," he added.

Long the answer to a trivia question about the least-populated county in Texas, Loving County in the 2010 census counted just 82 people. Only Kalawao County in Hawaii had fewer.

It's now up to about 140 residents spread over 671 square miles of harsh desert terrain. Even at that density of one person per 5 square miles, it still makes Mongolia -- the world's least densely populated country -- seem like Houston.

But these days, no one here is complaining of being lonely, as a tsunami of thousands of oil field workers swarms daily to this remote corner of the Permian Basin that borders New Mexico. About 1,000 to 1,500 additional workers are temporary residents who live in man-camps and RV parks.

Positioned over the Delaware Basin, a massive shale oil formation, Loving County is part of the hottest oil play on the planet.

"Right now, we're producing somewhere near 4.5 million barrels of oil a day, and a tremendous amount of gas and gas liquids. To put that in perspective, less than 10 years ago, we were producing about a million barrels of oil a day," said Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association.

"Loving County is an integral part of the phenomenal growth. I believe they have about 33 rigs running currently," he added.

An estimated 100,000 workers have come to West Texas for the boom, which Shepperd said is expected to last for decades.

The basin play, which extends into New Mexico, has about 250,000 producing wells. It also has more than 500 working rigs, about half the national total.

And perhaps no West Texas community has been more dramatically affected than Mentone, which just a few years ago barely had a pulse.

Loving County's only settlement is now rolling in traffic and new tax revenue, but also has parents worried about the kids and taking a simple drive.

A decade ago, before the oil boom hit, then-Sheriff Billy Hopper and Busse, who was a deputy, spent much of their time on traffic enforcement.

Now the department deals with drugs, thefts and other crimes, as well as numerous wrecks. Busse is looking to hire a seventh deputy and a school resource officer to escort the bus to and from Wink, 31 miles to the east.

In 2014, the school bus was hit head-on on Texas 302. The bus driver was injured and the other motorist killed. No children were hurt.

"They (deputies) are out on the road all the time, trying to get these people to slow down and pay attention, and to make sure they are legal," said dispatcher Verta Sparks.

"Half of them don't have Texas driver's licenses. All they have is a passport from Mexico or a lot of other places. They can get jobs and make a good bunch of money right now. These trucking companies are hiring anyone," she added.

A visitor to Mentone also notices odd rows of red traffic cones placed around town to prevent trucks from cutting through residential streets and endangering children.

On a wall in the courthouse is a faded picture of Oliver Loving. the pioneering 19th century cattleman who gave the county its name and also inspired a character in "Lonesome Dove."

In 1867, Loving, who helped blaze the Goodnight-Loving Trail, died from wounds suffered in an Indian attack while driving cattle northward.

In 1921, the first oil well was drilled, and within a decade, more than a million barrels was produced. Since then, the county's fortunes have risen and fallen with the oil and gas booms.

Mentone saw its population hit a peak of 300 or more in the 1930s. Since then, as ranching faded and the kids moved away, it has been in steady decline. Two decades ago, only 67 people lived in the county.

"My family has been here since 1906. In 1958, I was the last high school student in Mentone," said Hopper, 82, who traveled the globe as a Halliburton executive before finally coming home.

"Loving County has been between a boom and a bust for as long as I've been here. We've always had booms, but none in my lifetime like this. It's unbelievable to see," he said. "The other day it took me 47 minutes to get through a four-way stop sign on U.S. 285, going north,"

Hopper's large concrete block house on Harris Street is a block off Texas 302 and right behind the new 24-hour convenience store and gas station.

He is lulled to sleep nightly by a droning lullaby of idling diesels and passing trucks.

"Ever since this new Valero station opened, it's trucks running 24 hours a day, with guys sleeping in them. It's people coming and going all the time," he said.

One thing that everyone agrees has changed for the better is the once bitter local politics. For decades, factions and families fought to control the county government and jobs that came with it.

"When I was a kid out here, we seldom had an election where the Texas Rangers didn't show up," recalled Hopper.

On election day, the population typically swelled with absentee residents coming home to vote. Lawsuits, recounts and election contests were regular events.

One oft-told tale is about the local boy who cried bitter tears on election day when he learned that his dead father had voted but not bothered to visit.

"It's a lot better now that those old soreheads who were mad at each other have died off," Jones, the county judge, said.

In 2005, Hopper helped thwart a bizarre plot in which a group of out-of-town Libertarians hoped to move in suddenly and take over the county government with their votes.

According to a news account, their plan was to rid the county of oppressive regulations including planning, zoning, building codes, and also halt the enforcement of laws against victimless acts including dueling, gambling, incest, price-gouging, cannibalism and drug handling.

But after the Texas Rangers were called in and misdemeanor charges were filed, the group packed up and went back to California.

About 40 people live in Mentone, which despite the frenzied boom, still has an abandoned, broken-down look. The only green patch in town is the courthouse lawn, regularly watered under sturdy mulberry trees and Afghan pines. The latter, after 9/11, were renamed as "Desert Pines."

The school closed in the 1970s, and the little white church with a double outhouse out back has long sat idle. It was last used about three years ago for a wedding, Jones said.

Until 2007, when a municipal water system was installed, folks here had to truck in their drinking water.

Until recently, the county had no retail businesses, and locals drove to 33 miles to Kermit or 77 miles to Odessa to do their shopping.

Now there are about five businesses in town, including three food trucks, a Mexican restaurant and the Horseshoe Convenience store, which sells gas, groceries and beer. Lots of beer.

"It's a madhouse. We sell about 1,200 cases a week. Bud Light is the favorite. Modelo second. And also we sell about 2,400 bags of ice a week," said Downey Burns, 54, who manages the store for his son.

"Our biggest problem is trash. If the dumpster is full, they don't have any problem with throwing it right on the ground. I guess that's the polite way to put it," he added.

Oddly, none of the beer in the coolers has a price tag. The simple reason, according to a clerk, is "They don't care."

An energy boom always attracts workers and fortune-seekers from near and far.

In Loving County, a while back, some Libyan truckers were briefly around. Now, a water trucking company owned by Cubans from Florida is part of the mix.

"My father was a truck driver, and while in Texas he heard about the boom and hauling water," recalled Alex Guillama, 19, of Miami, who spent a few months in Mentone last year.

One thing led to another, and the family now runs a fleet of seven tank trucks here, delivering water for fracking operations for two large energy companies.

"I'd never seen a place so small. When I was in Cuba, I lived in Havana. Here, I live in Miami. It was very different," Alex said by telephone from Florida.

Waiting for his meal at the Super Pollo Food Truck, Richard Stott, 52, a truck driver from Mississippi, unsurprisingly groused about the "idiot drivers" he regularly encounters.

"It's like a war zone. The other day, I was waiting to turn left on 285 and I had a guy come around me on the left, and turn into the southbound lane," he said as two other truck drivers somberly nodded in agreement.

Stott says he sleeps in his truck, showers in the yard, and once a week goes to Lubbock, where he and his wife are staying.

As he stood up to leave, bagged lunch in hand, the CO2 monitor on his belt started chirping.

"There is no global warning," he remarked while shutting it off, adding, "God says he will destroy this place by fire. That's global warming."

For county officials, the lean times are only a fading memory. The boom and related investments have raised the tax base from $809 million in 2010 to $8.2 billion this year, a nine-fold increase.

"We've had tremendous development; Numerous oil and gas wells, gas plants, pipelines, man camps, and RV parks. It's been huge for the county," said Jones, 68, now in his fourth term.

The county's annual spending is also climbing rapidly, even as the tax rate goes down. The proposed 2020 budget is just under $20 million, double that of last year, and three times the 2017 budget.

Jones said the county will use some of the windfall for long-needed improvements, including a bypass around Mentone, a truck weigh station, improving the municipal water system and town roads, and replacing the crumbling school building with a new community center.

One of the perks for local people are the free meals available just north of town at Anadarko's "Wolf Camp," which houses about 500 workers.

On a recent weekday, Jones sat down with two of his grandnephews and two others for a hearty lunch of pulled pork or patty melts. The kitchen also offers a salad bar and freshly squeezed orange juice. The dining room seats about 200 workers.

"I come every day. The food is good," said Jonathan Alvarado, 20, who works cattle on the Jones ranch.

"I love the animals. I could do anything else and make more money, but I wouldn't enjoy it," he added.

But Alvarado's passion is quickly becoming Loving County's past. It takes about 120 acres to sustain one cow here, and the cattle are few and far.

Where a century ago, 10,000 or more head grazed on the meager forage, fewer than 1,000 remain, Jones said.

"A hundred years ago, it was a different climate and it was all grass," he said. "A lot of the ranchers have opened their gates and sold their cattle. They are making more money selling water and getting surface damages than selling cattle."

Besides being the least populated county in Texas, Loving has long enjoyed having the highest per capita income.

Those who have mineral rights here are getting richer, everyone else is eating well and no one is thinking of leaving.

Alan Sparks, 61, who came to Mentone in 1991 and works for a land trust, said locals are used to the dramatic changes that come with a boom.

"We're complaining about the traffic, but not about the boom. Everyone has a little money in their pockets now. It's good for West Texas," said.

"Everyone is going to ride it out. It takes a special person to live out here. You can't run us off."

See more here:

West Texas County Benefits From Oil Boom, Population Surge - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Crime – Classification of crimes | Britannica.com

Classification of crimes

Most legal systems divide crimes into categories for various purposes connected with the procedures of the courts, such as assigning different kinds of court to different kinds of offense. Common law originally divided crimes into two categories: feloniesthe graver crimes, generally punishable by death and the forfeiture of the perpetrators land and goods to the crownand misdemeanoursgenerally punishable by fines or imprisonment. The procedures of the courts differed significantly according to the kind of crime the defendant was charged with. Other matters that depended on the distinction included the power of the police to arrest an individual on suspicion that he had committed an offense, which was generally permissible in felony cases but not in misdemeanour ones. (See felony and misdemeanour.)

By the early 19th century, it had become clear that the growth of the law had rendered this distinction obsolete, and in many cases it was inconsistent with the gravity of the offenses concerned. For example, whereas theft was always considered a felony, irrespective of the amount stolen, obtaining by fraud was always a misdemeanour. Efforts to abolish the distinction in English law did not succeed until the late 1960s, when it was replaced by the distinction between arrestable offenses and other offenses. An arrestable offense was one punishable with five years imprisonment or more, though offenders could be arrested for other crimes subject to certain conditions. Subsequently, further classifications were devised. For example, a subcategory of serious arrestable offenses was created, and, in order to determine more easily the court in which a case should be tried, a different classification of offenses into the categories of indictable, either way, and summary was adopted. Nonetheless, the traditional division between felony and misdemeanour has been retained in many U.S. jurisdictions, though there has been a rationalization of the allocation of offenses to one category or the other, and it has been used as the basis for determining the court that will hear the case. In some jurisdictions, minor offenses were classified under a new category called violations, which corresponded broadly to the English category of summary offenses.

In systems utilizing civil law, the criminal code generally distinguished between three categories: crime, dlit, and contravention. Under this classification, a crime represented the most serious offense and thus was subject to the most-severe penalty permissible. Dlits were subject to only minor prison sentences, and contraventions were minor offenses. Beginning in the 19th century, some civil-law countries (e.g., Sweden, the Netherlands, Brazil, Portugal, and Colombia) consolidated their codes; dlits were reclassified under the broader category of crimes, and contraventions came to denote criminal offenses committed without intent.

All types of criminal codes account for a variety of crimes, including those generally committed by individuals or unorganized groups, as well as other modes of criminal activity. For discussions of particular crimes and types of criminal activity, see arson; assault and battery; bribery; burglary; child abuse; counterfeiting; cybercrime; drug use; embezzlement; extortion; forgery; fraud; hijacking; homicide; incest; kidnapping; larceny; organized crime; perjury; piracy; prostitution; rape; robbery; sedition; smuggling; terrorism; theft; treason; usury; and white-collar crime.

Estimating the amount of crime actually committed is quite complicated. Figures for recorded crime do not generally provide an accurate picture, because they are influenced by variable factors, such as the willingness of victims to report crimes. In fact, it is widely believed that official crime statistics represent only a small fraction of crimes committed.

The publics view of crime is derived largely from the news media, and because the media usually focus on serious or sensational crimes, the publics perception is often seriously distorted. A more accurate view is generally provided by detailed statistics of crime that are compiled and published by government departments; for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) publishes U.S. crime statistics annually in what is called the Uniform Crime Reports. In the late 1990s, the United Nations (UN) began publishing the Global Report on Crime and Justice, which includes official data from about 90 nationsmostly the more-developed nations, as those are primarily the ones that collect such statistics.

Policy makers often use official crime statistics as the basis for new crime-control measures; for instance, statistics may show an increase in the incidence of a particular type of crime over a period of years and thus suggest that some change in the methods of dealing with that type of crime is necessary. However, official crime statistics are subject to error and may be misleading, particularly if they are used without an understanding of the processes by which they are compiled and the limitations to which they are necessarily subject. The statistics are usually collected on the basis of reports from police forces and other law enforcement agencies and are generally known as statistics of reported crime, or crimes known to the police. Because only incidents observed by the police or reported to them by victims or witnesses are included in the reports, the picture of the amount of crime actually committed may be inaccurate.

One factor accounting for that distortion is the extent to which police resources are directed toward the investigation of one kind of crime rather than another, particularly with regard to what are known as victimless crimes, such as the possession of drugs. These crimes are not discovered unless the police endeavour to look for them, and they do not figure in the statistics of reported crime unless the police take the initiative. Thus, a sudden increase in the reported incidence of a crime from one year to the next may indeed reflect an overall increase in such activity, but it may instead merely show that the police have taken more interest in that crime and have devoted more resources to its investigation. Ironically, efforts to discourage or eliminate a particular kind of crime through more-vigorous law enforcement may create the impression that the crime concerned has increased, because more instances are likely to be detected and thus enter the statistics.

A second factor that can have a striking effect on the apparent statistical incidence of a particular kind of crime is a change in the willingness of victims of the crime to report it to the police. Victims often fail to report a crime for a variety of reasons: they may not realize that a crime has been committed against them (e.g., children who have been sexually molested); they may believe that the police will not be able to apprehend the offender; they may fear serving as a witness; or they may be embarrassed by the conduct that led them to become the victim of the crime (e.g., an individual robbed by a prostitute). Some crimes also may not appear sufficiently serious to make it worthwhile to inform the police, or there may be ways in which the matter can be resolved without involving them (e.g., an act of violence by one schoolchild against another may be dealt with by the school authorities). All those factors are difficult to measure with any degree of accuracy, and there is no reason to suppose that they remain constant over time or by jurisdiction. Thus, a change in any one of the factors may produce the appearance of an increase or a decrease in a particular kind of crime when there has been no such change or when the real change has been on a much-smaller scale than the statistics suggest.

A third factor that may affect the portrait painted by official crime statistics is the way in which the police treat particular incidents. Many of the laws defining crimes are imprecise or ambiguous, such as those related to reckless driving, obscenity, and gross negligence. Some conduct that is treated as criminal or is more aggressively pursued in one police jurisdiction may not be treated similarly in another jurisdiction owing to differences in priorities or interpretations of the law. The recording process used by the police also influences crime statistics; for example, the theft of a number of items may be recorded as a single theft or as a series of thefts of the individual items.

Researchers in the field of criminology have endeavoured to obtain a more-accurate picture of the incidence of crimes and the trends and variations from one period and jurisdiction to another. One research method that has been particularly useful is the victim survey, in which the researcher identifies a representative sample of the population and asks individuals to disclose any crime of which they have been victims during a specified period of time. After a large number of people have been questioned, the information obtained from the survey can be compared with the statistics for reported crime for the same period and locality; the comparison can indicate the relationship between the actual incidence of the type of crime in question and the number of cases reported to the police. Although criminologists have developed sophisticated procedures for interviewing victim populations, such projects are subject to several limitations. Results depend entirely on the recollection of incidents by victims, their ability to recognize that a crime has been committed, and their willingness to disclose it. In addition, this method is obviously inapplicable to victimless crimes.

The U.S. Census Bureau began conducting an annual survey of crime victims in 1972. By the beginning of the 21st century, the survey included a random sample of about 60,000 households, in which approximately 100,000 residents aged 12 and over were interviewed twice a year and asked whether they had been the victims of any of a wide variety of offenses in the last six months. The results of the household survey have been at variance with the reports published by the FBI. The most-common explanation for the differences in the trends reported is that the victim survey data reflect the actual trends in the incidence of criminal behaviour and that the data in the FBIs Uniform Crime Reports primarily reflect increases in the reporting of crimes to the police by victims. Using both types of data, it can be estimated that about half of all violent victimizations and less than half of all property victimizations generally are reported to the police. Many other countriesincluding Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Israel, and New Zealandalso have adopted victim surveys. Since the late 1980s, the UN has sponsored an international crime victim survey as well, with interviews taken in more than 50 countries. Like the UNs official statistics, for various practical reasons this survey has tended to focus on more-developed nations. In less-developed nations, the survey has focused on more-developed urban areas.

An alternative method of collecting crime statistics that some criminologists favour is the self-report study, in which a representative sample of individuals is asked, under assurances of confidentiality, whether they have committed any offenses of a particular kind. This type of research is subject to some of the same difficulties as the victim surveythe researcher has no means of verifying the information, and the subjects can easily conceal the fact that they have committed an offense at some time. However, such surveys often have confirmed that large numbers of offenses have been committed without being reported and that crime is much more widespread than official statistics suggest.

Knowledge of the types of people who commit crimes is subject to one overriding limitation: it is generally based on studies of those who have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted, and those populationswhich represent only unsuccessful criminalsare not necessarily typical of the whole range of criminals. Despite that limitation, some basic facts emerge that give a reasonably accurate portrayal of those who commit crimes.

Crime is predominantly a male activity. In all criminal populations, whether of offenders passing through the courts or of those sentenced to institutions, men outnumber women by a high proportion, especially in more-serious offenses. For example, at the beginning of the 21st century, in the United States, men accounted for approximately four-fifths of all arrests and nine-tenths of arrests for homicide, and in Britain women constituted only 5 percent of the total prison population. Nevertheless, in most Western societies the incidence of recorded crime by women and the number of women in the criminal-justice system have increased. For instance, from the mid- to late 1990s in the United States, arrests of males for violent offenses declined by more than one-tenth, but corresponding figures for women increased by the same amount. To some analysts, those statistics indicated increasing criminal activity by women and suggested that the changing social role of women had led to greater opportunity and temptation to commit crime. However, other observers argued that the apparent increase in female criminality merely reflected a change in the operation of the criminal-justice system, which routinely had ignored crimes committed by women. Although arrest data suggested that female criminality had increased faster than male criminality, the national crime victim survey showed that violent offending in the United States by both males and females had fallen in the same years. At the beginning of the 21st century, the rate of murders committed by women was about two-fifths below its peak in 1980.

Crime also is predominantly a youthful activity. Although statistics vary between countries, involvement in minor property crime generally peaks between ages 15 and 21. Participation in more-serious crimes peaks at a later agefrom the late teenage years through the 20sand criminality tends to decline steadily after the age of 30. The evidence as to whether this pattern, widely found across time and place, is a natural effect of aging, the consequence of taking on family responsibilities, or the effect of experiencing penal measures imposed by the law for successive convictions is inconclusive. Not all types of crime are subject to decline with aging, however. Fraud, certain kinds of theft, and crimes requiring a high degree of sophistication are more likely to be committed by older men, and sudden crimes of violence, committed for emotional reasons, may occur at any age.

The relationship between social class or economic status and crime has been studied extensively. Research carried out in the United States in the 1920s and 30s claimed to show that a higher incidence of criminality was concentrated in deprived and deteriorating neighbourhoods of large cities, and studies of penal populations revealed that levels of educational and occupational attainment were generally lower than in the wider population. Early studies of juvenile delinquents also showed a high proportion of lower-class offenders. However, later research called into question the assumption that criminality was closely associated with social origin, particularly because such studies often overlooked white-collar crime and other criminal acts committed by people of higher socioeconomic status. Self-report studies have suggested that offenses are more widespread across the social spectrum than the figures based on identified criminals would suggest.

The relationship between racial or ethnic background and criminality has evoked considerable controversy. Most penal populations do contain a disproportionately high number of persons from some minority racial groups relative to their numbers in the general population. However, some criminologists have pointed out that this may be the result of the high incidence among minority racial groups of characteristics that are commonly associated with identified criminality (e.g., unemployment and low economic status) and the fact that in many cities racial minority groups inhabit areas that have traditionally had high crime rates, perhaps as a result of their shifting populations and general lack of social cohesion. Other explanations have focused on the enforcement practices of the police, which may be influenced by racial discrimination.

Knowledge of the types of people who are victims of crime requires that they report their crimes, either to the police or to researchers who ask them about their experiences as a victim. Some crimes are greatly underreported in official statisticsrape is an examplebut may be more accurately reported in victim surveys. Yet just as those who are caught or admit to committing crimes do not necessarily represent all criminals, those who report being victims of crime are not necessarily typical of the whole range of victims. Nevertheless, some basic facts gathered from official reports and victim surveys give a reasonably accurate portrayal of crime victims. Probably the most important basic fact is that patterns of offending and patterns of victimization are quite similar. That is, the groups that are most likely to be crime victims are the same groups that are most likely to commit crimes. In particular, crime victims are more likely to be male, young, part of a lower socioeconomic class, and members of ethnic or racial minority groups. (See victimology.)

As discussed above in the section Characteristics of offenders, because criminals who are caught are not necessarily representative of all those who commit crime, reaching robust explanations of the causes of crime is difficult. Nevertheless, criminologists have developed several theories of the phenomenon. Although some criminologists claim that a single theory can provide a universal explanation of criminality, more commonly it is believed that many different theories help to explain particular aspects of criminality and that different types of explanation contribute to the understanding of the problem of crime. A brief discussion of criminological theories follows. For a more detailed analysis, see criminology.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, there was great interest in biological theories of criminal activity. These theories, which took into account the biological characteristics of offenders (e.g., their skulls, facial features, body type, and chromosomal composition), held sway for a time, but support for them has waned. In the late 20th century, criminologists attempted to link a variety of hereditary and biochemical factors with criminal activity. For example, adoptees were found to be more likely to engage in criminal behaviour if a biological parent was criminal but their adoptive parent was not; other research suggested that hormonal and certain neurotransmitter imbalances were associated with increased criminality.

In psychology, explanations of delinquent and criminal behaviour are sought in the individuals personality. In particular, psychologists examine the processes by which behaviour and restraints on behaviour are learned. This process often is conceptualized as the result of the interaction of biological predispositions and social experiences. Psychological explanations of crime originated in the 19th century and were linked in part to the work of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud (18561939). Social learning theory gained many adherents in the 20th century, and there was also a considerable body of research that examined the relationship between mental disorders and criminality.

In sociology a variety of theories have been proposed to explain criminal behaviour as a normal adaptation to the offenders social environment. Such theoriesincluding the anomie theory of American sociologist Robert K. Merton (19102003), which suggests that criminality results from an offenders inability to attain his goals by socially acceptable meansgained widespread support and were staples of sociological courses on crime and delinquency.

All the preceding theories are primarily Western in origin. Since about 1980, however, such explanations have been adopted in a growing number of non-Western and developing countries, partly by educational and cultural transmission and partly through technical assistance provided by Western countries. There are only a few alternative explanations of crime. In China, for example, the official view is that the causes of crime lie in the class structure of society. Chinese criminologists have maintained that crime is a result of exploitation, which is based on the capitalist institution of private property; they have argued that the lack of private property under pure socialism would result in the absence of crime. Thus, because China for decades prohibited any form of capitalism, it blamed criminal activity on remnants of precommunist society and a lingering bourgeois mentality among some individuals. With economic reform and the introduction of a limited capitalist economy beginning in the 1970s, crime increased, even within the families of Communist Party officials, and the government attempted to curb that trend by imposing stiff penalties on offenders.

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Crime - Classification of crimes | Britannica.com

Victimless Crimes legal definition of Victimless Crimes

Crime where there is no apparent victim and no apparent pain or injury. This class of crime usually involves only consenting adults in activities such as Prostitution, Sodomy, and Gaming where the acts are not public, no one is harmed, and no one complains of the activities. Some groups advocate legalizing victimless crimes by removing these acts from the law books. Other critics complain that there is no such thing as a victimless crime; whenever one of these crimes is committed but goes unpunished, individual mores, societal values, and the Rule of Law are undermined or compromised, rendering society itself the victim.

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Victimless Crimes legal definition of Victimless Crimes

Crime – Classification of crimes | Britannica.com

Classification of crimes

Most legal systems divide crimes into categories for various purposes connected with the procedures of the courts, such as assigning different kinds of court to different kinds of offense. Common law originally divided crimes into two categories: feloniesthe graver crimes, generally punishable by death and the forfeiture of the perpetrators land and goods to the crownand misdemeanoursgenerally punishable by fines or imprisonment. The procedures of the courts differed significantly according to the kind of crime the defendant was charged with. Other matters that depended on the distinction included the power of the police to arrest an individual on suspicion that he had committed an offense, which was generally permissible in felony cases but not in misdemeanour ones. (See felony and misdemeanour.)

By the early 19th century, it had become clear that the growth of the law had rendered this distinction obsolete, and in many cases it was inconsistent with the gravity of the offenses concerned. For example, whereas theft was always considered a felony, irrespective of the amount stolen, obtaining by fraud was always a misdemeanour. Efforts to abolish the distinction in English law did not succeed until the late 1960s, when it was replaced by the distinction between arrestable offenses and other offenses. An arrestable offense was one punishable with five years imprisonment or more, though offenders could be arrested for other crimes subject to certain conditions. Subsequently, further classifications were devised. For example, a subcategory of serious arrestable offenses was created, and, in order to determine more easily the court in which a case should be tried, a different classification of offenses into the categories of indictable, either way, and summary was adopted. Nonetheless, the traditional division between felony and misdemeanour has been retained in many U.S. jurisdictions, though there has been a rationalization of the allocation of offenses to one category or the other, and it has been used as the basis for determining the court that will hear the case. In some jurisdictions, minor offenses were classified under a new category called violations, which corresponded broadly to the English category of summary offenses.

In systems utilizing civil law, the criminal code generally distinguished between three categories: crime, dlit, and contravention. Under this classification, a crime represented the most serious offense and thus was subject to the most-severe penalty permissible. Dlits were subject to only minor prison sentences, and contraventions were minor offenses. Beginning in the 19th century, some civil-law countries (e.g., Sweden, the Netherlands, Brazil, Portugal, and Colombia) consolidated their codes; dlits were reclassified under the broader category of crimes, and contraventions came to denote criminal offenses committed without intent.

All types of criminal codes account for a variety of crimes, including those generally committed by individuals or unorganized groups, as well as other modes of criminal activity. For discussions of particular crimes and types of criminal activity, see arson; assault and battery; bribery; burglary; child abuse; counterfeiting; cybercrime; drug use; embezzlement; extortion; forgery; fraud; hijacking; homicide; incest; kidnapping; larceny; organized crime; perjury; piracy; prostitution; rape; robbery; sedition; smuggling; terrorism; theft; treason; usury; and white-collar crime.

Estimating the amount of crime actually committed is quite complicated. Figures for recorded crime do not generally provide an accurate picture, because they are influenced by variable factors, such as the willingness of victims to report crimes. In fact, it is widely believed that official crime statistics represent only a small fraction of crimes committed.

The publics view of crime is derived largely from the news media, and because the media usually focus on serious or sensational crimes, the publics perception is often seriously distorted. A more accurate view is generally provided by detailed statistics of crime that are compiled and published by government departments; for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) publishes U.S. crime statistics annually in what is called the Uniform Crime Reports. In the late 1990s, the United Nations (UN) began publishing the Global Report on Crime and Justice, which includes official data from about 90 nationsmostly the more-developed nations, as those are primarily the ones that collect such statistics.

Policy makers often use official crime statistics as the basis for new crime-control measures; for instance, statistics may show an increase in the incidence of a particular type of crime over a period of years and thus suggest that some change in the methods of dealing with that type of crime is necessary. However, official crime statistics are subject to error and may be misleading, particularly if they are used without an understanding of the processes by which they are compiled and the limitations to which they are necessarily subject. The statistics are usually collected on the basis of reports from police forces and other law enforcement agencies and are generally known as statistics of reported crime, or crimes known to the police. Because only incidents observed by the police or reported to them by victims or witnesses are included in the reports, the picture of the amount of crime actually committed may be inaccurate.

One factor accounting for that distortion is the extent to which police resources are directed toward the investigation of one kind of crime rather than another, particularly with regard to what are known as victimless crimes, such as the possession of drugs. These crimes are not discovered unless the police endeavour to look for them, and they do not figure in the statistics of reported crime unless the police take the initiative. Thus, a sudden increase in the reported incidence of a crime from one year to the next may indeed reflect an overall increase in such activity, but it may instead merely show that the police have taken more interest in that crime and have devoted more resources to its investigation. Ironically, efforts to discourage or eliminate a particular kind of crime through more-vigorous law enforcement may create the impression that the crime concerned has increased, because more instances are likely to be detected and thus enter the statistics.

A second factor that can have a striking effect on the apparent statistical incidence of a particular kind of crime is a change in the willingness of victims of the crime to report it to the police. Victims often fail to report a crime for a variety of reasons: they may not realize that a crime has been committed against them (e.g., children who have been sexually molested); they may believe that the police will not be able to apprehend the offender; they may fear serving as a witness; or they may be embarrassed by the conduct that led them to become the victim of the crime (e.g., an individual robbed by a prostitute). Some crimes also may not appear sufficiently serious to make it worthwhile to inform the police, or there may be ways in which the matter can be resolved without involving them (e.g., an act of violence by one schoolchild against another may be dealt with by the school authorities). All those factors are difficult to measure with any degree of accuracy, and there is no reason to suppose that they remain constant over time or by jurisdiction. Thus, a change in any one of the factors may produce the appearance of an increase or a decrease in a particular kind of crime when there has been no such change or when the real change has been on a much-smaller scale than the statistics suggest.

A third factor that may affect the portrait painted by official crime statistics is the way in which the police treat particular incidents. Many of the laws defining crimes are imprecise or ambiguous, such as those related to reckless driving, obscenity, and gross negligence. Some conduct that is treated as criminal or is more aggressively pursued in one police jurisdiction may not be treated similarly in another jurisdiction owing to differences in priorities or interpretations of the law. The recording process used by the police also influences crime statistics; for example, the theft of a number of items may be recorded as a single theft or as a series of thefts of the individual items.

Researchers in the field of criminology have endeavoured to obtain a more-accurate picture of the incidence of crimes and the trends and variations from one period and jurisdiction to another. One research method that has been particularly useful is the victim survey, in which the researcher identifies a representative sample of the population and asks individuals to disclose any crime of which they have been victims during a specified period of time. After a large number of people have been questioned, the information obtained from the survey can be compared with the statistics for reported crime for the same period and locality; the comparison can indicate the relationship between the actual incidence of the type of crime in question and the number of cases reported to the police. Although criminologists have developed sophisticated procedures for interviewing victim populations, such projects are subject to several limitations. Results depend entirely on the recollection of incidents by victims, their ability to recognize that a crime has been committed, and their willingness to disclose it. In addition, this method is obviously inapplicable to victimless crimes.

The U.S. Census Bureau began conducting an annual survey of crime victims in 1972. By the beginning of the 21st century, the survey included a random sample of about 60,000 households, in which approximately 100,000 residents aged 12 and over were interviewed twice a year and asked whether they had been the victims of any of a wide variety of offenses in the last six months. The results of the household survey have been at variance with the reports published by the FBI. The most-common explanation for the differences in the trends reported is that the victim survey data reflect the actual trends in the incidence of criminal behaviour and that the data in the FBIs Uniform Crime Reports primarily reflect increases in the reporting of crimes to the police by victims. Using both types of data, it can be estimated that about half of all violent victimizations and less than half of all property victimizations generally are reported to the police. Many other countriesincluding Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Israel, and New Zealandalso have adopted victim surveys. Since the late 1980s, the UN has sponsored an international crime victim survey as well, with interviews taken in more than 50 countries. Like the UNs official statistics, for various practical reasons this survey has tended to focus on more-developed nations. In less-developed nations, the survey has focused on more-developed urban areas.

An alternative method of collecting crime statistics that some criminologists favour is the self-report study, in which a representative sample of individuals is asked, under assurances of confidentiality, whether they have committed any offenses of a particular kind. This type of research is subject to some of the same difficulties as the victim surveythe researcher has no means of verifying the information, and the subjects can easily conceal the fact that they have committed an offense at some time. However, such surveys often have confirmed that large numbers of offenses have been committed without being reported and that crime is much more widespread than official statistics suggest.

Knowledge of the types of people who commit crimes is subject to one overriding limitation: it is generally based on studies of those who have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted, and those populationswhich represent only unsuccessful criminalsare not necessarily typical of the whole range of criminals. Despite that limitation, some basic facts emerge that give a reasonably accurate portrayal of those who commit crimes.

Crime is predominantly a male activity. In all criminal populations, whether of offenders passing through the courts or of those sentenced to institutions, men outnumber women by a high proportion, especially in more-serious offenses. For example, at the beginning of the 21st century, in the United States, men accounted for approximately four-fifths of all arrests and nine-tenths of arrests for homicide, and in Britain women constituted only 5 percent of the total prison population. Nevertheless, in most Western societies the incidence of recorded crime by women and the number of women in the criminal-justice system have increased. For instance, from the mid- to late 1990s in the United States, arrests of males for violent offenses declined by more than one-tenth, but corresponding figures for women increased by the same amount. To some analysts, those statistics indicated increasing criminal activity by women and suggested that the changing social role of women had led to greater opportunity and temptation to commit crime. However, other observers argued that the apparent increase in female criminality merely reflected a change in the operation of the criminal-justice system, which routinely had ignored crimes committed by women. Although arrest data suggested that female criminality had increased faster than male criminality, the national crime victim survey showed that violent offending in the United States by both males and females had fallen in the same years. At the beginning of the 21st century, the rate of murders committed by women was about two-fifths below its peak in 1980.

Crime also is predominantly a youthful activity. Although statistics vary between countries, involvement in minor property crime generally peaks between ages 15 and 21. Participation in more-serious crimes peaks at a later agefrom the late teenage years through the 20sand criminality tends to decline steadily after the age of 30. The evidence as to whether this pattern, widely found across time and place, is a natural effect of aging, the consequence of taking on family responsibilities, or the effect of experiencing penal measures imposed by the law for successive convictions is inconclusive. Not all types of crime are subject to decline with aging, however. Fraud, certain kinds of theft, and crimes requiring a high degree of sophistication are more likely to be committed by older men, and sudden crimes of violence, committed for emotional reasons, may occur at any age.

The relationship between social class or economic status and crime has been studied extensively. Research carried out in the United States in the 1920s and 30s claimed to show that a higher incidence of criminality was concentrated in deprived and deteriorating neighbourhoods of large cities, and studies of penal populations revealed that levels of educational and occupational attainment were generally lower than in the wider population. Early studies of juvenile delinquents also showed a high proportion of lower-class offenders. However, later research called into question the assumption that criminality was closely associated with social origin, particularly because such studies often overlooked white-collar crime and other criminal acts committed by people of higher socioeconomic status. Self-report studies have suggested that offenses are more widespread across the social spectrum than the figures based on identified criminals would suggest.

The relationship between racial or ethnic background and criminality has evoked considerable controversy. Most penal populations do contain a disproportionately high number of persons from some minority racial groups relative to their numbers in the general population. However, some criminologists have pointed out that this may be the result of the high incidence among minority racial groups of characteristics that are commonly associated with identified criminality (e.g., unemployment and low economic status) and the fact that in many cities racial minority groups inhabit areas that have traditionally had high crime rates, perhaps as a result of their shifting populations and general lack of social cohesion. Other explanations have focused on the enforcement practices of the police, which may be influenced by racial discrimination.

Knowledge of the types of people who are victims of crime requires that they report their crimes, either to the police or to researchers who ask them about their experiences as a victim. Some crimes are greatly underreported in official statisticsrape is an examplebut may be more accurately reported in victim surveys. Yet just as those who are caught or admit to committing crimes do not necessarily represent all criminals, those who report being victims of crime are not necessarily typical of the whole range of victims. Nevertheless, some basic facts gathered from official reports and victim surveys give a reasonably accurate portrayal of crime victims. Probably the most important basic fact is that patterns of offending and patterns of victimization are quite similar. That is, the groups that are most likely to be crime victims are the same groups that are most likely to commit crimes. In particular, crime victims are more likely to be male, young, part of a lower socioeconomic class, and members of ethnic or racial minority groups. (See victimology.)

As discussed above in the section Characteristics of offenders, because criminals who are caught are not necessarily representative of all those who commit crime, reaching robust explanations of the causes of crime is difficult. Nevertheless, criminologists have developed several theories of the phenomenon. Although some criminologists claim that a single theory can provide a universal explanation of criminality, more commonly it is believed that many different theories help to explain particular aspects of criminality and that different types of explanation contribute to the understanding of the problem of crime. A brief discussion of criminological theories follows. For a more detailed analysis, see criminology.

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, there was great interest in biological theories of criminal activity. These theories, which took into account the biological characteristics of offenders (e.g., their skulls, facial features, body type, and chromosomal composition), held sway for a time, but support for them has waned. In the late 20th century, criminologists attempted to link a variety of hereditary and biochemical factors with criminal activity. For example, adoptees were found to be more likely to engage in criminal behaviour if a biological parent was criminal but their adoptive parent was not; other research suggested that hormonal and certain neurotransmitter imbalances were associated with increased criminality.

In psychology, explanations of delinquent and criminal behaviour are sought in the individuals personality. In particular, psychologists examine the processes by which behaviour and restraints on behaviour are learned. This process often is conceptualized as the result of the interaction of biological predispositions and social experiences. Psychological explanations of crime originated in the 19th century and were linked in part to the work of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud (18561939). Social learning theory gained many adherents in the 20th century, and there was also a considerable body of research that examined the relationship between mental disorders and criminality.

In sociology a variety of theories have been proposed to explain criminal behaviour as a normal adaptation to the offenders social environment. Such theoriesincluding the anomie theory of American sociologist Robert K. Merton (19102003), which suggests that criminality results from an offenders inability to attain his goals by socially acceptable meansgained widespread support and were staples of sociological courses on crime and delinquency.

All the preceding theories are primarily Western in origin. Since about 1980, however, such explanations have been adopted in a growing number of non-Western and developing countries, partly by educational and cultural transmission and partly through technical assistance provided by Western countries. There are only a few alternative explanations of crime. In China, for example, the official view is that the causes of crime lie in the class structure of society. Chinese criminologists have maintained that crime is a result of exploitation, which is based on the capitalist institution of private property; they have argued that the lack of private property under pure socialism would result in the absence of crime. Thus, because China for decades prohibited any form of capitalism, it blamed criminal activity on remnants of precommunist society and a lingering bourgeois mentality among some individuals. With economic reform and the introduction of a limited capitalist economy beginning in the 1970s, crime increased, even within the families of Communist Party officials, and the government attempted to curb that trend by imposing stiff penalties on offenders.

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Crime - Classification of crimes | Britannica.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

Victimless Crimes legal definition of Victimless Crimes

Crime where there is no apparent victim and no apparent pain or injury. This class of crime usually involves only consenting adults in activities such as Prostitution, Sodomy, and Gaming where the acts are not public, no one is harmed, and no one complains of the activities. Some groups advocate legalizing victimless crimes by removing these acts from the law books. Other critics complain that there is no such thing as a victimless crime; whenever one of these crimes is committed but goes unpunished, individual mores, societal values, and the Rule of Law are undermined or compromised, rendering society itself the victim.

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Victimless Crimes legal definition of Victimless Crimes

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).

See the article here:

Environmental Crimes - UNICRI

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).

Link:

Environmental Crimes - UNICRI

Over 100 Child Sex Traffickers Arrested In Florida – News …

Over 100 child sex traffickers have been arrested in Florida during a massive undercover investigation on human trafficking.

Detectives with the Polk County Sheriffs Office conducted a six-day Human Trafficking sting from November 27 to December 2.

Abcactionnews.com reports: Undercover detectives posted fake ads or profiles on social media platforms, websites, and mobile phone applications, posing as prostitutes or those soliciting prostitutes. Some of the detectives found profiles and online ads posted by prostitutes and responded to them.

A total of 104 arrests were made. Fifty-four of the arrests were for those who advertised as prostitutes online. Twenty-nine of the arrests were those who solicited undercover detectives who posted ads posing as prostitutes. Thirteen arrests were those who derive support from proceeds ofprostitution and seven were taken into custody for drug charges and other offenses.

Three of the suspects arrested,Walter Leiva, Juan Loaisa and Yefri Guevara, are in the country illegally and have all be charged with soliciting a prostitute, according to Sheriff Judd. Detectives are searching for a traveler suspect who is on the run. William Welch, 49, reportedly arrived near the location to have sex with a 14-year-old girl. His vehicle was found in the area, but deputies were unable to locate him. Welch is facing several charges, including Traveling to meet a minor, Using a 2-way communication device, Using a Computer to Solicit a Child and Attempted Lewd Battery.

Charges for those arrested include soliciting another for prostitution, deriving support from proceeds of prostitution, transporting to building for prostitution and using a communication device to commit a felony.

We conduct these kinds of investigations because of the link between prostitution, human trafficking, drug crimes, economic crimes such as burglary and fraud, and violent crime. We have learned over many years that when we pay attention to public order and quality of life crimes such as prostitution, we can reduce and prevent other crimes while strengthening the community. Prostitution is not a victimless crime. From the spread of disease, destruction of families, and to the scourge of human trafficking, prostitution is bad for our community. In some cases, children and women are forced to prostitute while under the control of pimps. We remain committed to fighting human trafficking by arresting those who engage in prostitution and trying to identify human trafficking victims. Our goal is to change the lives of those who are feeling trapped in this horrific lifestyle. Grady Judd, Sheriff

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Over 100 Child Sex Traffickers Arrested In Florida - News ...

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 in5 minutes what would take me an entire class."

- Chris F.

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

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Victimless Crimes: Definition, Types & Examples - Study.com

Victimless Crimes legal definition of Victimless Crimes

Crime where there is no apparent victim and no apparent pain or injury. This class of crime usually involves only consenting adults in activities such as Prostitution, Sodomy, and Gaming where the acts are not public, no one is harmed, and no one complains of the activities. Some groups advocate legalizing victimless crimes by removing these acts from the law books. Other critics complain that there is no such thing as a victimless crime; whenever one of these crimes is committed but goes unpunished, individual mores, societal values, and the Rule of Law are undermined or compromised, rendering society itself the victim.

Want to thank TFD for its existence? Tell a friend about us, add a link to this page, or visit the webmaster's page for free fun content.

Link to this page: Victimless Crimes

The rest is here:

Victimless Crimes legal definition of Victimless Crimes

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 in5 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

Original post:

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).

Here is the original post:

Environmental Crimes - UNICRI


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