Criminology Assignment: Understanding the Concept of Crime
Write a criminology assignment addressing the following questions:
1. Crime can be defined in a number of ways. Briefly explain which approach is best and why.
2. Does CCTV make streets safer?
3. Why has crime in the home been under policed in the past?
4. Why are young people always in the criminal justice spotlight?
Crime is a contested notion. Crime has no universally accepted definition. Hence, it is stated herein criminology assignment that the most pragmatic way to think about the crime is to view it in terms of a legal approach. From this perspective, a crime is an unlawful deed (Alhayani et al., 2021). By considering this the deed will have these aspects to it - the aspect of criminal harm and the aspect of criminal blame.
Lord William Blackstone, an English jurist gave a beautiful definition in which he emphasized that crime is the harm or the injury that is carried out on the society at large.
The first element required for an act to be considered as a crime is that this unlawful act must be committed by a human being. The human rights definition of crime is based on activities that act to violate rights and also pose a threat to humankind and security.
In terms of the social and political context, crime is often defined as an offense that is beyond the personal and public sphere and it also involves breaking prohibitory rules and regulations which is punishable by law (Priyadarshini, 2018). This harm could be to a person or the community as a whole.
The Legal approach to crime is the best way to define crime as a strong legal system that may help in decreasing the rate of criminal activities in society. Especially, the efficiency of the laws and their punishments may help in decreasing these criminal activities. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008), the rate of crimes that were reported to police was lesser in 2007 than in 1998 (Aic.gov.au, 2021).
Several countries have now employed street video surveillance cameras as a tool to monitor people's movement and to decrease criminal activities and terrorism. There are at present 33 systems that are being operated by the local government across the region of Australia with NSW having 11 systems and Queensland which has 10 systems (Camillo, 2017).
These numerous street CCTV systems have been installed by keeping two primary uses in mind and that is to secure and to deter (Li et al., 2018). CCTV eases these by becoming a visible presence on the roads and hence deterring crimes; and is available as a monitoring device to allow hasty response in case issues arise, by keeping footages as evidence. CCTVs can provide an efficient level of prevention against planned out crimes, like trespassing and burglary, car theft or car crimes, and other anti-social acts. Open scene crimes can be recorded using CCTV cameras and it can also help in serving as viable evidence for recording against crime scenes.
In Australia 'open street and 'town center' CCTVs refer to the visual surveillance methods implemented by the local government bodies in collaboration with the police to keep a check on public spaces (Aic.gov.au, 2021). Hardly will a potential criminal attempt to cause harm if they know that their actions were being recorded on CCTV cameras. This can be claimed from the fact that in case a crime is committed, there would be evidence in the form of footage to back up as proof for the deed done. The police forces can easily identify criminals that are recorded on cameras. Through these CCTV cameras, the police can prevent crimes from occurring and can hastily solve any criminal case with this footage as evidence (Camillo, 2017). The police can further use this footage to track down the criminals and record the crimes. In situations in which no one was aware of a crime taking place unless it was committed, then the surveillance footage is always crucial pieces of evidence during an ongoing police investigation. CCTV cameras will give a solution to several crimes. The public feels safer when they know that a potential attacker or mugger will be deterred due to the presence of CCTV cameras on the street. This is due to the inbuilt psychology among people where they feel that criminals won't possibly commit a crime in front of any camera where their identity is most likely to be exposed.
These CCTVs due to video analytics, have the power to zoom in and reveal an individual's identity. This can be beneficial when it comes to crime prevention if used in a proper way (Globalcitizen.org, 2021). Especially in cases of abduction or an accident, video graphic evidence will be an effective measure to track down the person quickly and prevent death.
Crime in the home is not limited to Domestic violence, child abuse, burglary, theft. Domestic violence or crime is a serious and life-threatening situation, which is created by want of power and control. One partner manipulates the other via a pattern of verbal, physical, or mental abuse. These domestic violence’s know no boundaries. It can affect people of all ages, races, orientations, genders, religions, socioeconomic strata, and educational qualifications (Lim and Taahirah, 2018). This is a universal problem, as the violence is inflicted by a person who an individual loves and cares for, which might make it more difficult to accept and let alone talking about it to the authorities. One might have a life with their abuser, share friends or families and have children together.
Crimes in the Homefront are not easy to recognize. Domestic crimes are mostly under-policed as they are generally unreported due to fear. Most victims are scared that no one will believe their story, since the abuse is occurring behind closed doors whereas, in public places, their partner behaves like an ideal spouse. Victimsare scared that they might lose custody of their children. All the victims fear that they will bring utter shame to their family members or that their family or friends will misjudge them (Camillo, 2017). Victims are scared that they don’t possess the financial means required to support themselves if their partner does not help them out, and they lack the resources to hire a legal consultant. For people who have a disability, domestic abuse is significantly difficult to report as they depend on their harasser for care. Domestic crimes are the most egregious type of harassment that is suffered by people today. A report published by the Australian Institute of Criminology states that out of 15,000 Australian women 5% of all women, and approximately 10% of women cohabiting with their partner, have been victims of sexual or physical violence in 2020. More than 22% of Australian women living with their partners experienced emotional abuse, controlling, and harassing behaviors (Globalcitizen.org, 2021). If this issue is not dealt with strictly, then this type of crime will continue to exist in society all the time. Tougher laws need to be made to eradicate this problem and protect victims of domestic violence.
According to research that has been carried out recently, it has been observed that the youth are getting too involved in criminal activities. When young people are involved in criminal cases, they become juvenile delinquents (Priyadarshini, 2018). They enter the boundaries of criminal responsibility within which they are considered liable for their criminal activities. When children are minors and have not attained the age of responsibility (criminal), they are not imposed with juvenile crimes. But if the child is not a minor anymore, then they can be charged with criminal offenses. The absence of stringent punishment for juvenile crimes is the primary cause of their increase. Juvenile criminals include youth as well as children.
One must understand, children are not born with violent tendencies and several factors contribute to these juvenile crimes, which are leading them towards unwanted situations.Some of the most common juvenile crimes based on their frequency of occurrence are criminal mischief, misconduct, and burglary (Sbs.com.au, 2021). A proper intervention might be required during the early stages and to prevent juvenile crimes from occurring, its root cause must be interpreted. Most of the factors which drive youngsters towards crime are very complex. Their social, environmental, and political factors act strongly and influence criminal behavior. These must be comprehended first to fight it or prevent it (Alhayani et al., 2021).
Some major contributing aspects include poor education, peer pressure, poor socioeconomic background, neglectful parents, and substance abuse. If youngsters are educated to learn the difference between right and wrong from an early age, then they might be more vigilant in choosing a path for themselves.
When neglectful parents fail to pay any importance to the social or personal development of their children, they presume that they are becoming independent which allows them to take up these risky decisions regarding their lives by themselves. Bad socioeconomic background also becomes a contributing aspect towards juvenile crimes, pushing youngsters towards burglary. If proper moral values are not inculcated in children from a young age, then they believe that turning towards criminal activities is not immoral or wrong. On average, around 980 youngsters were in juvenile detention centers in Australia in the June of 2018 (Sbs.com.au, 2021).
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Aic.gov.au, 2021, Misperceptions of crime in Australia, Available at: https://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi396 [Accessed on 29th April 2021]
Globalcitizen.org, 2021, Australia’s worst domestic violence, Available at: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/2020-australias-worst-year-domestic-violence/ [Accessed on 29th April 2021]
Sbs.com.au, 2021, Young crime as a phase, Available at: https://www.sbs.com.au/nitv/nitv-news/article/2019/07/30/young-crime-often-phase-and-locking-kids-counterproductive [Accessed on 29th April 2021]