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Types of Crime

Types of Crime

Author: Paul Hannan
Description:

Distinguish between crimes against the person, crimes against property, and victimless crimes.

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Source: Intro Music by Mark Hannan; Public Domain

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[MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome to this episode of Sociology, Studies of Society. Today's lesson is on types of crime. As always, don't be afraid to pause, stop, rewind, or even fast forward to make sure you get the most out of this tutorial.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

So today is a really brief tutorial, just over-viewing the different types of crime.

Now, just to be clear what a type of crime is, crime is just any violation of criminal laws. And these can happen on a local level, a state level, federal level-- any violation of criminal laws. And it kind of gets broken up to different ways you can commit a crime. There is the act-- the actual criminal action-- and criminal intent, and that's the plan to commit a crime, the plan to commit a criminal action. And you can commit a crime by doing either the act or just having criminal intent.

Now, there are three different types of crime. There are crimes against the person, crimes against property, and victimless crimes. So crimes against a person are violent crimes against other people. Thus, against the person. And they can be-- the crime can be an actual physically violent crime, or just a threat of being physically violent. That is considered a crime against a person. Some examples of crimes against the person are assault, rape, murder, and harassment.

Now, crimes against property are crimes that involve material wealth. And it can be the destruction of it, or it can be the theft of material wealth. Some examples of crimes against property are theft and vandalism.

Lastly are victimless crimes. Victimless crimes have no obvious or direct victims. Some examples of victimless crime are prostitution, gambling, and panhandling.

Now, sociologists are really interested in looking at all three different types of crime, especially when you think of something like victimless crime. Of course, there are victims for victimless crime. A victimless crime, like say panhandling, you're loitering on the streets. You're staying in space you shouldn't stay.

There's no direct victim, per se, of that crime. But society is really suffering as a whole because of this victimless crime. In some ways, I think sociologists-- maybe not every sociologist, but some sociologists would argue that victimless crimes are some of the worst for society because even though there's no direct victims, they really tie up the basic fabric of society. But again, sociologists are interested in looking at all three different types of crime.

So today's take-away message-- there's three different types of crime. There's crimes against the person, which are violent crimes against other people or threats of such crimes. There's crimes against property, which are crimes that involve material wealth, and the destruction or theft of that wealth. And there's victimless crime, where there's no obvious or direct victims.

Well, that's it for this lesson. Good work. And hopefully, you'll be seeing me on your screen again soon.

Terms to Know
Crimes Against Property

Crimes that cause damage to, or result in loss of, property.

Crimes Against the Person

Crimes that cause injury or harm to another person.

Victimless Crimes

Crimes in which the cause and effect link is blurred and that there are no clear-cut victims.