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Types of Crime

Types of Crime

Author: Zach Lamb

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] Hello, and welcome to Sociological Studies. As always, thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to study society. In this lesson, we're just going to give a very brief introduction to the various types of crime that will lay the foundation for later sociological study.

We have three types of crime in society-- crimes against the person, crimes against property, and what we call victimless crimes. For starters, crimes against the person are crimes that cause harm to another person, as the name suggests. And this includes things like murder, assault, battery, rape, child abuse, or domestic spousal abuse. Any time you harm another person, this is called a crime against the person.

We have crimes against property. This is any crime that causes damage to property or results in theft of property, such as stealing or arson or grand theft auto or even vandalism. These are crimes against property or things that damage property.

And lastly, and most sociologically interesting for our purposes, are what we call victimless crimes. In victimless crimes, as the name suggests, there is no obvious victim. But there are nonetheless harmful side effects to society. Drug use is an example of a victimless crime. Think of all of the chain of crime leading up to getting that drug on your plate in front of you.

Who knows how far it had to travel? Who knows if there was some kind of imprisonment involved? You can think of all of the drug cartel violence that leads and is essential to get that drug to you. So although people say drugs only harm the people that use them so it shouldn't be society's problem, it is, in fact, society's problem because this is a victimless crime.

The victimless crime then is a very social aspect of crime. Well, thank you very much for watching this brief introduction to crimes, specifically crimes against the person, crimes against property, and victimless crimes. Have a great rest of your day.

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.