Most criminologists use a legal definition of crime

Category: Crime, Justice, Morality
Last Updated: 25 May 2023
Pages: 11 Views: 174

Crime is an action or an instance of negligence that is deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or to the interests of the state and that is legally prohibited. It is a criminal activity that engaged in fights and riots. These definitions connote negative impact to crime and as what it always does to human minds. Stereotyping will always apply every time people encounter the word crime as dangerous, harmful and destructive to humankind and the state. Sociologists define it as deviant act, non-conforming to society’s standard and violating all the rules that the state set up. Thus every act that does not conforms or follows the society’s standards are all considered crime and doers are criminals.

Simple violations like way walking, loitering, over speeding, and making noise that disturbs the public are all considered crimes because it violates the society’s rules. To the extent that simple offender will easily be judge as criminal, thus given sanction and punished before the law, no matter how big or small the case was, as long as he/she committed violations punishment, is still given to him/her. Human law or society set standard are said to be righteous thus to be tag on and respected by all. All human kinds are abided to conform the said rules and standard. Acts, which are not set as correct by the state standards, are all crime and sin according to society’s laws. Violators of such are therefore tagged as criminal and thus sin committers. Every rules have corresponding sanctions, thus violators are subject to punishment base on how destructive and offensive the crime may be to people and to the state.

Not all people in a state or society are all aware the rules to abide in their respective society. Many were punished without knowing what offenses they are committing or what violation they do. In addition, many are not conscious to policy and sanctions to the said laws. Thus, offenders effortlessly surrender their selves to avoid any possible trouble of non-conformance. With these, Australia New Zealand Policing Support Agency (ANZPSA) was established to give policy support, strategic advice, research, knowledge management and information giving out capacity across jurisdictions.

Order custom essay Most criminologists use a legal definition of crime with free plagiarism report

feat icon 450+ experts on 30 subjects feat icon Starting from 3 hours delivery
Get Essay Help

This represents a momentous change in approach that involves the union of functions. An implementation team has been established too to commence the practical arrangements for the creation of the new organization. This agency was created to investigate possible causes of offenses, and possibly give massive information on how to avoid and handle crimes that may occur. This includes, thorough analysis of a certain case, its implications and root cause why such crime/offenses arise.

There are many crimes reported everyday throughout the country. Each one needs a kin and careful investigation because authority cannot easily accuse the suspect as guilty without proper jurisdiction. Cases are being study, offenders are questioned; his/her family background, his/her status and the reason behind his offenses are also investigated. If suspect is proven guilty before the law, sanctions and punishments are given. This punishment varies from case to case bases, which are also set together with the rules and standard of a certain community. There are also violations that need not to punish right away. Offenders are usually given warnings or let be pay for a certain amount. Mostly are jaywalkers and loiterers.

Crimes may vary from country to country, depending on how such country set its norm. According to National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) U.S most common committed crimes are gang crime, hate crime, organized crime, property crime, trafficking in persons, public offenses and drug crime, ( Drug crime as the most common offenses committed anywhere; cause so much damage that resulted to other related crimes. Drug and alcohol crime are offenses that involve many related crime doers. These include the user and the pusher. User may led to addiction which may caused him/her to do acts which are not set as standards to the society as a whole, like theft, rape, and robbery that resulted to public disturbance and destructions.

Crime involving drugs is most rampant violation that every one encounters, because drugs is present anywhere people go. Most people have access to it; even young ones can afford to hand it due to simple and easy to have resources. The Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program (ADAM) deals the level of drug and alcohol use in risky population of people. They are designed to investigate on how do arrestees use the drugs, how frequent they use how they obtain it and what push them to do so.

These data’s are collected either thru personal interview with the arrestees and careful observations. Dosage of offenders’ intake is also measured thru test and urinalysis. Investigations always occur during the arrest and not later than 48 hours to make documentation for proper reporting and study to come up a correct and accurate report on what alcohol and drugs are commonly abused and the effect it cause to the user and to the public.

Crime as a deviant behavior said to violate a prevailing norms especially cultural standard that dictates people on how to behave well and what someone should avoid to do, (Berger, 1963). This view consider the complicated facts surrounding the definition of crime and seeks to understand how changing social political, psychological and economic conditions may affect the current definition of crime and the form of legal law enforcement. Crime perception may change from time to time.

This changes depends on the cultural shift of one society also, which affects the criminal statistics rates of the state as well. Socio-economic status of one place plays a role in crime rate also. For example, in a drastically losing its resources country/society may affect the attitude of the people to crave for food for living especially if there is scarcity of its supply in their respective community. Scarcity of jobs will also affect criminal rate of a certain place.

Absence may lead people to commit some expected job-less related crime like theft and robbery. If one place is in famine or less job opportunities, it is expected that crime will also rise. On the other hand, if the state is in good economic standing, crime rate will also lessen. Economic change and cultural shift determines the allocation of resources for the enforcement of law, and influences public opinion. In addition, changes in criminal rate will also affect on how the public think and perceived crime.

Such adjustments, allied with the experience of people in their everyday lives, shape attitude to the extent to which the law should be used to enforce any particular social norms. There are many ways that behavior can control without having to resort criminal justice system, in those cases where there were no clear consensus on the given norm. The use of the criminal law by the group of authority to prohibit a particular action maybe considered improper for the others.

Crime as called deviant act will also have a corresponding punishments attach to it. Every person involve is given an equivalent sanction to the crime committed. In such a way that the said criminal be stop and further damage to the public and to the state can then be avoided, because the state or the authority believes that allowing any crime to occur without doing any action is just like letting harms to spread without any preventing or stopping device to control it. This process involves criminalisation, with the involvement of the state as the authority to control the said crimes.

It is a crime reduction device restricting individual liberty to minimize harm to others. Though every citizen has the right to liberty but not all liberty is harm-free to others. Because hat maybe considered crime to the others may not be crime for the other party. Criminalisation may provide future harm reduction even after the occurrence of crime, assuming that those act are more likely to cause further damage in the future.

Criminalisation is intended for the crime doers to pay their crime offenses to stop the act at the early stage to prevent and minimize criminals. In this case criminalisation is a way to set the reward that criminals must have after committing certain evil action that are considered threat to the peacefulness of the society as a whole. In addition; criminalisation can be viewed as a state sanctioned to the crime doers.

Because I personally believed that once a person is not aware of his deeds, whether he/she already caused damage to the others will continuously patronage his/her action if not being reprimanded of his wrong doings. In this sense, sanctions must be something that could make evildoers awake then, if not he/she more likely to repeat the said action again and again.

Crime rate is measured to determine the number or crime incidence happen in that particular place. In order to compare on what specific year and month that crime rate rise and fall, so that the public has the idea when to be more careful and not as well as to be more familiar with the places where crime rate is high. Countries and societies have different methods in measuring crime rate. Some used survey, personal interviews and sample sampling. In Australia, they use fact and figures to gather and determine the occurrence of crime, which come from a variety of sources.

They use two types of collection data. Namely, administrative and survey method. Both types of information needed to help our comprehension of the level and effects of crime to the people and in the community. The sources they use with these issues are listed in the reference for future retrieval and comparison. Administrative collection for criminal justice agencies keep record of their work process and progress related to crime in different stages.

Criminal cases are being divided into different agencies to handle with in order for it to be carefully tackle. In addition, public has the idea on what agency to look for in looking for a particular crime. For example police keep incidents record, court record the details of cases and their disposition and correction agencies have details of the offenders and their corresponding charges.

Most crime information come from administrative collections which tackle the whole population that come into contact with the criminal justice system and remain stable in terms of data collection and sources for the long period of time. There are limitations on spreading of the said data, including comparison across agencies and jurisdictions.

For example police record details about offenses, courts record cases and correction agencies for the information about individuals’ prisoners. Although improvement arises in workflow of the said data sources, data definitions and collecting method used are not always the same across jurisdiction and recording quality maybe vary. It takes time to come up with an agreement at a national level on the key issue including definitions of new and arising violations. More detailed and close likely to accurate information about crime and justice is often available at the jurisdictional level, even when it is not possible to come up with national statistics. Not all crime is reported to police.

Thus not all crimes were record and collected information then. Unreported crimes usually occur at rural areas where people do not have enough access to authority. Minor crimes like theft, sexual assaults, and minor incidence are the usual crime that is most commonly unreported. Twenty percent of crime related to sexual assaults is believed to be unreported and almost ninety five percent for motor vehicle thefts incidence. This is the reason why other sources of data collection use the method of asking questions to the public in order to come up with the highest and lowest common answers.

These answers are then recorded in a similarly uniform way so that the information they provide is reliable and comparable. Crime surveys are believed to produce more accurate vision of actual crime rate in a particular society. Although survey is said to be more accurate than the others there is still possibilities of error with regard of its percentage, due to small sample population involved. But percentage of errors is also being recorded in order to determine the error.

Crime brought negative connotation to individuals’ perception and thinking, based on how the state or society label it as such also. The imposed and practice rules and regulation culturally embraced society, because society has its norms and standard to follow. Doing the opposite to the said norms is therefore considered deviant. Thus doers are labeled as shame to the family where she/he belongs and to the community as a whole. These are labeled as such because the society set it as such also, and the people therefore are obliged to observe and follow the norms being an occupant of the society. Therefore, people committing such deviant acts are subject to face and suffer before the law.

The consistent problem has been to justify the society’s use of force to coerce with its law. Natural law theory posits that the standard of morality are derived from or constructed by the nature of the world or of human beings. Thomas Aquinas said: “ the law and measure of human acts is the reason which is the first principle of human acts.”( Since people are by nature rational beings, it is morally appropriate that they should behave in a way that conforms to their rational being. Thus any law must conform to natural law and coercing people to conform to that law is morally acceptable. Every human actions deal always with morality.

The problem may arise if ones moral act which is set his/her nature may not be moral to the others, which probably came from other society whose moral value are not the same. Thus crime may also result to. But in dealing with these issues both parties involve must understand and know each others moral value to compromise to possibly eradicate the arising trouble, as well as the authority who have the power to weigh and decide it all.

Majority of natural law theorist accepts that the primary function of the law is to enforce the prevailing morality. The problem with this is that it makes any moral criticism, if conformity with natural law is necessary conditions for legal validity. It s always necessary for the existing law to be just and fair to all individuals in a society. Equal treatment and punishment must be given to offenders regardless of their ethnicity, status and socio-economic standing. The law may be acceptable but the use of state power to citizens to comply with that law is not morally justified. Crime may be characterized as the violation of individual rights. Since right are considered as natural and crime as a man-made labeling.

Therefore crime is also natural. Perfect example for this is that man’s nature is to look for food for survival, and he must take some actions on how to get his/her basic needs. In remote areas for example most people get their food anywhere they want and with any method they knew. Some cultivate food in their own, using the land they found regardless of the ownership of the said land. Whether it owns by the state or by other people. With this scenario, in natural moral aspect the act is right and legal because the nature dictates man to have food to survive.

On the other hand, human implemented law states that it is illegal and criminal because of using the land which is own by the other people. It is invasion of property if the society law calls it. In this case, the man, which is just doing things that is for him legal, will be hold and question by the state before the law. Natural theory therefore distinguishes between criminality, which is derived from human nature, and illegality, which is derived from the interest of those in power. This view leads to a seemingly paradox that an act can be illegal that is no crime, while criminal act could be perfectly legal.



Berger, Peter. (1963). Introduction to Sociology, Doubleday and Co., Inc. New York.

Dostoevsky, Fryodor. (1981). Crime and Punishment, Bantam Books. New York.

Feinberg, Joel. (1973). Social Philosophy, Prentice Hall Englewood Cliffs. New Jersey.

Halt, William. (1973). Social Control, Rinehart and Winston Inc. Forth Worth.

Hess, Beth. (1976). Sociology, Prentice Hall. New York.

Hudson, Helen. (1985). Criminal Trespass, G.P. Putnam’s sons. New York.

Lerry G. Lao-Valdez. (2005). Introduction to Literature: A Book Of Reading”,

Julbert Press. Department of English, College OF Arts & Social Sciences, MSU,  IIT, Iligan  City.

Sanchez, Custodiosa. (1997). Contemporary Social Problems and Issues,

National Bookstores. Manila.



Australasian Centre for Policing Research (

Australian Legal Information Institute ( (legal resources

Crime. (

Crime meaning. (
Criminality. (

Law Enforcement Links (viewed 19 April 2006)
National Criminal Justice reference Service (



Cite this Page

Most criminologists use a legal definition of crime. (2017, Apr 21). Retrieved from

Don't let plagiarism ruin your grade

Run a free check or have your essay done for you

plagiarism ruin image

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer