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Is street crime or suite crime more harmful?

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Introduction

CRIMINOLOGY 2002/2003 MODULE COORDINATOR PADDY HILLYARD ASSIGNMENT Is street crime or suite crime more harmful? Each time a newspaper is opened or a television is turned on, graphic stories of robbery, murder and mayhem appear. It is common crimes, like these, that fill the world with fear and that become the centre of attention. The focus on street crime creates the myth of the fear of crime and although crime statistics indicate that crime may be on the decrease, to residents of particular areas this decrease may not be so apparent. So with the saturation of the minds of those in society about the dangers of street crime, whether it be through media, television programmes, games or even toys, it is hardly surprising that street crime is viewed as more harmful than corporate crime. Wilson (1975) considers predatory street crime to be a far more serious matter than consumer fraud, anti trust violations ...because predatory crime.makes difficult or impossible the maintenance of meaningful human communities. The lack of focus on corporate crime adds to the myth that the young, economically disadvantaged male perpetrates the majority of crime and it is this type of crime that society fixates upon. It is understandable that the public are unaware or ignorant of the harm created by corporate crime, especially if the focus is on the more conventional street crime and they feel unaffected by the crimes committed by corporations. ...read more.

Middle

The outcome of taking these people's life savings and pensions and committing a theft in the street is the same, a loss of money, only on a much larger scale. Corporate crime has economic and social costs that outweigh the costs of the crimes that the police concentrate their resources on. It is obvious, from the limited evidence available, that crimes such as fraud and theft from consumers cost considerably more than the total cost of known robberies and burglaries. Financial crimes were rampant in the UK during the 1980s and 1990s made possible by financial deregulation policies introduced by the Tories in the 1980s the largest, the pensions fraud, has so far, according to government estimates, involved at least a million and a half compensation cases. The government allowed the companies to organise and pay out the compensation for victims themselves; this decision only compounded the problem because a lot of the companies involved failed to comply with the compensation payouts. This resulted in the Personal Investment Authority fining 150 firms a total of almost �5m for failing to compensate their customers. This mass fraud has not resulted in one company being prosecuted. For much of the 1980s and 1990s, the most widely sold type of mortgage was the endowment mortgage; this was also the subject of massive fraud because customers were wrongly advised. ...read more.

Conclusion

The case was significant in the respect that the company, as well as an individual, was prosecuted for manslaughter, this prosecution hinged on their being an owner or senior manager who was also directly operationally responsible for the incident. In 1996, the firm of Jackson Transport (Osset) was convicted of manslaughter, as was one director who was imprisoned for 12 months. A worker died after being sprayed in the face with toxic chemicals while cleaning a tanker. The Crown Prosecution Service handled the case, with the HSE taking on the breaches of Health and Safety regulations involved. Crime is a way of life in the corporate world the more complex an organisation the more likely it is to be criminologenic. The quest for profits and economic results is the vested interests of corporations and is bought at the price of social, physical, economic and human suffering. The invisibility, the lack of detection and the absence of in depth statistics make it difficult to quantify the harm caused by corporate crime. Compared to street crime, corporate crime is greatly underreported in the media very rarely detected or prosecuted but it is still maintained that the focus of our efforts to deal with crime should be concentrated at the street rather than the suite. In the meantime the prisons are being filled by people whose crimes fade into insignificance by comparison. ...read more.

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