Criminology Essays - Criminal Behaviour, Victims and Crime Reductions

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Criminal Behaviour, Victims and Crime Reductions

In this assignment I will be looking at how crimes affect society in aspects that we may not know, because crimes go deeper than actual people committing crimes. There are many theories why people commit crimes which I will talk about later in the assignment. Crime or criminology isn’t just a subject it self but will involve many other subjects that help us understand why people commit crime. Some of the subjects that criminology will be linked to are:

  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Geography
  • Law
  • Anthropology

The meaning of crime has many meaning which people can define, but in my words it’s when a person commit an act which isn’t define as being civil in a civil society. This can be punishable by law and the offender may have to carry out certain sentences like jail or community service. Criminal behaviour can be seen by people and you don’t have to know a lot to know that something is bad.

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Time and place an also have an effect on law and what is seen has criminal offence. For example it wasn’t until 1967 that being homosexuality was a criminal offence, after that it was legal but advertising homosexuality in a public place will still be seen has being illegal. Another example could be that rape within a marriage was legal till 1991, then after that it was made illegal. This wasn’t changed because of an act of parliament but a case went to court regarding this matter. The judge said this was wrong, even in a marriage the wife also still have to give consent to perform sexual activities, the defence kept on appealing and the case was taken to a higher court each time the judge said the accused was guilty. Until finally the court case went to House of Lords, the accused was still found guilty and the law was changed about rape within a marriage was made illegal.

Every day we as a civilization are diverse, changing and new laws are starting to form because of things that wasn’t a problem five years ago are starting to become a problem. Smoking was legal five years ago but now it is banned in all pubs, clubs, public places (town centres), business premises, company cars that is shared by more than one person and bus shelters. A law that is legal now but will be illegal in five years is smoking again; the government may want to ban it all together because of the many thousands of pounds it costing the average person and the NHS Trust.

In society today we as human being have come up with three reasons why people tend to commit criminals activities: Biological or Genetic – This one means that people inherit the tendency to commit crimes through parents. Sociological – This means that people are persuaded to commit crimes like in a group of people. Psychological – This is more linked to a person personality, i.e. a mental patient.

Gender and age are also a factor to determine why people commit crimes, you can also learn cultural behaviour i.e. you come from a family of criminals. 16 – 24 year old are the highest of people to commit crimes and even lower in the age group of 16-20. Men are twice more likely to commit a crime than woman. Media and peer group can also have a major factor because they influence they way you act and think.

Task 1

P1 Criminal Behaviour

In this section I will describe one Sociological and Psychological theory. I will also be talking about some other casual factors.

In the big wide world where all the sane people try and live, some famous people have came up with theories why some people commit crimes. This is because all the sane people believe that if a person commit a crime in their wonderfully world than they are insane. Some people who make these theories also carry out practical experiments to support their theories so the mad world will believe them.

Sociology Theory

Labelling Theory

The Sociological Theory I will describing will be on the Labelling Theory. This theory is saying that we has a society have become very good at labelling a group of people as criminals. Examples could be that anyone that Islam is a terrorist, or anyone who is black will commit a lot of crimes or have that some sort of lifestyle that involved around committing crimes. In today society especially in the U.K we tend to label people to do things because we believe everything in the media. For example at the moment Islam is being perceived as terrorist religion, some people may say that people in the U.K attack things or people that they don’t know off and scared of. This hasn’t started with Islam, just before the Second World War started massive immigration of Jewish people migrated to Britain and America. One famous person to migrate is the Jerry Springer who hosted a TV show. In the press around the time of Jewish people the media were attacking Jewish people because they didn’t know of them and mass Jewish people were flocking to the U.K


This have been developed from the work of Emile Durkheim (1858 – 1917), Durkheim believed that for societies all over the world, to exist in harmony they have to be social order that need to be agreed. He and others also stated that crime is normal and always will happen because crime is not crime one day and then parliament will pass law and it will become illegal.


This is carried on from originals ideas of Karl Marx; he said crimes are happing all over the world because of class of people. He described two class called the Bourgeoisie (upper class) and Proletariat (working class). He said that the Bourgeoisie were always exploited the Proletariat and that is this was on going than crime will be common in those areas. In 1994 the government of the time passed the Criminal Justice Act which made for these kinds of things. Marxism also said that the upper class will create laws to protect their position and to downsize the lower class so the upper class will benefit as much.

Chicago school

This theory was first founded by Robert Park; he said that crime may be a factor in terms of how a town is situated. Park drew a diagram of what he called was the Concentric Zone Modal >>>>>.

In the modal he said the in centre was the town (i.e. all shops and business district), outer broken down building, and futher single families. What this diagram shows is that the richer families lived near the town centre and poorer lived outer. So bigger houses were near the town centre, but in the diagram it’s now saying that abounded buildings are near the town. What has happened is that richer families have moved out in the countryside to be more privatised from lower classes. Rich people homes old house have been refurbished and converted into flats so poor families have moved closer to town like all the essentials. You can compare this to places like reading. Poorer families live closer to town to keep cost down and richer families live in the country side like Spencer wood and sonning common.

Psychology Theory

The Psychological Theory I will describing will be on the Psychoanalytic Theory by the famous Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), he said that the reason why people are committing crimes are because they are forces inside us that make us commit crimes. What this theory is basically saying is that our DNA may have codes that make us learn the trade like a talent and commit crimes. Freud also said that we have three things that we have inside us to stip our selves from doing some things. ID – this is the child inside us that make us acting like a child. The Ego was the rational side of us that make us weigh the consequences of the situation. The Super Ego is the moral side of us that weight the option that go from right and wrong and make us do the right thing hopefully.

(Why people commit crimes) Nature vs. Nurture


There are two key words that will be used why people commit crimes, they are Distal and Proximal. Distal means that you were born to commit crimes, for example their something in your DNA that makes you wanting to commits crimes. Proximal means that you learn to commit crimes because you live in an area where crime rates are high and employment, education are low.

Nature –

Famous biologist as Darwin has been arguing in the beginning that crimes may be because of inheritance of the parents. For a example if a boy at a young age learns to commit crimes and all his life so far he commit crime and has a mind to commit crimes, than if he produces a offspring than the chances that his genetic may pass over than that child will have the mind set on committing crimes. Famous studies like the twins have been carried out too see if one of the twins will carry out a crime and the other not, but other researcher argued that they both shared the same environment so this test will become invalid. Once famous example is the two brothers of firemen in America, both was separated at birth and raised in different parts of the countries. They both attended a firemen conference and that when they found out that they were twins, the thing that made everyone blink is that they copied what they did in life for example they both became firemen and they married same looking wife (blonde and slim). So this can prove that nature has a powerful hand to make people think and act in the same way.

Nurture –

This takes a whole different route and suggests that the way you transform yourself as an adult is based upon your environment the way you was brought up. In a presentation in class by the lecturer they said that four factors will influence you if you turn into criminals are Low family income, Poor child upbringing, large families and low educational achievements. This will all influence the child to commit crimes if the child hasn’t got the will power to carry on with the current climate that they got.

Opportunity Theory

This theory is based on the fact that criminals look at advantages and disadvantages. They weigh them up and see what the risks are, if the risk is low than they will strike and commit a crime.

Victim Centred Theories

This theory is based around the fact that some people are more likely to be a victim of crimes than others. For examples females are more likely to be a victim than men. Also in some areas crimes are hot zones than others.

Causal Factors

Although there are criminal factors that influence or make us commit crimes, there are also causal factors that will make people who necessary do not want to commit crimes but they have to because of certain influences. The influences that I will be talking about are Family, Political and Socio-economic climate.


A lot of crimes are said to be only carried out like ant-social behaviour, drunkenness, and criminal behaviour (there are other) because of family troubles. Most likely circumstances are that the offenders have not committed any crimes before and their friends, family are also free from criminal records. Government have said that if the family home is free from troubles or the father is around then the criminal behaviour will cease to exist.

Political & Socio – economic climate

This is a very complex subject because no one is in agreement with this, some politicians believe that as the economy is going up (doing good) people are in less situation to commit crimes. If the economy is doing badly then people will commit more crimes to make ends meet. In my opinion politicians may bring about crimes being committed because they might bring out polices and laws that will make people at a disadvantages so crimes will go up, In recent surveys crimes have been going down but in the way crimes are being collected may have a an influence on the way crimes are going up and down. We will never get the full picture because there are many crimes that are committed everyday but are not being reported to the police.