The term crime implies to an illegal act and such an illegal act is punished by a state. Crime as a concept is so broad that there is no single & universally accepted definition.
A common principle of criminal law is that unless active activity is prohibited by law, it cannot be characterized as a crime. Criminal incidents hurt both the individual and the state. This is why such acts are prohibited and punishable by law. The body of law that deals with the punishment of crimes is known as criminal law.
Categories of Crime
- Crimes against the person: – These are also personal crimes. This includes murder, aggravated assault, rape and robbery.
- Crime against Property: – These crimes comprises of property theft without any bodily harm such as burglary, car theft or arson.
- Crime against Morality: – There are several instances where there is also no bodily harm or any kind of damage to property. Yet these crimes are considered immoral activities and are therefore unacceptable. Prostitution, illegal gambling and the use of illegal drugs are all examples of such crimes. In addition, crimes against morality are also called victimless crimes because more than often there is no complaint or victim, and it is generally the State which takes suo motu cognizance of these offences.
- White Collar Crime: – White collar crimes are generally economic crimes committed by people of high social status and commit these crimes in their respective professions. Examples are embezzlement (stealing money from your employer), insider trading and tax evasion and other violations of income tax laws. Large-scale corruption, bribery and fraud cases fall under the category of white collar crimes.
- Organized crime: – Organized crime is a crime committed by structured groups generally involving the distribution of illegal goods and services to third parties.