Definition of crime in general.

The systematic study of the causes (artiology), prevention, control and penal responses to crime is called criminology. For these purpose, the definition of crime depends on the theoretical stance taken. The nature of crime could be viewed from either a legal or normative perspective. A legalistic definition takes as its starting point the common law contained in the laws enacted by the sovereign government. A crime is any culpable action or omission prohibited by law and puunished by the state. This is an uncomplicated view: a crime is a crime because the law defines it as such. A normative definition views crime as cultural standarts specifying how humans ought to behave. This approach considers the complex realities surrounding the concept of crime and seeks to understand how changing social, political, psychological and economic conditions may effect the current definitions of crime and the form of the legal, law enforcement and penal responses made by the state. Thhese structural realities are fluid and often contentious. For example, as cultures change and the political environment shifts, behaviour may be criminalised a decriminalised which will directly affect the statistical crime rates determine the allocation of resources for the enforcement of

f such laws, and influence public opinion. Similary, changes in the way that crime data is collected or calculated may affect the public perceptions of the extent of any given “crime problem”. All such experience of people in their everyday lives, shape attitudes on the extent to which law should be used to enforce any particular social norm. There are many ways in which behaviour can be controlled without having to resort to using the criminal law. Indeed, in those cases where there is no clear consensus on the given norm, the use of criminal law by the group in power to prohobit the behaviour of another group may be considered an improper limitation of the second group’s freedom, and thhe ordinary members of society may lose some of their respect for the law ingeneral whether the disputed law is actively enforced on not.

The process of criminalisation should be controlled by the state because: victims or witnesses of crimes might be deterred from taking any action if they fear retaliation. Even in policed societies, fear may inhibit reporting or co-operation in a trial.

Antisocial behaviour is criminalised and threated as offences against society which justifies punishment by the government. A series of
f distinctions are made depending on the passive subject of the crime or on the offended interests in crimes against:

Personality of the state. Rights of the citizen. Public administration. Administration of justice. Religious sentiment and faith. Public order. Public economy, industry, and commerce. Public morality. Person and honour. Patrimony.

Or they can be distinguished depending on the related punishment with sentencing tariffs priscribed in line with the perceived seriousness of the least serious, and in some states, capital punishment for the most serious.

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