Property Crimes : Determining Factors, Nature and Patterns - The Red Carpet


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Monday, January 30, 2023

Property Crimes : Determining Factors, Nature and Patterns

Property crime has been defined in numerous ways. A common definition of property crime is the taking of property without the use of physical force or threats. However, in the real world, property crime can sometimes involve violence. Although not universal, the broadest and most basic definition of property crime is as follows: illegal activity involving the transfer or destruction of property, including money, cars, jewellery, shoes, drugs, or other forms of wealth, whether or not violence is used or threatened. The benefit of including violent forms of theft in the definition of property crime is that it broadens our focus while also simplifying our subject matter. Property crime comes in many forms, including violent, fraudulent, stealthy, destructive, and entrepreneurial. Robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, tax evasion, fraud, burglary, auto theft, shoplifting, vandalism, arson, fencing, and illegal drug trade are all examples of property crime.

Property offences occurred on occasion when there was an opportunity or a situational inducement to commit the crime. Theoretical explanations for occasional property crimes suggest that the rate of occasional property crime varies with the frequency of situational inducements. As a foundation for social psychological explanations of criminal behaviour, differential association theories and social control theories are presented. It should be noted that the public's reaction to property crimes is mirrored in law enforcement agencies' reactions.

Much property crime can be understood in terms of the roles and social networks of property criminals. In this regard, many scholars distinguish between amateur theft and professional theft. Most property offenders are amateur offenders: They are young and unskilled in the ways of crime, and the amount they gain from any single theft is relatively small. They also do not plan their crimes and instead commit them when they see an opportunity for quick illegal gain. In contrast, professional property offenders tend to be older and quite skilled in the ways of crime, and the amount they gain from any single theft is relatively large. Not surprisingly, they often plan their crimes well in advance. The so-called cat burglar, someone who scales tall buildings to steal jewels, expensive artwork, or large sums of money, is perhaps the prototypical example of the professional property criminals. Many professional thieves learn how to do their crimes from other professional thieves, and in this sense they are mentored by the latter just as students are mentored by professors, and young workers by older workers.

This situation shows just how opportunistic property crimes happen. Here, the car is left unattended with its keys in the ignition. Anyone walking by could, if they wanted to, just take it and be long gone before the owner returned, no planning required. Opportunity Theories say that the owner of this car is begging for it to be stolen. Theories of Opportunity are a family of explanations that focus on how offenders, rather than going out and actively looking for opportunities to commit crime, simply come across them as they go about their daily activities. Such theories argue that this is why more property crimes occur on busy streets or near heavy-traffic areas than in quiet, seldom-used ones. And, the more people who see an opportunity for crime, the more likely that one of them will take the opportunity and commit the crime.

Routine Activity Theory (RAT) holds that most offenders don't go out of their way to look for crimes to commit. Instead, they discover criminal opportunities while engaging in their 'routine activities' and choose to take advantage of them. Under RAT, for any crime to occur, three items must be present at the same time and place. These are:

  1. a suitable target
  2. a motivated offender
  3. lack of guardianship

Rational Choice Theory is another theory of opportunity. Here, potential offenders weigh the costs and benefits of a given crime. When they come across an opportunity for crime, they informally assess the situation to see whether or not it's worth taking. For example, if the running car is out in front of a police station, the potential benefit from stealing the car will likely be outweighed by the increased likelihood of getting caught. However, if the running car is parked at the edge of a large parking lot, the risk is much lower. This evaluation process takes only seconds and makes the difference between just walking by and getting in and driving off.


Read Also :

1. The Effects of Real Estate Laws in India and the United States

2. Current Indian Real Estate Industry - Detailed Analysis

3. (RERA) The Real Estate (Regulations and Development) Act, 2016 : Analysis & Judgments

Read Also : What is the best way to start real estate business?

Read Also : Criminology and its relationship with other social sciences



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