July 29, 2021
Nature of Crime and Definition of Crime

Nature and Definition of Crime – Explained

Nature of crime

In ancient time any act by a person or even an animal which caused harm to any other person was considered as punishable crime. The punishments at earlier times were way different that it is now. The wrongdoers were beheaded or thrown out of the country as per their acts. To punish animals, stones were thrown at them. Crime is a changing concept dependent upon the social development of people that is upon the fundamental interest and values dominating their common beliefs. But as the time passed by and humans started to regularize themselves the Nature and Definition of crime became clearer.

The nature of crime is changing due to the changes in the society and the environment. Today one cannot view crime with a single perspective alone. Two of the common views that explain the nature of crime are its condition as being a social construct and being an individual criminality.

Defination Of Crime

In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term crime does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition, though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes. – Wikipedia

Unlike torts, crime is not just a wrong against an individual but is also a wrong committed against the society or a public wrong and includes acts like murder, rape and theft to mention a few. It is not a case of differences between two parties but is a case between the wrongdoer and the state. The definition of the concept of crime is important; of course, because of the types of questions it directs attention to and the order of phenomena it leads one to investigate. A definition of crime establishes the subject matter of the discipline of criminology and sets limits on what is to be considered criminological work. Therefore, a humanistic criminology can only be developed if an appropriately humanistic definition of crime is used as its initial point of departure. The most commonly accepted definition of crime is ‘an act that is capable of being followed by criminal proceedings’, which provides us with a wide classification of the term in that the only common element of crime is that previous legal proceedings have outlined it as such.

The idea of the need for punishment is a common element to defining crime; however it may also include any action or omission which causes harm to person or property or in any way violates the criminal law. The concept of crime often, but not necessarily, involves violation of moral codes followed by some level of social disapproval but is it important to recognize that not all crimes are disapproved of by all people. Read more here

At first, Crime was defined as- An act or omission of an act that is prohibited and punishable by the federal statutes. Four essential conditions or an act or omission to be considered as crime are:

  • The act is considered wrong by the society,
  • the act causes harm to the society in general or to those in need of protection,
  • The harm is serious and the remedy must be dealt by the criminal justice system.

A crime may be an act of disobedience to such a law forbidding it or commanding it. But then, sometimes, disobedience of law may not be a crime, for instance disobedience of civil laws. Therefore, crime would mean something more than mere disobedience of law. Read more here

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