Tag: Crime

Drug Crimes in Colombia

Colombia is distinguished as one of the countries with the highest drug crimes in the world. The high crime rate is ascribed to the nation’s illicit drug trade, which involves the production, processing, and trafficking of cocaine. The magnitude of drug crimes in Colombia can be quantified through homicide rates and statistical estimates of cocaine production and sales. In 2018, the murder rate across Colombia was approximately 25 cases per 100,000 people, while the rate of cocaine production in the same year was 1,120 metric tons. The Colombian government has been engaging in military and concerted efforts in an attempt to reduce drug trafficking and related crimes. However, the problem has only evolved into a series of other issues due to deep-seated hindrances, such as corruption and poverty. Colombia’s drug crimes represent a critical and tricky question that demands international, national, and local collaborative efforts both from a political and societal perspective.

Read also Why do Adolescents Use Drugs?

            The challenge of drug trafficking in Colombia is mainly attributed to highly organized crime groups and corruption that runs deep within administrative systems. Indeed, Colombia is renowned for its notorious cartels that manage drug operations and criminal activities. Some of the most famous cartels were the Medellin, Cali, Norte Del Valle, and North Coast Cartels (PBS). Cartels are responsible for supervising the production and distribution of illegal drugs. Some cartels have used extreme tactics such as amalgamating with guerilla movements to enhance their trafficking level. For instance, the Medellin Cartel combined with the M-19 militia group to eventually traffic over 80% of cocaine delivered to the United States. It is estimated that 70% of the world’s cocaine is produced in Colombia. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), this amounts to about 1400 tons, a significant chunk of the 2000 tons produced in the Andean region. Other cocaine-producing countries in the Andean region include Peru and Bolivia (Popescu 258). In each of these countries, organized groups contribute to the persistence of trafficking.

Read also Drug and Substance Abuse Among School-aged Youth

            Poverty contributes to the growth and perpetuation of cocaine trafficking in Colombia. Poor farmers are compelled to cultivate coca to earn a living (Gootenberg 27). Much of the coca used in the production of cocaine is cultivated in remote areas where authorities are absent, and locals lack access to Colombia’s legal economy. The lack of state control means that land is readily available for informal and illegal activities, such as coca cultivation. In 2018, it was estimated that over 160,000 hectares of land were used to cultivate cocaine. A more significant part of this land is farmed by 130,000 families who benefit directly from small-scale coca farming. Each family receives an average of $1000 per month from coca-growing activities. The mean price of coca across Colombia is one dollar per kilogram, albeit pricing is mainly dependent on the region. Approximately 125 kilograms of coca are needed to produce one kilogram of cocaine. To buy such an amount of coca, a local drug lab needs barely $150. However, once processed, the value upsurges to about $2200. The value further escalates when the cocaine reaches consumers in the United States to roughly $60,000.

Read also Drug Trafficking Organization in America

            Colombian authorities have tried to curb the production and sale of cocaine through various methods. The most prevalent methods are the eradication of coca plants via spraying chemicals. Even so, the country still records high levels of cocaine production. For instance, the country produced over 1300 tons of cocaine in 2017 alone. The Colombian defense ministry claims to have destroyed over 80,000 hectares of coca and confiscated over 400 tons of cocaine in 2018 alone. The mission of eradicating cocaine is a complicated task because of several issues. Firstly, farmers have no alternatives to earn livelihood and entirely depend on coca farming to feed. Secondly, the Colombian regime lacks the capacity to counter illegal groups that control the industry. Such groups have considerable financial resources to lure government officials and bribe authorities. Additionally, there is a high degree of corruption within the Colombian government. At the international level, foreign powers have not managed to strike a lasting agreement on tackling Colombia’s illicit drug trade. Although Europe and the United Nations have proposed substituting crops and forced eradication through aerial fumigation, these methods have not been successful. Colombia lacks an effective crop substitution program. Furthermore, cartels that control coca production are incredibly violent.

Read also Neighborhoods With Drug Patrol Units Are Less Likely To Have Drug Sales Than Neighborhoods Without Drug Patrol Units

            Experience has proved that eradicating crops is not an adequate measure of solving Colombia’s drug crime problem. Perhaps this is why international bodies such as the UNODC support administrative efforts to help farmers who abandon coca farming. Examples of collaborative programs that have been designed to help farmers are the Productive Projects Program and the Forest Warden Families Program. Such initiatives help ensure that former coca farmers switch to legal incomes that are adequate for sustenance. Rural activities designed to rehabilitate former coca farmers are incorporated into comprehensive socio-economic development projects to benefit all Colombian populations. The UNODC guesstimates that the area under coca cultivation reduced between 2009 and 2010 (Bagley 8). However, these figures increased in the succeeding years. This shows that current efforts are not sufficient to solve Colombia’s illicit drug trade crisis.

Read also Significance of Drug Courts in the United States – CJUS 230 Final Research Paper

            The involvement of the Colombian military has also been a critical strategy against cocaine production and trafficking. While it has achieved moderate success, it has not resulted in significant changes. Even in locations where military presence is significant, the justice system remains inefficient. If the state has not managed to establish significant presence and control, the presence of the military and police officers does not have any potential to shift the status quo. The capacity of the judiciary to impact changes on the ground in areas where coca is cultivated has particularly proven inadequate. Therefore, the presence of the police and the military promises little effect. There is a high level of incompetence among Colombian institutions, which seems to be a critical source of the ensuing drug problems.

            In conclusion, Colombia’s drug crimes represent a critical and tricky question that demands international, national, and local collaborative efforts both from a political and societal perspective. The challenge of drug trafficking in Colombia is mainly attributed to highly organized crime groups and corruption that runs deep within administrative systems. Colombia is renowned for its notorious cartels that manage drug operations and criminal activities in the country.  Poverty contributes to the growth and perpetuation of cocaine trafficking in Colombia. Much of the coca used in the production of cocaine is cultivated in remote areas where authorities are absent, and locals lack access to Colombia’s legal economy. Colombian authorities have tried to curb the production and sale of cocaine through various methods. The most prevalent methods are the eradication of coca plants via spraying chemicals. Experience has proved that eradicating crops is not an adequate measure of solving Colombia’s drug crime problem. The involvement of the Colombian military has also been a critical strategy against cocaine production and trafficking. While it has achieved moderate success, it has not resulted in significant changes.

Read also Drug Enforcement Administration Forensic Department

Crime Victims’ Rights Act and How they have Progressed over the Years

Introduction

For a very long time, crime victims have been neglected by not being considered in the legal process whereby offenders are prosecuted and sentenced. This was because their rights had not be considered as part of the constitution. After some time, there was an introduction of a list of rights expected to be offered for crime victims, but the issue is that there was no legal grounds to act as punishment in case these were violated. Today, the case is completely different, as victims have rights which are enacted in the constitution, and have a legal route to follow in case of violation. This paper features the crime victims’ rights act and how they have progressed over the past few years.

The Significant Manner In Which The Crime Victims Rights Act Protects The Rights Of Crime Victims

Approximately 30 years back, crime victims had few legal rights within the criminal justice system. Victims had no right to be updated on the court proceedings, nor were they even offered victim assistance programs. Fortunately, tremendous changes have taken place as there has been a creation of legal rights and assistance programs for crime victims (Cassell, Mitchell & Edwards, 2014). Today, all states have established an extensive body that promotes the basic rights and protections for crime victims within the statutory code. The Crime Victims’ Rights Act protects the right of victims by influencing how they are treated within the state, federal and local criminal justice systems. By including the crime victims’ rights in the state constitution, the strength,  permanence and enforceability of rights of victims are increased (Cassell, 2005). The crime victims’ rights act is strong, because no law can violate a provision of the U.S constitution. These rights protect crime victims by ensuring that no matter the court being used, the constitution will still ensure their rights are enforced.

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This piece of legislation is effective as crime victims of today are protected and supported. Only a few states offered recourse for victims whose rights are not honored. This is inclusive of states that had adopted the constitutional amendments. There was usually no clear civil action to take when a victim suffers from damages resulting from a violation of rights. In most cases, when a crime victim’s right is violated, there was no grounds for new trials or even an overturning of a sentence (Musgrove & Groves, 2007). Enforceability was further restricted as the bill of rights does not create a cause of action against the state.

Read also Cases Where Intoxication and Mistake of Fact were used as a Defense To Crime

These factors changed, however, when the Crime Victims’ Rights Act was passed. The rights of victims have been enlisted to show exactly what they are entitled to. To make even better, this act gives victims a legal standing in case they are violated (Cassell, Mitchell & Edwards, 2014). A mechanism of receiving complaints and investigating the reports are in place.

Victim Impact Statements Add Value During Sentencing And Parole Hearings

Victim impact statements are indeed an important part of the criminal justice system as they offer crime victims a chance to be heard. It is basically a description provided by the victim of how the crime has affected his life, as well as those of his loved ones (Musgrove & Groves, 2007). It also features a suggestion on what the victim thinks will be the best punishment for the offender. It is not compulsory to fill out this statement. However once the judiciary have a view of how the crime affected the victim’s life, they are better placed to choose the best mode of punishment (Cassell, 2005). For instance, a person who is a victim of rape can fill out the statement arguing that she also suffered financial losses due to not being in good health to go to work for a month or two. If this person chooses not to fill out the form, the offender may only be punished for the act as the judiciary will not have a clear picture of other effects of the crime.

Read also Index Crimes Comparison – Evaluating Rates of Homicide, Robbery and Rape in United States, Canada and Germany for 2012

Which Is More Important To A Victim: The Right To Be Notified Of Proceeding Or The Right To Participate In A Proceeding

The right to be notified of proceeding is not as important to a victim as the right to participate in a proceeding. The latter is usually the most important as victims feel like they are actively engaged in the criminal proceedings. This option helps victims to listen to counsel’s arguments and view the kind of reactions offered by the judge, jury, and defendant (Cassell, 2005). Being informed of a proceeding only involves being told the dates and results or conclusions that the jury reached. The victim is otherwise not included in the process. For most of the victims, it is preferable to play a part in the criminal proceedings rather than be in the back seat and only get information from a third party.

How to Ensure that Correctional Employees adhere to the ACA Code of Ethics

The ACA code of ethics is supposed to promote the human rights of all individuals. Criminals are also human beings, and thus should still be treated like so (Musgrove & Groves, 2007). To ensure that their mistakes are not used against them, and that they are not mistreated while in the correctional facility, the first strategy should be to implement a reporting system (Cassell, Mitchell & Edwards, 2014). This should involve a body that the offenders can trust enough to go to when something wrong happens to them. With such a system in place, the correctional employees will know that they are being monitored, and can thus be punished for denying the inmates their human rights.

Second, the facility should make use of a training system under which the employees are taught and educated that these people need help, and not mistreatment (Cassell, 2005). Most prisoners have factors in their backgrounds that led them astray. During their stay in the facility, the employees should understand that it is their role to help them get back on track.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why it is important for the victim to have a voice in a legal process. First, it helps them to share how the attackers actions have influenced life negatively for them. It paints a clear picture, from the first hand experience of the victim, and not simply the prosecutor. In most cases, the prosecutors usually end up misinterpreting a victim’s situation, just as lawyers can use altered stories to win a case. If the victim is given a voice, it will not be for other reasons, but for his own benefit. Second, giving the victim a voice offers a chance of starting the healing process. This is because the victim is given a chance of sharing the experience with others, including the judge and jury. These people can then use the victim’s emotions to help gauge the right step to take in his or her favor. Therefore, it offers an opportunity for the victim to give a firsthand account of his or her experience. Third, by being given a voice, the victim is allowed to share what he or she thinks will be the best mode of punishment.

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Victorian Community Crime Prevention Program

The Community Crime Prevention Program (CCPP) was created by the Victorian government to avert misconduct and provide effective solutions to crime within the Victorian territory. The program consists a series of initiatives delivered by the state authority which include:

  • Graffiti Grants Program (GGP);
  • Community Safety Fund (CSF) grants program;
  • Reducing Violence against Women and their Children (RVAWC) grants program;
  • Public Safety Infrastructure Fund (PSIF) grants program;
  • Community Correctional Services Graffiti Removal Program (GRP);
  • CCPP Communications Program; and
  • Neighborhood Watch Reinvigoration (NWR) program.

Victorian Community Crime Prevention Program Major Objectives

The Victorian Community Crime Prevention Program has three key major objectives namely

  • building knowledge of local and other communities about effective ways to reduce crime,
  • providing resources that enable communities to implement local solutions to crime,
  • and building relationships between community organizations and community members to strengthen local crime prevention responses.

Read also Juvenile Delinquency Prevention – Research Paper

The backbone of the CCPP is a blend of competitive grants for which a broad range of local government authorities and community organizations are eligible. The program kicked off as an outcome of an election commitment after the appointment of the minister for crime prevention in 2010.

Victorian Community Crime Prevention Program Evaluation

A fundamental obligation of any government is keeping communities safe and the justice system fair. Crime is driven by a range of factors relating to the broader social and environmental context and the characteristics of individuals. Addressing social and economic disadvantage and improving community connectedness can be protective against antisocial and offending behavior as well as the fear of crime. The government believes that early intervention and a comprehensive approach to reducing crime, implemented across the community, is the best defense against a cycle of crime and violence. Effective, evidence-based crime prevention strategies can deliver a range of benefits for the Victorian community, including: reducing the long term costs associated with the criminal justice system, reducing the direct social and economic costs of crime, reducing the indirect costs of crime, including in areas such as health and social services, improving community cohesion and the quality of community life. Effective crime prevention requires individuals, communities, businesses and all levels of government to work together in a coordinated way to develop and implement effective strategies to address the causes of crime.

Crime prevention contributes to community safety as one part of the government’s overarching approach to reducing crime. Crime prevention is defined as “…any action or policy designed to influence the underlying or contributing factors that increase the risk of crime or victimization occurring or improve actual or perceived safety.” The CCPP implements the government’s approach to collaborating with and supporting councils and community organizations to deliver local crime prevention programs through the delivery of a competitive grants program. The grants program engages the community in effective crime prevention action and builds the number and quality of local crime prevention responses across Victoria. The CCPP ensures government and communities can build on, share and enhance the good work that has been done to date.

Read also The Purpose Of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design

Theories of Crime Prevention within Victorian Community Crime Prevention Program

Situational crime prevention

Situational crime prevention is based upon the premise that crime is often opportunistic and aims to modify contextual factors to limit the opportunities for offenders to engage in criminal behaviour (Tonry & Farrington 1995). Situational prevention comprises a range of measures that highlight the importance of targeting very specific forms of crime in certain circumstances (Clarke 1997). This involves identifying, manipulating and controlling the situational or environmental factors associated with certain types of crime (Cornish & Clarke 2003). It is also based upon assumptions regarding the nature of offending and of offenders (Cornish & Clarke 2003). Underlying the situational approach are four key elements, including:

  • three key opportunity theories—routine activity, crime pattern and rational choice theory;
  • an action research methodology that involves analysing of specific crime problems and contributing factors, identifying possible responses, selecting and implementing of the most appropriate or promising response and evaluating and disseminating the results;
  • a classification of 25 situational prevention techniques; and
  • a growing body of evaluated projects and examples of different types of strategies (such as those available on the Problem-Oriented Policing Center, which helps to inform the selection and design of specific interventions (Clarke 2005).

The focus of the three key opportunity theories is actually quite different. Under routine activity theory, three critical elements must occur simultaneously for a criminal event to take place—a motivated offender, a suitable target and the absence of a capable guardian (Clarke 1997). The theory seeks to explain how societal changes can impact upon opportunities for crime (Sutton, Cherney & White 2008). Crime pattern theory seeks to explain the influence of communities and neighbourhoods, and focuses on how offenders may come across opportunities for crime in the course of their everyday lives (Clarke 2005). Rational choice theory has a more individualistic focus and explores the decision-making processes that lead to an offender choosing to become involved in crime or specific criminal events, including weighing up the relative risks and rewards associated with offending (Clarke 2005; 1997).

Read also SARA Model – Crime Prevention

Situational crime prevention interventions include activities such as improved security through strengthening locks and improving surveillance. Cornish and Clarke (2003) have classified 25 situational crime prevention techniques into five broad categories that are based on the mechanisms underlying the different methods:

  • increasing the effort involved in offending;
  • increasing the risk associated with offending;
  • reducing the rewards that come from committing a crime;
  • reducing situational factors that influence the propensity of an individual to offend; and
  • removing excuses for offending behaviour.

This relative simple classification scheme provides a useful framework for describing the range and variety of situational techniques on offer to those working in crime prevention (Cornish & Clarke 2003).

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Important lessons for the implementation of situational crime prevention projects (taken from the UK experience where situational approaches have been common), include that it:

  • works most effectively when it is targeted at a specific crime problem in a specific context;
  • involves a thorough and systematic analysis of current and emerging crime problems and their causes and risk factors that is based on accurate and wide-ranging sources of information and has analysts with the capacity to interpret the data;
  • requires appropriate consultation mechanisms to seek input from stakeholders and the community into the development of strategies that are likely to require their action, involvement or cooperation; and
  • requires strong project management skills, a comprehensive implementation plan that describes the key stages in project delivery and the interrelationships between different but complementary interventions, and a committee made up of representatives from key stakeholder groups to oversee project development, implementation and review (Marshall, Smith & Tilley 2004)

There is considerable evidence of the effectiveness of situational crime prevention in reducing crime, both in Australia and overseas. Despite there being limitations in the evaluation literature, a review of the evidence by Eck (2006a) showed that opportunity reduction measures can reduce crime in many circumstances with little evidence of displacement. An evaluation of the UK Reducing Residential Burglary Initiative found that areas where more money had been invested in situational prevention rather than offender-focused prevention and those that were flexible in their delivery, were generally more successful in reducing residential burglary (Hope et al. 2004). While there is insufficient evidence to determine the most cost-effective approach in modifying environmental conditions to prevent crime, there is sufficient evidence that situational crime prevention is an economically efficient strategy in reducing crime (Welsh & Farrington 2001).

There are some notable exceptions. A recent systemic review concluded that CCTV has a modest but significant positive effect on crime, but that it is most effective in reducing crime in car parks and when targeted at vehicle crimes (Welsh & Farrington 2008). Further, the cost of establishing, maintaining and monitoring a CCTV system can be prohibitively expensive, and potentially exceed any financial savings that might result from a reduction in property crime (Clancey 2010). Taken together, these results lend support for the continued use of CCTV to prevent crime in public space, but suggest that it needs to be more narrowly targeted than its present use would indicate (Welsh & Farrington 2008).

Read also Community Policing Should Be Adopted To Address Crime Most Effectively – Persuasive Presentation

Developmental crime prevention

Developmental crime prevention initiatives are becoming increasingly popular in Australia (Weatherburn 2004). There has been considerable investment in early intervention programs in Australia, many of which do not have explicit crime prevention objectives (Homel et al. 1999; Weatherburn 2004). Developmental crime prevention is based on the premise that intervening early in a young person’s development can produce significant long-term social and economic benefits. While there is evidence of the importance of intervening early in life, the focus of developmental crime prevention is on intervening early at any of a number of critical transition points in a person’s development to lead them on a pathway to prevent future offending. Transition points occur around birth, the preschool years, transition from primary to high school and from high school to further education or the workforce (Homel et al. 1999).

Early intervention aims to address risk factors and enhance protective factors that impact upon the likelihood that a young person will engage in future offending behaviour (Homel et al. 1999). Risk and protective factors can be categorised into child factors, family factors, school context, life events and community and cultural factors (Homel et al. 1999). Developmental programs aim to identify, measure and manipulate risk and protective factors that research has confirmed are important in predicting future offending (Homel 2005). In practical terms, developmental crime prevention involves providing basic services or resources to individuals, families, schools or communities to minimise the impact of risk factors on the development of offending behaviours (Homel 2005). Most often these resources and services are directed towards disadvantaged or ‘vulnerable’ families with young children.

Several factors have been identified as contributing to the successful implementation of developmental crime prevention initiatives, including:

  • the importance of timing and intervening at critical junctures, such as times of stress or when people are open to external influences (which may not mean early in life);
  • the need to target multiple risk factors due to their cumulative impact, with bias towards those factors regarded as having the greatest impact, and to target multiple offence types;
  • the need to be sensitive to the needs of the local area (including the need to be culturally sensitive), involve and empower the community (in decision making, as volunteers and as paid professionals) and identify local change agents;
  • the importance of detailed assessments of community readiness (the presence of existing partnerships and management structures, leadership stability, community engagement and support for and commitment to prevention), which is a key component of programs such as Communities that Care (Crow et al. 2004);
  • the importance of strategies to make programs accessible, keep people involved and to avoid stigmatising at-risk young people or families;
  • the value of partnerships and coordination between new and existing service providers, whether they rely on formal interagency structures or more simple arrangements; and
  • the requirement for longer term investment, as the benefits of developmental crime prevention are not immediate (Crow et al. 2004; Homel et al. 1999).

Evidence from a small (but growing) number of comprehensive evaluation studies has demonstrated the long term effectiveness of early intervention in achieving significant reductions in participant’s involvement in crime, as well as improvements in areas such as educational performance, child maltreatment, workforce participation, child and youth behaviour, income and substance abuse (Homel 2005). In addition to the obvious social benefits, these outcomes are also associated with significant financial savings, both for the community and the participant (Homel et al. 2006; Schweinhart et al. 2004). The savings produced by early intervention programs include reductions in welfare assistance, decreased need for special education, increases in income tax revenue from the higher wages of participants (due to improved educational attainment), reduced operational costs to the criminal justice system and reduced costs to victims (Homel et al. 2006). Conversely, at least one study has demonstrated long term negative outcomes for participants and the problems of stigmatising participants as being ‘at risk’ or delinquent (Homel R 2005). Further, despite the increased popularity of early intervention as a crime prevention strategy with promising results, evidence of long term cost effectiveness has been limited to a small number of overseas studies and one notable Australian example. Nevertheless, taken as a whole, research into the impact of developmental crime prevention suggests that intervening early in a young person’s development is a promising strategy in improving the life course development of at-risk children and their families, and in reducing the long-term costs associated with delinquency and future criminal offending (Schweinhart et al. 2004; Welsh & Farrington 2001).

Cases Where Intoxication and Mistake of Fact were used as a Defense To Crime

Intoxication

This defense is often used in cases involving aggravated murder. While it does not completely exculpate the defendant of the charges of aggravated murder it may serve to lower the charge of aggravated murder to murder. In the case of State v Slagle, it was alleged that the defendant broke into the victim’s house, attempted to rape her and stabbed her multiple times before she died. The defense of intoxication was denied as the defendant did not portray any signs of intoxication upon his arrest or in the course of his detainment. Moreover, if the intoxication had indeed been present, which from all indications it was not, it was not to such an extent that it precluded the formation of the intent to commit the crime as was established by the account of the defendant’s actions during the commission of the crime.

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Despite the applicability of intoxication as a defense for aggravated murder, using it as a defense, in this case, was inappropriate due to the overwhelming amount of evidence that could prove the contrary. Intoxication should negate the elements of deliberation and premeditation. However, in the case of Slagle, there was a deliberate attempt to avoid detection by entering through the front window which was farthest from the victim’s bedroom and from the view of the family residing in the adjacent house. Moreover, Slagle’s movements in the house were stealthy, he exercised caution by removing his shoes to avoid detection and when he attempted to escape capture from the police he did so with speed and agility which is not typical of an intoxicated individual.

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His inability to prove that he was indeed intoxicated also rendered his attempt to cite a violation of due process without merit. This violation, hinged on his alleged intoxication and its capacity to prevent him from knowingly waiving his rights to remain silent and obtain an attorney. The intoxication having been proven to be absent this particular proposition was rejected.  I would argue this defense in specific cases where intoxication was involuntary and other more favorable defenses such as accident can serve as supporting defenses to preclude intent and negate the element of premeditation.

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Mistake of fact

Using this defense requires proving that the harm done was not caused by the defendant’s voluntary action. That the defendant lacked the mens rea required to commit the crime and that a reasonable man in the defendant’s position would have thought that things were as the defendant alleges them to be. This defense brings to mind the classic example of a man who takes an umbrella that does not belong to him without knowledge of the fact. This man is innocent because he lacks the intent to steal the umbrella. Mistake of fact is a defense if the commission of a crime results from ignorance on the part of the defendant and would not result in the commission of another crime if the things were as the defendant believed them to be.

Read also Criminal Defenses and Criminal Punishments

For instance, in the case of United States v Kairouz, the defendant arrived in Boston Airport with a girdle and an apron strapped to his waist which he believed concealed cocaine (class II controlled substance). Upon search by customs officials, five pounds of heroin (a class I controlled substance) were discovered. During his trial, the defendant maintained that he was under the erroneous assumption that the substance he was carrying was not heroin but cocaine. However, this defense was denied and the defendant was convicted of importation of a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute said substance. This defense was not valid and completely inappropriate in this case since importing and being in possession of cocaine still carries the same sentence as importing and being in possession of heroin.

Read also Cases Related to Entrapment by the Police

Why the defense thought the defense of mistake of fact would be applicable in this case is difficult to elucidate. The defense of mistake of fact is not only an inappropriate defense for this case but also for cases where it seems likely that it would be looked upon favorably. For instance, take our classic case of the man with the umbrella, it is probable that the defense of mistake of fact could get him an acquittal should he be tried for larceny, but it would also open up an avenue for the defense to show evidence of the man’s familiarity with his own umbrella and thus, such mistake is unlikely. In my opinion, it would be much safer to argue that the man lacked the intent to steal the property of another and leave it at that.

The RICO Act and Organized Crime

According to (Scheb & Scheb, 2011) organized crimes includes offenses that individuals or groups of people commit with an attempt to gain political influence by virtue of corruption or graft. Woodiwiss (2015) points that organized crime activities include smuggling, extortion (racketeering) and fraud. The threat that organized crime posed was sounded through the 1960 presidential crime commission and congressional hearings. This was responded with the 1970 enactment into of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act).

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            The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act) is more powerful than the then existing conspiracy law. According to (Paoli, 2014) the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act) provides the federal investigators and prosecutors with a strong anti-organized crime weapon. The RICO Act outlaws racketeering activities and use of proceeds of such an activity and unlawful debt to gain an interest in an enterprise. The act also makes it a federal crime to have an interest in an enterprise by the virtue of commission of a pattern of criminal activity or through a collection of unlawful debt. It is also a federal crime under the act to participate in conducting an enterprise activity through racketeering activity or collection of unlawful debts.    

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The RICO Act has been employed successfully in prosecution of several organized crime activities. The act was used in the prosecution of Interbank Group of Herndon, Virginia. According to (Anderson & Jackson, 2004) James O’Connor and James Geisler, who were the founders and principal owners of the company, were indicted for immigration and visa fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering among other crimes. The act has also been used in prosecution of Edmond Boyle of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy and subsequent imprisonment for 151 months in jail for his involvement in bank robberies (Sergi, 2017). Keeping an organized crime unit in place is important since the increase in globalization has increased the threats the organized crime pose to individuals, organizations and the economy. Having such a unit in place ensures not only such a crime can be fought but it also ensures organized crime activities can be tracked and busted before they occur.

Female Crime Rates Between the United States and Saudi Arabia

Treatment of Females and How it Affects Criminality

            In the early and middle of 1990s, there was an increased media focus on the increased rates of female involvement in crime. It is reported in (Kontos, Brotherton & Barrios, 2012) that during the period, the number of women joining gang memberships, involvement in drugs, possession of guns, violence and other activities that were seen as a preserve for men, was on the rise. Although a number of perspectives developed to explain the increased involvement of women in crime, one perspective stood above others; the feminist theory that increased female opportunities increased their likelihood of participation in crime. In this paper, this perspective will be examined through a comparison in female crime rates between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Read also Index Crimes Comparison – Evaluating Rates of Homicide, Robbery and Rape in United States, Canada and Germany for 2012

            The United States is one of the world’s most powerful states with also one of the largest gross domestic product. Unlike Saudi Arabia, United States ranks ahead in terms of human rights and gender equality. Saudi Arabia on the other hand is a conservative country with dominant Sharia laws the major cultural determinants, dictating the way men and women should behave (Human Rights Watch, 2017). Theft is one of the biggest crimes in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Arab News, 2016). However, in this largest form of crime in the country, the Arabia News points that over 50% of such crimes committed in 2015 in the country were perpetrated by women. In comparison, according to (Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, 2016) the female crimes cases in U.S have been increasing since 2010 at an average annual rate of about 3.4 %.

Read also Difference Between Female And Male Delinquency

            The treatment of females in Saudi Arabia and the United States show very small similarity, which owes mostly to how men perceive the roles of women in the society. Although the U.S culture is advanced and the roles of women have started to shift, women there are still disparities between women and men in terms of public office and economic activities. The same is true of Saudi women, where they still receive less favorable treatment compared to men in terms of public office positions. However, there are great differences between the way women in the U.S and those of Saudi Arabia are treated.

Read also Why There are More Violent Male Offenders Than Violent Female

            The women in the United States enjoy the greatest freedom and rights than those of Saudi Arabia. Until recently, women in Saudi Arabia were not allowed to participate in sports, drive cars, and hold public offices or even to vie or vote in national elections (Human Rights Watch, 2017). Moreover, women must obtain permission from male guardian in order for them to travel, exit prison or marry. They also face problems in filing legal claims or from renting apartments. In contrast, women in U.S have exclusive rights to all the rights that Saudi Arabia women do not have. For example, whereas women were allowed to vote and seek for public office in Arabian Congress, they were not allowed to talk to men while seeking for votes. In contrast the U.S had the record number of women seeking for office in Congress and they have freedom of seeking for votes from any gender without restrictions.

Read also Gender and Crime : Gender Theory of Female Offending

            Although there are differences between the U.S and the Saudi Arabia regarding the way women are treated, the greatest rise in crime rates among women has been noted in Saudi Arabia. This can be attributed to inequality and other nature of social and cultural limitations that women face as outlined in (Arab News, 2016). According to the authors, the increase in number of women in crime in Saudi Arabia could be attributed partly to their poor economic status caused by the cultural limitations on their roles in society.       

Read also Using Delinquency Theories To Explain Delinquent Behavior Among Juveniles      

The understanding of the way women are treated in other countries will positively impact my workplace relationships. It will allow me to appreciate the big role that women can do within the society given that though it was originally felt that women deserve less, learning about the nature of treatment that women in Saudi Arabia undergo has increased the desire to have more women actively participate in workplace roles. In order to build effective relationships and bridge cultural differences, it is important to be culturally competent. This entails having knowledge about the culture of the other and knowing how to treat them based on their culture. This includes avoidance of prejudice that can possibly result from cultural differences.

Crime and its Elements

The actus reus and the mens rea or guilty mind are important requirements of criminal liability. The element of actus reus is often referred to as human conduct rule and demands that a crime must be an act. According to (Boyes-Watson, 2014) people cannot be penalized on basis of criminal thoughts instead they are made accountable for deeds. It is the conduct that is prohibited by the law and not thoughts and the behavior that pushes such thoughts into action is what is punishable. Moreover, (Lippman, 2014) asserts thoughts cannot be penalized because it is difficult to measure harm caused by thoughts whereas social harm caused by an act can be measured easily and proportional punishment imposed.

Read also Health Care Professionals Professional Regulation and Criminal Liability Paper

            Criminal acts can only be considered for criminal liability if they result from voluntary acts. According to (Lippman, 2014) once an act is determined as resulting from involuntary act, it is not punishable as this will not deter similar offence in future. Examples of involuntary acts include a hypnotized person smashing an ice cream in another person’s face, a sleep walking person breaking into a neighbors’ house and an unanticipated heart attack that affects a bus driver leading to an accident that results in loss of life. Generally, involuntary acts are not punished because they do not result in criminal liability because the acts do not give the person a choice on what course of action to take since they just occur out of consciousness.         

Read also A Theoretical Perspective of Crime – Homicide   

The concept of criminal intent refers to the conscious state of mind to perform a harmful act, which can be constructive, general or specific (Boyes-Watson, 2014). Examples of criminal intents are a person informing another person that s/he is going to kill another person and proceeds to do so, a person breaking into a home and a father leaving a loaded gun in the table and his child picks it and fires at a guest.

Corporate Crime Prevalent in Financial Industry in the United States of America

Introduction

In the past four decades, the financial industry has been rocked by evolving wave of white collar or corporate crimes. Some of the commonly known white collar crimes that have continuously affected the financial industry include phenomenon of market-timing and late-trading practices that involving mutual, stock option scandals, the accounting fraud, IPO manipulation, the boiler boom practices, the insider-trading and looting of thrifts (Zack, 2013). Some of the most recent white collar crimes witnessed following global recession of 2008 included massive manipulation of key benchmark rates as well as the widespread miss-selling of complex financial derivatives instruments to both naïve and unknowledgeable investors.

Read also The Frequency Of Corporate Crime In The United States

            Despite the fact that white collar crime in financial industry is not a new practice in any sense, the impact, the scope and the occurrence rate has increased significantly in the recent past. Studies have indicated that white collar crimes in financial industry is more endemic as compared to any other industry of the economy globally. According to Ferguson (2012), the criminality of white collar crimes in financial industry is occurring at a higher scale and cannot be perceived as exceptional. Putting into consideration the above observation, many have questioned the social legitimacy of the specific form of financial capitalism and contemporary financial industry in which it functions (Zepeda, 2013). Nonetheless, the ubiquity associated with illegal conduct in political economy, research in field of economic sociology and financial market failed to address the issues of financial crime. Therefore, this paper analyzed the white-collar or corporate crime prevalent in financial industry in the United States of America. The analysis focused on the environmental and cultural factors that influence the crime from the perspective of societal, institutional and organizational.

Read also The National Response Plan for White Collar Crime

Literature review

Financial statement fraud

            The financial statement fraud do occur in the financial industry in various forms including financial markets making false statements concerning financial health or true nature of an investment outlet such as investment product, borrower, fund and company. These include misrepresentation and deceptive element which is common in the financial industry. In the nutshell, financial statement fraud utilizes the information asymmetry shared between the parties in a financial transaction (Tombs, 2013). The combination of false information and illusion of disclosure increases financial statement fraud since the information asymmetry is widen. Many studies have analyzed the future-oriented nature of financial statement fraud as form of deception. Some scholars have focused on financial transactions in relations to the intangible rights where the present and the future value of the intangible rights depends entirely on the performance and status of the party issuing the rights. For example, when the perpetrators disseminate false information to the market, it leads to distortion of construal of the future prospects of these rights.

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            The false information that leads to financial statement fraud relates to all relevant information utilized in the investors to evaluate the future prospect and financial health of an investment. In general terms, fraudulent financial statement include misrepresentations perpetuated by representatives of a company or an investment fund during the process of disclosing the relevant information to the other market players, regulators and investors concerning the future prospects and financial health of the find or company (Shover, et al., 2012). Misrepresentation are generally conveyed through financial statements, financial reports, prospectuses and presentations. It is important to understand that misrepresentations are not only financial characteristics, it also include non-financial characteristics of the firm or organization such as ownership or credentials interest of executive management. This explains why many studies focused on financial statement fraud in financial industry as white-collar or corporate crime in the form of accounting fraud.

Read also Reducing Risk of Fraud, Errors and Misstatements in Business through Implementing of Proper Internal Controls

            According to Leap (2007), accounting fraud occurs in two main objectives. The first objective involves the use of fraudulent accounting techniques. In simple terms, accountants in a financial institution uses fraudulent accounting techniques to cover up the misapplication or misappropriation of funds (Leap, 2007). The act is effected by insiders through falsification of the supporting documentations such as accounting ledgers in order to conceal a misrepresentation. The second objective is through a process of issuance of fraudulent financial statement by the management in order to present untrue picture regarding the future prospect and profitability of the institution thus misleading the regulators or investors to make wrong decisions.

Read also A Recent Accounting Fraud/Scandal Involving an Audit Failure – Assignment Instructions

Rogue traders in financial firms

            Rogue traders is one of the corporate accounting crime that have continuously emerged in the past 30 years in the proprietary trading desks of investment banks and securities firms. Analysis indicated that some securities traders employed in the trading desks repeatedly engages in fraudulent acquisition or sales of derivatives, commodities, securities and subsequently interfering with internal control systems in order to make trading activities to appear less risky and more profitable (Jeffers, & Mogielnicki, 2010). Rogue traders is a fairly new phenomenon in the financial industry but its prevalence rate in the sector has led to lose of billions of dollars in commercial banks and securities firms. Studies have indicated that increased availability of derivatives does not only allows traders to take trading positions that has previously been untaken, but it also undermine the willingness or capacity of the top management to closely supervise trader’s trading activities.

            Normally, rogue trader scandals starts when the traders carries out unauthorized trades that leads in trading positions that goes beyond loss limit, risk limits or both set by the financial institution. As opposed to addressing the issues that contributes to deteriorating position and overturning the losses in a legal way, the rogue traders use unauthorized methods to double down their losses. In the long run the losses and risks accumulates until it reaches the point whereby the traders are forced to conceal the unauthorized activities by active circumvention of internal control, forged documentation and fraudulent accounting (Rosoff, et al., 2014). Literature review have shown that when these activities are concealed over an extended period of time, it continues to deceive the investors and leads to a long-term misrepresentation of true trading activities. For example, Toshide Iguchi concealed the true presentation of the Daiwa Bank performance for approximately eleven years,

            In terms of prevalence, most literature review have indicated that it is fairly high frequent but has high negative impacts in the financial industry because it leads to loss of billions of dollars in the long-run. Statistics have indicated that the case of detected rogue traders is fairly small as compared to the accounting fraud cases detected in the public companies (Krawiec, 2009). However, its consequences are of higher magnitude as compared to accounting fraud. For example, the literature review indicated that correcting of losses and readjustment of financial statement reflects scandals caused by rogue traders to range from $118 million to $7.2 billion. According to Krawiec (2009), rogue trading scandal causes a direct threat to the existence and stability of the established financial institutions. For example, the British investment bank Baring which has been in operations for over 200 years was brought down by rogue trading when one of its derivatives traders was discovered to have been engaging in fraudulent activities at the bank’s Tokyo branch. The rogue traders was Nick Leeson and the discovery led the bank to lose more than $1 billion. This shows how rogue trading can affect the performance of the financial institutions upon its discovery.  

Mortgage origination fraud

            Literature review have shown that housing bubbles that preceded the global financial crisis of 2008 was attributed to the significant corporate crimes that occurred in the form of mortgage fraud. Further analysis indicated that mortgage industry is divided into distinct categories: primary mortgage market and secondary mortgage market. The primary mortgage market consist of mortgage originators with assistance of appraisers, escrow agents and brokers provides loans to the borrowers (Wright, 2008). On the other hand, secondary mortgage market involves credit rating agencies, government sponsored enterprises and investment banks takes part in business operations that include managing and securitizing loans that comes from the primary mortgage market. Studies indicated that the prevalence of white-collar or corporate crime in both categories of mortgage was rampant.

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            In terms of prevalence of white-collar crime in the form of mortgage fraud, there is clear indication that starting from 1990s to today, mortgage fraud has increased significantly in the United States. The effective methodology of monitoring and determining the prevalence of mortgage fraud is through Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) which is generated by the US Treasury Department’s Federal Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Ferguson, 2012). The general public report any mortgage related fraud they suspect or encounter in their daily activities. Statistics indicated that between 1997 and 2006, white-collar crime in the form of mortgage increased by 1,400 %. Despite the collapse of subprime mortgage market, the mortgage continues to increase annually. US Mortgage Bankers Association estimated that this white-collar crime cost the financial industry loss ranging from $946 million and $4.2 billion.

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Financial swindles, cons and scams

            Financial swindles, cons and scams is a form of white-collar or corporate crime that involves fully fraudulent and deceptive schemes utilized by fraudsters. Typically, fraudsters assume a fake identity or exhibits aura of trustworthiness, induce, mislead or convince financial institutions and individuals to voluntarily or willingly give out sensitive information that relates to financial information (Zack, 2013). It is important to understand that financial swindles, cons and scams is different from financial statement fraud in the sense that from the beginning it is designed as larceny scheme or con games. In addition, it is also different from fraudulent mis-selling practices because it exceeds suggestive communications and misleading.

Read also Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 Main Aspects of Regulatory Environment That Protect the Public from Fraud Within Corporations,

            There two types of financial scams that are common in the financial industry. The first financial scam follows a specific pattern where the fraudster convinces the inventors to put their money in scam enterprise such as insurance policy, real estate project and investment fund, thus fleecing out the money (Tombs, 2013). The second financial scam follows an intermediating step. For instance, in the first step, the fraudster convince the victim which is the financial institution to reveal the relevant information such as passwords, security codes, account numbers and credit cards. The second step involves the use of the obtained information to fleece the account of financial institutions. Therefore, the first financial scam is investment scam and the second financial scam is the financial identity scam.   

            The investment scam targets debt issued, equity stakes or shares that are dubious or fake and typically backed by business opportunity, technology and hot new product. Studies have shown that precious-metal mining operations in the United States is one of the suitable targets for investment scam (Jeffers, & Mogielnicki, 2010). Statistics indicated that the prevalence of the financial swindles, cons and scam is fairly high but its impacts are high in the economy status and the performance of the financial industry. The individuals perpetrating the acts are known to be great flatteners, good listeners, good dressing, presentable, captivating and charming.

Fraudulent financial mis-selling

            As explained in the introductory part, fraudulent financial mis-selling is described as manipulation and deceptive marketing, advising or selling financial service or product to the end user. The individual is fully aware that the financial service or product is not suitable to meet the end user’s needs (Wright, 2008). The basis of fraudulent financial mis-selling is the exploitation of information asymmetry. This also include the exploitation of the asymmetry of the financial expertise by interpretation and extracting the meaning of information regarding the future of a financial product. Studies have shown that individual that perpetrate fraudulent mis-selling engages in double role as adviser and sales agent in financial institution. For example, broker-dealers, financial advisers, brokers and direct salesmen provides the end user with unsuitable advice due to lack of competence as required by regulations.

            Literature review indicated that fraudulent mis-selling activities are prevalent in the financial service industry. However, considering the high prevalence rate of fraudulent mis-selling practice in financial service industry, little research has been down about the issue. Review of literature indicated that only few comprehensive studies have scrutinize fraudulent mis-selling practice in the financial service industry (Leap, 2007). These studies have shown that two major factors have contributed to high prevalence rate of fraudulent mis-selling in financial industry: the increased financial autonomy and limited knowledge of financial literacy and changing distribution channels and biased financial advice. This factors have significantly impacted negatively the ability of the consumers to make informed decision concerning financial affairs. Due to lack of proper knowledge and limited experience about financial decisions, consumer tend to fall prey of those individuals perpetrating fraudulent mis-selling. Studies have indicated that vulnerability of these people are exploited with main objective of maximizing profit.

Read also Subprime Mortgages and Their Role In The Financial Crisis of 2008

Discussion

            Literature review indicated that white-collar or corporate crime in financial industry is widespread and in the recent past, the issues of white-collar crime has continued to intensify both in wholesale and retail financial market. although some scholar argued that some form of white-collar crimes in financial industry does not occur at high frequency as compared to other forms and it not warrant more attention, it is effects in terms monetary continues to increase annually (Zepeda, 2013). In addition, the effects of white-collar crime in financial industry goes beyond the monetary cost to include societal cost, monetary cost to the financial institution, economic cost to the victims and firms affected, psychological and emotional costs. The consequence are so detrimental that can lead to potential financial collapses and damage reputation of the firm.

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            In terms of legal issues, there is thin line between white-collar crime and aggressive but legal sales activities. Most of the literature that focused on evaluating the level of illegality resulting from white-collar crime in financial industry hinged on the relationship between transacting parties. However, the general fraud laws criminalize employees of the financial institutions from misrepresentation that leads to white-collar crimes (Rosoff, et al., 2014). Nonetheless, there are several legal concepts that addresses the issues of white-collar or corporate crime. Some of these legal concepts are jurisdictional. For example, regulatory and legal framework that have been put in place requires that parties to engage in fair dealings and ethical business conduct standards on parties that are active in financial industry. The second aspect that regulatory and legal framework subject parties is suitability requirements of the adviser of the financial service or product, banking, insurance, commodities and securities.

            From the perspective of societal culture, literature review indicated that the most affected institution have not necessarily nurture the culture of fraud. The acts of white-collar crimes in financial industry are mostly driven by the acts of greedy and the prevailing conditions at that particular time. Some acts started as small mistake but grown to be a major problem because the employees have concealed the problem for a long time (Krawiec, 2009). This is also tied to the institutional culture in the sense that financial industry create some opportunities for the exploiters to maximize. For example, some advisers take the advantage of the financial literacy of the end user and fleeces of their money. In terms of organizational policy, literature review indicated that some ambiguity in legal and regulatory framework encourages individuals to break the law. For example, there is no clear distinction between aggressive sales and fraudulent mis-selling. This makes it challenging to determine whether aggressive sales has become illegal.

Conclusion

            Literature review clearly shown that white-collar or corporate crime in the financial industry has continued to increase in the recent past. The financial industry was most affected by white-collar or corporate crime immediately before global financial crisis of 2007-2008. Some scholar have argued that the effects of financial crisis of 2007 – 2008 was attributed to the white-collar crimes committed in the financial industry. However, there was concrete evidence to connect their argument with the events that preceded global financial crisis of 2007 -2008. This calls for comprehensive analysis and studies to determine the relationship between white-collar crime with the events that preceded global financial crisis of 2007 – 2008.

Read also 2008 Financial Crisis In USA -Causes And Effects Essay – Answered

Recommendations

  • Effective legal and regulatory framework that addresses the issues of ambiguities that exist in the current laws.
  • End users that lack financial literary and have limited knowledge about financial affairs should advise from the trustworthy financial institution.
  • The financial institutions should punish the perpetrators heavily when found flouting the laws.

Police Mission – Fighting Crime or Public Service

There roles of the police has been changing since the inception of the profession in the United States. The roles of the police have been under progression since their introduction to the public in 1840s and 1900s (Kelling & Moore, 1998). The political era defines the time when the police were introduced to the public in 1840s and early 20th century. Then followed the reform era that occurred in the late 20th century, the modern community policing introduced in 1970s, which defines the roles of the police in the modern American society. The modern policing have moved from the old roles of police officer of crime prevention to include a cohesive community that works in partnership with the police department in roes that go beyond just fighting crime to include public service.

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            The police departments are not entities to themselves but exist for the purposes of serving the public for which they should bear some responsibility. According to (Gaines & Worrall, 2011), being responsible means the act of responsiveness to the problems and challenges facing the citizens. Moreover, the author asserts that the responsibility extends to effective management of the police resources. The police obtain the mandate from the consent of those they serve and thus their acts should replicate and act of public service and not just crime prevention.

Read also Evolution of Policing and the Training and Skills For Success In Law Enforcement

            The public have a number of diverse problems, in addition to the crimes, for example emergencies in case of fire breakouts and accidents. According to (Gaines & Worrall, 2011, p. 22), police sole focus on the crime prevention will not help in dealing with the diverse problems that confront the police officers and the public. Moreover, the emphasis on the pursuit of administrative efficiency and capability to fight crime isolated the police from crime and lead to ineffective responses to the disorders and crimes affecting the citizens. The police can help in preventing crimes and disorder through a coordinated police strategy that incorporates the public. Such police public service strategy makes the public as police partners and this helps in reporting of crimes and thus assists in prevention of crimes.

Read also Roles of the Community Members and Police in Promoting Good Police-Community Relations

            Most crimes emanate from the social ill embedded in the American society. The development of trust between the police and the public is important in quelling of conflicts (O’shea, 2000). For example, if the youths show some distrust in the police, they are less likely to share information of a crime that is being planned. Moreover, such distrust prevents such youths from testifying in cases that involve crimes. This calls for a shift in change of the basic position of the police officer. For example, rather than react to incidences, a police officer must plan, analyze, and take appropriate initiatives. However, planning and analysis process can only be successful if public participation is encouraged. Through public involvement, effective crime prevention strategies, responses to emergency social crises and dispute resolutions can be achieved.          

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The resources and methods of police officers extend beyond citations and arrests (Fielding & Innes, 2006).  The changing policing strategy has altered the content of jobs of a police officer into that of public service delivery. They should be able to make decisions that encompass questions of honor or dishonor. Through public service delivery, the police shift the scope of their work from crime prevention into service to the interests of the public. Such shifts are pertinent in crime prevention and incorporation of public views into the execution of their mandate and this ensuring effective maintenance of order in the society. In conclusion, the service of the police officers must extend beyond crime prevention into public service for effective policing.

Index Crimes Comparison – Evaluating Rates of Homicide, Robbery and Rape in United States, Canada and Germany for 2012

Introduction

There are eight major classifications of crime identifies by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which are collected as part of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. These categories are referred to as index crimes. The categories are subdivided into two major subcategories namely; violent and property crime. Violent index crimes are index crimes committed against a person while property index crimes involve crimes that have no direct threat or harm to an individual.  Violent index crimes include homicide, robbery, rape, and aggravated assault and battery. The property index crimes on the other hand include arson, burglary, theft, as well as motor vehicle theft.  We focus on three index crimes, and conduct a comparative assessment of each index crime between United States, Germany and Canada for the year 2012.

Read also White-Collar Crimes and Index Crimes

Homicide

Homicide simply implies the killing of one human being by another human being. A homicide incident can be justifiable excusable or criminal subject to the circumstances of the killing as well as the state of mind of the offender. Criminal homicide is any unjustified, inexcusable killing of one human being by another. Intentional homicide involves the unjustified, unexcused killing of one human being by another with malice aforethought. The homicide rate has remained one of the best measures of crime comparison across countries due to the fact that there is ore likelihood of it being thoroughly investigated besides being reliably reported in official crime statistics. It should be noted that the definitions and criterion for counting homicide are generally similar internationally.

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It is important to note that homicide has remained comparatively rare in Canada, accounting for less than 1% of all violent crimes reported in 2012 (Eisner, 2013). Nonetheless, homicide is considered to be the gravest criminal offense that comes with devastating consequences for the family and relations of the victims.  Additionally, this crime calls for considerable resources from all aspects of the Canadian criminal justice system.  After an year of increase, the number of homicides reported in 2012 represented a decline with 543 cases reported, 55 lesser than the year 2011. Consequently, this represented a homicide rate of 1.56 per 1000,000 populations which was a 10% decline from the previous year. It is important to note that that there were fewer incidences of homicides committed against both males and females in 2012 with homicide rates for males reaching it lowest point in more than four decades. The homicide for rate for females for 2012 was relatively similar to the rates reported in the recent years.  The homicide rates for Canada remains higher compared to most of her peer countries. In 2012, Canada’s homicide rate was ranked as the fifth highest among 17 countries that are considered to be comparable to Canada (UNODC, 2013).

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There were 578 homicide cases in 2012 representing a 2.2% decline from 2011. In general, all crimes dropped by a 2.6 percent during the last decade making Germany to be considered as one of the safest countries in the industrialized world. Homicide rates throughout Germany are analogous to those in most first-world countries. For instance there is a marginal difference in the homicide rates for Germany and its peer countries.  Homicide as it is most crimes in Germany has been associated with drugs. It is important to note that illegal drugs, predominantly cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, as well as marijuana, are extensively obtainable in Germany. The illegitimate vending and circulation of these and other drugs habitually take place near main train stations, public parks as well as nightclubs. While drug-related activity does not usually affect most tourists or business travelers, one should be aware that Germany has the same types of drug-related crime as those encountered in any major cities in the world (OSAC, 2014).

The year 2012 saw an estimated 15,540 incidences of homicide in the US which occurred nationwide, representing a homicide rate of 4.76 per 100,000 populations and an increase of 0.7 percent from the 2011 estimate. Assessing the 5- and 10-year development, the 2012 estimated homicide count was 12.9 percent below the 2008 level and 12.2 below the 2003 level.Most of the intentional homicide cases in the US are committed by the use of firearms. By contrast, Britain, Australia and Canada combined report fewer than 450 gun-related murders annually. The non-gun-related homicide rate in the US is comparable to the rest of the developed world. Subsequently, the availability of firearms escalates the rate to as twice as high as the rest of the first-world countries. In 2012 for which supplemental data were received, most were male accounting for 77 percent.  As regards to racial disparities of the victims, 51.1 percent were black, 46.3 percent were white, and 2.6 percent were of other races. Race was unknown for 130 victims (FBI, 2013).

Robbery

Robbery is considered to be the taking of, or effort to take, something of value from the possession, safekeeping, or control of a person by means of force or through threat of violence or force. In 2012, there were 122,174 cases of robbery reported in the US, subsequently representing 45.1 rate per 100,000 people. Canada had 2,368 cases of robbery representing a rate of 8.9 per 100,000 people in the population, while Germany reported 48,711 robbery cases, a 60.63 rate per 100,000 people.  

Rape

Until the 1984, rape was considered as the carnal knowledge of a female, compulsorily and without her consent. After July 1984, sexual assault laws became gender-unbiased and the old perception of rape was widened to include numerous types of sexual attack. Rape implies forced sexual contact including both psychosomatic compulsion as well as physical force. Such forced sexual intercourse may be vaginal, anal as well as oral penetration by the criminal (s). Rape incidents Include attempted rapes, both male and female victims, as well as both heterosexual and homosexual rape. Attempted rape may include vocal threats of sexual assault. Rape as an index crime now encapsulates all sexual assaults, completed as well as attempted, provoked and non-aggravated. For the year 2012, USA reported a rape rate of 27.3 per 100,000 populations while that of Canada and Germany was 1.7 and 9.4 per 1000,000 populations respectively.

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