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Crime has a negative effect on all our lives and damages entire communities. Most people have been affected by crime at some point in their life. It threatens businesses and creates a sense of fear. What exactly is crime and what are criminal activities?

What is Crime?

A crime is any act or deviant behaviour that breaks the law. Every country has its own set of laws and makes decisions about what is legal and what is illegal. These laws are usually made by the government or ruling party in order to keep order and peace. We may also have an idea of what ‘normal’ behaviour is and we generally recognise types of deviant behaviour that fall outside this concept.

According to research, the link between income, inequality and crime is continuing to rise. Therefore, tackling social issues is the first step towards tackling crime.

The Difference Between Crime and Deviant Behaviour

Like crime, deviance is behaviour that most people would classify as ‘not normal’ and what society regards as unacceptable. But while crime involves breaking the law, not all deviant behaviour is criminal. For example, your neighbour may keep 50 cats. You may think this is not normal, but your neighbour is not a criminal because of it. Just as not all deviant behaviour is a crime, there are examples of crimes that are not deviant. For example, speeding is illegal, and while not being considered socially acceptable, perpetrators are not thought of as criminals.

Common Crimes

Globally, theft is the most common crime, followed by assault and vehicle crimes. Murder is considered one of the most serious crimes, and worldwide more than 400,000 people die from homicide each year. Hate crime is also a growing menace motivated by hostiliy or prejudice. There is no doubt that tackling crime is a high priority in every country around the world.