Crimes of the powerful

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  • Crimes of the powerful
    • Reiman and leighton
      • The more likely a crime is committed by higher-class people the less likely it is to be treated as an offence
      • There is much higher prosecutions for typical 'street' crimes the wc people commit
    • White collar crime
      • Sutherland defined white collar crime as: 'a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation'
      • Bribery, corruption, fiddling expenses, fraud
    • Corporate Crime
      • Sutherland's definition of white collar crime fails to distinguish between two types of crime
        • Occupational crime- committed by employees for personal gain, often against the organisation
        • Corporate crime- committed by employees for their organisation in pursuit of it's goals
      • Pearce and Tombs widen the definition of corporate crime to include these breaches
        • 'Any illegal act or omission that is the result of deliberate decisions or culpable negligence by a legitimate business organisation and that is intended to benefit the business'
        • Tombs argues the difference between these offences is more about who has the power to define criminal acts than how harmful it is
      • Financial crimes- victims are other companies, taxpayers, governments. E.g tax evasion, bribery, money laundering
      • Crimes against consumers- false labelling, failing to recall dangerous products. E.g thalidomide
      • Crimes against employees- sexual/racial assault, violation of wage laws. Tombs calculated that up to 1,100 work related deaths per year involve employers breaking the law
      • Crimes against the environment- illegal pollution of air, water or land, toxic waste dumping, deforestation
      • State-corporate crimes- harms committed when government institutions and business cooperate to pursue their goals. War crimes, corruption


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