Mass media and crime, Green crime and human rights and state crimes

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Crime in TV and Films:

  • Silent witness
  • NCIS
  • Criminal Minds
  • Crimewatch
  • Kill Bill
  • Clockwork Orange

The media's exaggeration of crime has helped feed people's fears - crimes against young women and old people are statistically very rare, but these are the crimes that people fear most due to the medias portrayal of crime.

Cohen coined the term 'moral panic', which is when people worry about the values and beliefs held in society being in jeopardy. It's characteristics are when a person or group of people become defined as a threat to society. The media then fashions these episodes, amplifying the nature of the facts and turning them into a national issue. His main study was on mods and rockers in the 60's who were seen as a threat to social order; the media then publicised the problem, causing many young people to want to become defined as one of the groups, and thus the problem of rivalry between the two groups worsened. There was a public outcry of 'something has to be done', so police and officials had to clamp down. Consequently more incidents were reported, and the spiral continued. 
     The Mods and Rockers were known as the 'scapegoats'.  

Thornton criticised the moral panic theory, saying it's too simplistic as many people do not react in shock and awe. She went on to say that many groups use the media to actively shock - in a postmodern world this is a search for identity.

Cyber Crime

Wall identified 4 types of cyber crime:

1. Cyber-trespass
Including hacking and spreading viruses - literally trespassing on other peoples computers.

2. Cyber-deception and theft
Included identity theft and phishing.  

3. Cyber-****
Most web traffic is **** led, some is legal but there are illegal things e.g. child ****ography.

4. Cyber-violence
Includes cyber-stalking and cyber-bullying. This is very difficult to police.  

Green Crimes

Globalisation and green issues

One example: industrial disaster at Bhopal in India in 1984 - a poisonous gas leaked from a nuclear plant. The parent company in USA blamed its people in India and escaped prosecution. 

Another example: shoes and handbags made from the skins of alligators illegally and imported to Italy.

Green issues and criminology

Governments may resort to terrorist methods when confronted by environmental groups, e.g. the sinking of the Greenpeace flag ship in Auckland harbour. The explosion carried out by the French ** killed one of the crew members - it was provoked by…


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