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CRIM 101 (464)

Crime and Employment.docx

7 Pages

Course Code
CRIM 101
Barry Cartwright

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The Changing Workplace: - Nature of workplace has changed significantly over last few decades - Better paying, full-time manufacturing jobs have been disappearing - Replaced by low-paying (often part-time) service jobs - More females (including married women) are now working , and in some cases, moving into occupational positions traditionally held almost exclusively by males - Technological changes – e.g., computers, cell phones, and email – have also had dramatic effect on how workplace is structured - More people are now able to do some or all of their work at home, but at same time, lines between the workplace and private life are becoming blurred Unemployment and Crime: - Many theories of crime – e.g., anomie theory, relative deprivation theory, social disorganization theory – assume there is a relationship between unemployment and crime - Researchers have found weak or even negative relationship between these two factors Teenagers and Employment: - Evidence suggests that employed teenagers are more likely to be involved in crime than unemployed teenagers - Away from home more often, have their own money, may have their own transportation Routine Activities: - Routine activities/opportunity theorists suggest that weak or negative relationship between unemployment and crime caused by fact that unemployed people have less disposable income - More likely to engage in leisure activities at home or within their own neighbourhoods (avoiding offenders) - At home or close to their home, and thus able to protect their property from would-be offenders High Risk Occupations: - Police offenders, prison guards, probation offenders, nurses, mental health workers, and welfare workers at higher risk of being assaulted, because they come into repeated contact with high risk groups of offenders - Bartenders, hospitality workers (e.g., waitresses) and recreation workers (e.g., at amusement parks) are also at increased risk, because they come into regular contact with large numbers of strangers - Taxi-drivers and newspaper vendors are at increased risk of being robbed, because they usually have cash on them, and come into frequent contact with the public Risk Factors (Precursors): - Dealing with a large number of people - Handling cash money - Doing a lot of travelling - Delivering goods or passengers Violence in the Workplace: - Risk of violent victimization in workplace is lower than risk during leisure time activities - Workplace still accounts for between 14% and 22% of all violent crime - Many violent crimes (or transactions) committed by irate or impatient clients/customers - Other violent crimes committed by irate colleagues, fellow employees or friends and family members of employees Threats and Harassment: - Not all work-related crime is necessarily of a violent nature - Some workers are threatened or harassed by customers or co-workers, but may not be physically injured - Some threatening or harassing behaviour in the workplace may meet definition of a crime – including sexual harassment and criminal harassment Theft of Personal Property: - 21% of burglaries take place while victim is at work - Some employees have their personal property stolen by co-workers while they’re in the workplace Reporting Workplace Crime: - Victimization incidents in the workplace likely to go unreported - Many employers have “in-house” methods for addressing such issues – e.g., private security forces, internal disciplinary procedures, dismissal of troublesome employees Occupational Crime: - Types of occupational crime include white collar crime, employee theft, and embezzlement - Workplace provides opportunities for both employers and employees to victimize their customers, or to victimize each other - Work domain brings large numbers of people together in time and space on routine (daily) basis, against environmental backcloth that involves financial transactions, and sometimes vast amounts of money White Collar and Corporate Crime: - Term “white collar crime” first coined by Edwin Sutherland (same person who came up with differential association theory) - Term “corporate crime” came somewhat later, to distinguish between crimes committed by wealthy, powerful individuals for their own personal benefit (white collar crime), and crimes by corporations or corporate officials for the benefit of the corporation (corporate crime) The Precursors: - Individuals (or groups of individuals) in positions of trust, power and responsibility - Often have vast sums of money at their disposal - Organizational framework may permit them to deflect attention away from themselves (through accountants, lawyers, and bankers) - Easy access to money, by virtue of their “legitimate” occupational duties Spending Money: - Misappropriation of funds e.g., embezzlement - Using company assets to purchase items intended for personal rather than business use - Misrepresenting corporation’s financial situation (overvaluing or undervaluing assets, or exaggerating sales figures) How Much Does it Cost: - White collar/corporate crime costs about $250 billion a year in the US, twenty times more than cost of all “street crime” combined - 1994 municipal bankruptcy in Orange County, California resulted in financial losses of $3 billion (County Treasurer found guilty of six counts of fraud) How to get Rich Quick: - Chief executives (while drawing $100 million each out of Enron corporation) deliberately misrepresented profit picture - When Enron collapsed, $70 billion in investors’ equity was wiped out Doing Business: - One of the world’s largest telecom companies (Worldcom) - Defrauded investors out of $11 billion in an accounting scandal - Also involved Arthur Andersen, one of the world’s largest (but now defunct) accountancy firms Back in the Great White North: - In 1990’s Eron Mortgage Corp. guaranteed thousands of investors in B.C. a 24% return for investing in their property development projects - President and vice president were aware there was little or no cash flow from the projects - Eron was paying interest and repaying the principal on older investments by using money from new investors - Investors lost around $200 million, the president was found guilty of 5 criminal charges, and sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills: - Bre-X claimed its gold mine in Indonesia had massive reserves - Backed up claims by adding gold to mineral samples sent for assaying But it’s Nicer in the Caribbean: - Share prices of Calgary-based B
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