Crime is one thing that unfortunately plagues every society be it the hustling bustling city of Shanghai to the sleepy town of Auchterarder in Scotland. It is prevalent in all societies and has been perpetrated by people of all racial and ethnic background. Here we look at how the two forms of crime, street crime vs white collar crime compare with one another.
They both follow a pattern of intentional sabotage to hurt or affect someone negatively. Street crime in its nature has more shock value and violent streak, and more often ends up in physical injury to the other person. White collar crime, on the other hand, may not inherently be violent but has a more devastating effect due to the large financial loss that it can cause. The law school of Cornell University describes white collar crime as “A variety of nonviolent financial crimes, generally committed by business people or public officials, involving commercial fraud, consumer fraud, swindles, insider trading on the stock market, embezzlement, bribery, or other dishonest schemes.”
Street crime tends to be perpetrated by criminals hailing from poverty stricken areas or from families in the lower socio-economic bracket. It has an overwhelming shock value and fear attached to its nature and can result in the victim dying through assault or sustaining major injuries. White collar crimes have an indirect impact that may result in death due to gross negligence such as handing out substandard safety equipment to workers by a construction company or corruption of monetary nature such as siphoning off money directed towards preventing a disease which now due to lack of resources could not be contained and therefore resulting in deaths of patients.
Street crime is most of the time planned before hand and tends to target a victim who is defenseless, vulnerable, and preferably alone as this provides a surety that the intended target would be submissive, fearful, and compliant to that demands of the attacker. The danger associated with it can emotional, physical, financial, or mental, with the added danger of life threatening assault. White collar crime is equally dangerous but takes place over a longer period which may affect a certain individual or a group of people that may or may not have been targeted purposefully. Its victims may be completely random and fitting the category of being at the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’.
The penalties involved in these crimes may vary depending on the nature of the assault. Both carry similar punishments with the time and commitment differing. Punishments for white collar crime or street crime include house arrest, large fines, community service, costs of prosecution, surveillance, and imprisonment.
White collar crimes have the main danger wrested in financial turmoil whereas street crime has a safety threat, with both negatively affect the peace and financial stability of US citizens and people around the world. White collar crimes many times result in the victim resorting to street crime because, in order to survive from the after effects of financial troubles caused by the former crime, the victims commit to street crime to provide for their family. This enhances the notion that white collar crime is essence may be the bedrock of all other crimes.
Every person in the world aspires to live in a crime free society. With more stringent laws and police efficiency, we may decrease the number of crimes committed if not out rightly eliminating them altogether.