Definition of Crime

Crime encompasses unlawful behaviors that are punishable by law. From violent crimes to white-collar crimes, each offense poses a threat to society. Learn more about the definition of crime and its impact on communities.


Crime is a complex and multifaceted concept that encompasses various behaviors that are considered unlawful and punishable by law. Understanding the definition of crime is essential in maintaining a peaceful and just society.

What constitutes a crime?

Crime can include a wide range of acts, such as theft, assault, fraud, and murder. These actions are typically harmful to individuals, communities, or society as a whole and are therefore deemed illegal.

Types of crime

  • Violent crimes: These involve the use of force or intimidation against others, such as murder, assault, and rape.
  • Property crimes: These crimes involve theft or destruction of property, such as burglary, robbery, and vandalism.
  • White-collar crimes: These are non-violent crimes committed by individuals or organizations in a professional setting, such as fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering.
  • Drug crimes: These involve the manufacturing, selling, or possession of illegal substances, such as drug trafficking and drug possession.

Case studies and examples

One example of a high-profile crime case is the Enron scandal, where executives engaged in accounting fraud to manipulate financial statements. This led to one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in history.

Statistics on crime

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, there were an estimated 1.2 million violent crimes reported in the United States in 2020. Property crimes, on the other hand, accounted for an estimated 6.2 million offenses.


Crime is a pervasive issue that poses a threat to society’s safety and well-being. By understanding the definition of crime and its various forms, we can work towards preventing and addressing criminal behavior effectively.

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