Definition, Concept, and Classification of Crime (Summary)

Here is summary of CSS Criminology chapter one in which you have learned about definition, concept, and classification of crime.


Crime consists of conduct that is in violation of federal, state or local laws. Crime as deviant behaviour that violates prevailing norms of cultural. When a law is broken, a penalty imposed.

Crime is actually a violation of laws which are made by the state. Laws are made to
control the behaviour of people in a society.

Elements of Crime

Following are the elements of crime:

  • Mens Rea
  • Actus Reus
  • Concurrence
  • Legality
  • Causation
  • Harm
  • Punishment

Stages of crime

These are the stages of a crime:

  • Intention
  • Preparation
  • Attempt
  • Accomplishment

Classification of Crime

Crime is classified in three major categories which are:

  • Infraction
  • Misdemeanors
  • Felonies

Major Types of Crime

  1. Personal Crime (Physical or mental Harm to another person)
  2. Property Crime (Interference with another person’s right to use their property)
  3. White Collar Crime (Crimes committed by people of high social status)
  4. Organised Crime (Crime committed by structured groups)
  5. Corporate Crime (Crime committed by a corporation or business entity)
  6. Inchoate Crime (Crimes that were begun, but not completed)
  7. Statutory Crime (A violation of a specific state or federal statute)


  • It refers to actual criminal characteristics of a person.
  • It is a style of strategic behaviour characterised by self-contentedness, indifference to the suffering , and low self-control
  • Person’s appearance triggers stereotypes about criminals.
  • A certain personality profile that causes the most alarming sorts of crimes
  • All criminal behaviours involve the use of force, fraud, or stealth to obtain material or symbolic resources.
  • More impulsive individuals are more likely to find criminality an attractive style of behaviour
  • Human resources can have material, symbolic, or hedonistic value

Criminal Behaviour

  • Criminal behaviour is to gain comprehension and knowledge of carcinogenic needs
  • Crime producing factors that are strongly associated with risk
  • Traits associated with criminal thinking and behaviour.

Traits of Criminal Behaviour

  1. Anti-social values (Criminal rationalisation or the belief that their criminal behaviour was justified)
  2. Criminal Peers (Peers that are associated with criminal activities)
  3. Anti-social personality (It include atypical behaviour conducted prior to the age of fifteen)
  4. Dysfunctional family (Lack of family support, both emotionally and otherwise)
  5. Low self-control (One’s ability to control temperament and impulsivity)
  6. Substance abuse (The use of drugs or alcohol)

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