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Crime Types

Crime Type

Sociological Cause

Sociological Theory

Violent crimes

Violent situations

Micro-sociological theory of violent confrontations

Economic crimes

Criminal personality of the employees, failures in economic systems, economic instability and inequality

Strain theory

Street crimes

Social inequality, economic instability

Social disorganization theory, Social conflict theory

Drug crimes

Anti-social peer network, influence of the mass media, easy access to drugs, poor education and low income of members of certain social groups

Learning theory, Life Course and Latent Trait theories

The above presented table lists a variety of crime types, their sociological causes, and the corresponding theories, which account for these causes.

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Violent crimes are crimes, in which the perpetrator threatens to use, or uses violent force against the victim. Violent crimes include murder, manslaughter, rape, sexual battery, lascivious behavior, robbery, home invasion, carjacking, aggravated assault and battery, armed criminal actions, etc. The causes of violent crimes have been widely disputed. There are two main tendencies in the variety of approaches to what may initiate occurrence of violent crimes. Micro-sociological theory of violent confrontations argues that violence emerges from a certain situation, rather than from one’s personality. The theory confronts the idea that certain people are predisposed to violent behaviors and apprehensive reaction to extrinsic stimuli, and thus, to committing violent crimes. It strives to prevent the conventional social categories from interfering with sociological analysis, arguing that the background conditions, such as race, poverty, or experiences from childhood, are not decisive to the dynamics of the situation, favorable for the occurrence of violent crimes (Collins, 2007).

One of the means of preventing violent crimes is supplying micro-situational mechanisms, aimed at detecting and eliminating the number of violent situations. Such situations may also be resolved by applying the power of higher authorities. Although, changing the underlying conditions that contribute to violence is crucial.

Economic crimes include fraud, false pretences, credit card offences, counterfeiting, identity theft and perjury, etc. These crimes largely occur in business. The Strain theory suggests that the futile ground for economic criminal acts is cultivated by the lack of equal access to financial success (Rock, 2002, pp. 64 – 65). The offenders often represent the ranks of management with criminal personality. Thus, implementing a system of business ethics is vital for reducing crime risks in companies. Special attention has to be paid to normative and ethical management in corporations. Social control, culture of business, and the effect of social values are hard to be underestimated. It is also beneficial to develop an efficient economic criminal-law system.

Street crimes include pick pocketing, illegal drugs trade, prostitution, assaults, vandalism of private property, etc. Social disorganization theory and social conflict theory are mutually complementary sociological theories, which best describe the essence of street crimes. They explain occurrence of street crimes by the existing social inequality, prejudice and stereotypes. The best way to reduce street crimes is through education (Rock, 2002, pp. 54 – 56). However, improving the situation on the streets may also prove to be effective. This involves making streets cleaner, removing graffiti, increasing police visibility, improving speed control systems, and improving the public realm.

Drug crimes may be viewed as part of the street, or economic crimes, since they occur in different scales. The main causes for drug crimes are anti-social peer network, poor income and education, easy access of drugs, and the influence of media, often popularizing drug use (Hagan, 2009). In order to discourage people from committing drug crimes, it is necessary to improve the educational system, reform and remodel economic system, and jurisdiction.

In conclusion, I would like to highlight the following idea: everything is related and, therefore, by transforming the causes it is possible to reduce and prevent all types of crimes. 

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