The organization of crime has been studied in various contexts. Some authors have related the concepts with specific aspects like suicide and murders while others have specialized in criminal groups among other categories. In all these categories, there have been theories that have been put forward to try to explain the meaning of certain behaviors and happenings among different community members and their implications. Some theorists have gone to the extent of trying to demystify the myths on identification of potential offenders using various tools and data gathered from the population and the criminals as well. This will try to answer some fundamental questions based on the study of criminology that set crucial precedence of future and further investigation. This essay focuses mostly on the theoretical part of criminology and pays attention to the authenticity of the theories using scientific validation processes. There are ten questions that will be addressed.
Several myths have been put forth as to the occurrence of criminal activities. Some of the myths have later on come to have some scientific backing that has enabled the progress and later on the formulation of theories that support such lines of reasoning. For example, it is normally argued that crime is more of a vicious cycle, one that seems to never come to an end (Geavey, 2002, p. 317). To some extent this seems to have some true grounding. For example, in the works of Harvey (2009), it is noted that based on the crime rates that have continued to be recorded in the business arena, it is clear that the mechanisms and strategies that have been put in place to counter the problem have mainly focused on creation of arsenals for law enforcement in the fields (p. 97).
It is noted that criminal activities continue to thrive because there have been reluctant laws in ensuring better detection and dealing with the offenders, hence the necessity in offenders to commit more criminal activities (Harvey, 2009, p. 97). It has also been said that there exists a righteous belief in money laundering whereby criminals continue to grow at such an alarming rate that it has become a threat to the financial systems (Harvey, 2009, p. 97). This is mainly attributed to the fact that money laundering is keenly associated with better lifestyle which in effect reduces the possibility of proper detection and subsequent prosecution of the activities carried out since there are better mechanisms of sealing the loopholes by employment of professionals in different fields who are well paid to do that job (Harvey, 2009, p. 97).
Science can clarify this misconception by separating the actual act of crime and classification in the right sections. In doing so it becomes relatively easy to verify whether this myth is verifiable or just another scam. The beauty of scientific verification and accreditation of various issues is the fact that it lays down all the assumptions and then builds a case from fundamentally accepted assumptions.
Various theories have been put forward as far as the actual cause of criminal activities is concerned. The same happens with the ways and means of prevention of criminal activities and control measures. For example, according to (Rushton, 2000; Rushton & Whitney, 2002) there is a proposition of the evolutionary life-history theory. In this theory, it is proposed that racial differences have to a great extent the possibility of inclinations towards crime at different depths. For example, it is noted that the Blacks who are mainly of African descent are much more prone to criminal activities than any other regions’ races in the world (Rushton, 2000; Rushton & Whitney, 2002) and (Gorecki, 1974). Furthermore, it is noted that in Britain the Blacks accounted for 2 % of the general population while in the jails in Britain the Blacks accounted for a whopping 15 % of the population (Rushton, 2000; Rushton & Whitney, 2002). On the other hand, the Asians were the least likely to have criminal activities as it was found that they only accounted for about 2 % of the prison population (Rushton & Whitney, 2002).
There are various ways to prevent crime. However, the most commonly proposed and applied method is the utilization of the CPTED which is an acronym for crime prevention through environmental design as found in the works of Cozen, Saville and Hillier (2005). This is the application of various methods of nature and other modified acts to reduce the possibility of crime occurrence. There are six essential approaches that have been utilized in this work. First, there is application of territoriality whereby there is better execution of ownership sense (Rushton & Whitney, 2002). Secondly, it is proposed that surveillance is essential especially in regions termed as zones of intensity since in such areas there is higher density of population and there is likelihood of criminal activities like pick pocketing. Surveillance using gadgets like the CCTV help to reduce the occurrence of crimes like car crimes, fraud among other crimes (Rushton & Whitney, 2002). Thirdly, provision of access control especially in public complexes and having activity support like during pedestrian crossing will also help prevent crimes (Rushton & Whitney, 2002) and (Moffat, 1983). There is also image management on premises to avert drug dealings and target handling using physical barriers like gates, alarm bells among other things (Rushton & Whitney, 2002).
According to Wacker (2008), a theory is a set of conceptual relationships that has already been explained. Metcalfe (2004) adds to this notion claiming that a theory is a speculation and a proposal that needs to be proved and is not in itself self-evident. Proof can presented either through argumentation or application of necessary reasoning while in mathematical terms it means to distinguish a problem from what needs to be done (Metcalfe, 2004).
A theory becomes a scientific theory if it is capable of fulfilling certain conditions. First, the theory must be able to answer very common questions, for example, What? When? How? Why?Also, the theory is able to prove what should, would and/ or could happen in the event provided the previous questions are answered (Wacker, 2008).
It is also noted that the progress of science is also dependent on the language of utility. Most theories that have been proposed in recent times fail to address this issue and lag behind in definition of basic concepts and jargons used in the work thus making it to be disapproved as scientific (Wacker, 2008). The definitions need to be clear and concise and in line with the work that there are being presented for. In addition, the definition has to be unique in that it has not been previously used.
According to the classical school of causation of criminology, it is said that the rate of criminal activity is mainly based on the likelihood of the crime appealing less risky and more beneficial in the long run to the criminals (Savelsberg, 2006). It is also said that when the criminals target a certain victim, they take calculated risks on the likelihood of being caught and the probable consequences that would follow, if they were caught (Savelsberg, 2006). The criminals also calculate the possibility of escaping as well as the benefits that would emanate upon successful escape (Savelsberg, 2006).