Introduction four perspective which best describe crime

February 10, 2019 February 25th, 2019 Criminology

People are facing the enormous problem which is crime. Crime is word found in criminology and there are four perspective which best describe crime in different views. These perspectives are legalistic, sociological, psychological and political. Crime is any violation of the law which the offender may be found guilty in the court of law, for example theft and rape. According to the Bible, “Crime is unlawful behavior (as delineated by God in his word) that usually threatens the life, liberty, or property of others, either directly (such as robbery or murder) or indirect (such as reason or perjury)”. This essay will firstly, discuss the concept of crime which are perspective secondly, it will discuss the contributing factors to crime in South Africa.
Sociological perspective
Crime in sociological perspective can be defined as the antisocial behavior which violate and harm the society or society group. Unacceptable behavior against societies norms. Other delineations include all form of unsociable behavior. Criminals come from the society and there are many things which lead an individual to crime, including peer pressure, cultural background and racial. Gangsterism is mostly a crew established by peers for destruction in the society. The individuals learn from their surroundings, for example children may learn the abuse from experience of their parents. Most of the time a child raised by a violent person become violent, in other words children copy the actions of an adult.
Legalistic perspective
According to the legalistic perspective crime is violation of the law which the offender is found guilty and the court reach by the punishment. The offender must be found guilty in order to be regarded as a criminal therefore offender proven not guilty is not a criminal. Punishment is imposed by the court of law to the law breaker. The court may find the accused not guilty even though that individual done the crime, meaning that person is not a criminal. Only the court decide if the accused or suspect is guilty or not guilty. The thought of committing crime without action is not regarded as crime but it is a guilty thought. People have difference views about the court deciding the guiltiness or guiltless of the accused as the judge may sentence the innocent individuals. Guiltiness or guiltless is identified by the evidence provided to the court by the law enforcement officers.
Psychological perspective
Psychological focus on how individual’s mentality result to crime. Some people may commit crime due to the childhood experience and their mind are not thinking the same as others, often abuse and childhood negligence. Substance abuse is the influence on crime as it can disturb the mind of an individual which result to irrepressible and aggressive behavior. There are people who are suffering from different mental illness, include psychopathy. for example, people who suffers from paranoid delusions always feel like there are controlled by other forces and others harm themselves. Most rapists think they have done nothing wrong which reveal that criminals are not normal and like other people. Criminals are not the bad people but they are also victims. Law serve the important of politically powerful.
Political perspective
Political perspective view that individuals with political power describe crime and create laws to manage crime. Every country has its own laws and codes Radical approach highlights that behavior of powerful groups are less criminalized than behavior of powerless individuals. Opulent individuals have money which let them to pay for freedom. According to Turk (2018) “conservatives will assume the pathology of political offenders (especially violent ones), liberals will assume that political offenders are mostly normal but misguided people who are reacting to the stresses imposed on them by faulty social institutions, and radicals will assume that political offenders are reasoning people who perceive and resist the oppressive and exploitative nature of liberal democratic capitalist society”.

Factors contributing to crime
There are many factors of crime and poverty is one of them. Some people are facing of poverty and they are unable to satisfy their needs which leads them to commit crime in order to provide their family’s needs. The depression in the economy forces the prices to increment which can be a disadvantage to the deprived people (poor people). Most of the deprived people may contemplate that dodge dealings can provide their family’s needs. Sometimes children learn to be independent at an early age by stealing and hustling for survival without dependent of parent. Most of the people are depending on the government grant, therefore other individuals give birth in purpose for receiving money. Grant forces individuals to unplanned births. In most cases unplanned birth result into crime as there can be a lack of guidance. Desperation of money leads to bad behavior.
Globalization apply diversity of people combined which also increment the crime rate. Globalization allows foreign people to visit the country in intention for committing crime like human trafficking and drug dealings. According to Buchanan (2004), “money laundering is a global phenomenon and an international challenge”. Other foreigners are visiting the particular country for employment and others are running away from their countries economic situation. In some countries foreigners are viewed as job takers and are murdered, xenophobia attacks Theft is a most common crime. Opulent tourists may tempt Deprived people into stealing in order to stabilize their poverty. Human trafficking increment whereby women and young girls are abducted and turned into prostitutes, even feed drugs. Some people may argue that prostitutes are girls who sell their body by choice. All prostitutes look the same which is impossible for the law enforcers to determine the ones that are forced into prostitution.
Unemployment is one of the challenges facing South Africa. There is large number of people unemployed due to numerous reasons which can be Nepotism, lack of education, economic depression, etc. Most unemployed individuals are unable to satisfy their needs and end up committing crime. Sometimes unemployed people sell drugs to increase funds for their needs. There is a large sum of unemployed people who use substance abuse to relieve stress. Substance abuse contribute to crime where an individual uses drugs, and end up having a mental disturbance. People with mental disturbance are violent and can commit crime without being aware of it. According to Grohol (2009), “people with mental illness are increasingly ending up being imprisoned, rather than in the mental care system where many of them belong and with public psychiatric hospitals long-since closed people who have a mental disorder and end up being warehoused not in hospitals, but in prison”.
Lack of criminal justice system
The south African criminal justice system allows criminals to commit more crime and walk freely unpunished. There is a lot of corruption taking place in the police premises. The corrupted law enforcement officer or police officers protect the evidence found on the investigation and during the court trials the accused get a release due to insufficient evidence which is a disadvantage to the victim. There are possibilities that the accused may eager for a revenge. Technology has made our lives easier but it impacts Criminal justice system negatively. The criminals with the skill in IT can commit crime without being caught as they can break any password (for example phone password) without a trace. The educated law breakers can easily prevent themselves from prison. There is even a shortage of system in the police stations. Judges make poor decisions regarding sentencing the accused and the opulent individuals pay for freedom. Law enforcement officers allows induces (bribes) in purpose for earning more money.

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To conclude, Crime is explained by four perspectives with different views and there are many factors contributing to crime in South Africa, include lack of criminal justice system. The court decide on the guiltiness or guiltless of the accused. Criminals are not bad people but they are also victims. Radical approach highlights that behavior of powerful individuals is less criminalized than powerless individuals. Criminals come from the community and learn from their surroundings.

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Smith, Z and Gowland, J. (2012). Drug sentencing: what’s the deal? The new sentences regime for drug offenses. Journal of criminal law. Vol. 76 issue 5, p389-398
Turk, A.T. (2018). Crime causation: Political theories. online Available at:


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