The True Cost of Crime to Society

The true cost of crime to society

People are taken in by con artists in the United States on a daily basis. Most of these unsuspecting victims are quite familiar with the common criminal that will demand their wallet, or the keys to their automobile. These blue collar crimes are quite common and we have learned to take the necessary precautions to avoid becoming a statistic. We all have formed a visual image and a composite in our minds of those most likely to fit the description of a criminal. Unfortunately, the disadvantaged and the minority have been drafted in the starring role by the rich and middle class American.

We also face a different more sophisticated type of criminal activity referred to as white collar crime: defined as “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation.” While the true extent is unknown, it is estimated to cost the United States somewhere between $300-$660 billion annually. At 200 billion annually, it would amount to 14 x cost of street crime according to the F.B.I.

For reasons unknown, the general public is not well-informed about this type of criminal activity. A crime involving a pick pocket would receive a greater amount of publicity on the five o’clock news then the one costing Americans billions of dollars. Is their a legitimate concern to find this type of behavior by our news agencys suspicious? We have all heard the expression, “what you don’t know won’t hurt you.” Perhaps the media has found conclusive evidence to verify the truth in the popular quote, and are acting in our best interest.

We are unwilling to drive through certain urban residential neighborhoods because of the high rate of crime reported in the area. Most of us don’t carry our life savings in our wallet or the trunk of our automobile, but we take the necessary precautions to avert this potentially dangerous neighborhoods. But on the other side of the coin, we face the most cunning adversary. Unlike his predecessor in crime, he makes his residence in the exclusive areas of the city, his acquaintances are people of distinction, Doctors, lawyers, and his friend of choice, the politician.

Crime could be considered to be one of the oldest professions, although we are too well familiar with the one most commonly referred to as the mother of all professions. Through the years crime has evolved from the simple but effective use of the hand gun, to a far more sophisticated form. This modern day Frankenstein was brought to life not by the body parts exhumed from the neighborhood cemetery, but from the most brilliant minds of the twenty first century.