White collar crime is also known as socio-economic crime. White collar crime is a challenge to this concept that absence of employment is helpful to commission of crime while presence of employment is helpful to check the commission of crime. The reason is that white collar crime is a display of fraudulent scheme, corruption and commercial offences that are committed by businessmen or public officials.
(2) Definition Of White Collar Crime
It was introduced and popularized by Edwin Sutherland:
White collar crime means a non-violent crime where cheating, dishonesty and corruption are central elements.
(a) Crime By Person Of Respectable & High Social Status
White collar crime can be defined as a crime that is committed by a person of respectable and high social status in the course of his occupation.
(b) Crime By Business & Government Professionals
White collar crime can be explained as financially motivated, no-violent crime that is cornmitted in economic life by business and government professionals.
(3) Theory To Explain White Collar Crime In Pakistan
I think that Merton’s Strain theory best explains white collar crime or this type of criminal behaviour in Pakistan:
- (a) Basic philosophy
- (b) Five possible ways
(a) Basic Philosophy
The basic philosophy, which works behind Merton’s Strain theory, is that individual works within the structure that society has produced or individual becomes member of a deviant subculture in an attempt to achieve the socially accepted goals when social norms or socially accepted goals pressurize the individual to conform.
(b) Five Possible Ways
Merton has though mentioned five possible ways that members of American Society could used to respond to success goals, yet I consider that members of Pakistani society also use these ways to respond to success goals:
- (b-i) Conformity
- (b-ii) Ritualism
- (b-iii) Innovation
- (b-iv) Retreatism
- (b-v) Rebellion
Conformist is a person, who believes in normative means for attaining goals legitimately. He follows the rules of society.
An investor or businessman is economically successful due to his investment or hard work.
Ritualist is a person, who stops trying to achieve goals but believes in using legitimate means for attaining goals. He also follows the rules of society.
If a person stays in a dead end job, he is ritualist.
An innovator is a person, who accepts cultural goals of society but rejects the conventional methods of attaining these goals. He uses different ways to achieve the goals, and these ways are illegal.
A thief is an innovator: he accepts the cultural goal of wealth, but uses illegal means to collect the wealth.
A retreatist is a person, who rejects both the cultural goals and the accepted means of attaining these goals.
Drinker is a retreats because he rejects both the cultural goal and accepted means of attaining the goal: drinking is prohibited and the mean to attain alcoholic is also illegal in Pakistan.
A rebel is a person, who not only rejects both the established cultural goals and the accepted means of attaining these goals, but also introduces new goals and new means of attaining these new goals to bring about revolutionary change and create a new society.
Talaban are rebels in Pakistan: they have not only reject both the established cultural goals and the accepted means of attaining these goals, but also have introduced new goals and new means of attaining these new goals to bring about revolutionary change and create a new society.
(4) Comparison Or Contrast Or Differences Between White Collar Crime & Street Crime
Comparison or contrast or differences white collar crime and street crime can be explained in the following words:
- (i) Roots
- (ii) Victims
- (iii) Effects
- (iv) Concern
- (v) Violence
- (vi) Punishment
- (vii) Socio-economic status
- (viii) Elements of fear & shock
- (ix) Violation of trust & bodily threat or injury
White collar crime is root of most of crimes in the society while street crime is not root of other crimes.
Both white collar crime and street crime are not victimless, but there is a difference: white collar criminal attacks financially strong victim while street criminal attacks defenseless victim.
Both white collar crime and street crime have effects, but the intensity of their effects is different: financial and moral effects of white collar crime are more intensive. On the other hand, effects of street crime are less intensive.
There is concern in white collar crime and street crime, but their concerns are different from each other: there is financial Ancern in white collar crime. Contrary to this, safety is concern in greet crime.
White collar crime is non-violent while street crime is violent in nature.
Both white collar crime and street crime are punishable. but there is a difference: punishment of white collar crime varies from case to case, but punishment of street crime is defined and | prescribed.
(vii) Socio-Economic Status
In cases of white collar crime and street crime, the criminals have socio-economic status, but level of socio-economic status is different: in case of white collar crime, criminal has high socio-economic status. In case of street crime, socio-economic status of criminal is low.
(viii) Elements Of Fear & Shock
There are no elements of fear and shock in white collar crime whereas there are elements of fear and shock in street crime.
(ix) Violation Of Trust & Bodily Threat Or Injury
White collar crime involves violation of trust, but-street crime involves bodily threat or injury.
(5) More Dangerous Crime For Society
It is usually considered that street crime is more dangerous for the society. However, the reality is that both white collar crime and street crime are dangerous for society:
- (i) Social & economic structure & bodily threat or injury
- (ii) Non-violent & violent
(i) Social & Economic Structure & Bodily Threat Or Injury
White collar crime affects social and economic structure of society while street crime inflicts bodily threat or injury to another person.
(ii) Non-Violent & Violent
White collar crime is non-violent crime for financial gain of criminal, but such financial gain of criminal weakens the financial basis of society. Contrary to this, street crime is violent crime that includes physical violence and bodily harm to a person.
(6) Differences Among Occasional, Habitual, Professional & White Collar Criminals
(i) Occasional Criminal
Occasional criminal is a person, who occasionally commits crime and is not perfect or well-trained in crime:
- (a) Non-criminal
- (b) Temptations, compulsions or associations
- (c) Borderland of criminal & non-criminal
- (d) Tactful handling
- (e) Tactless handling
He is basically non-criminal and opposes crime.
(b) Temptations, Compulsions Or Associations
He is attracted to crime due to certain temptations, compulsions or associations: due to certain temptations, compulsions or associations, he feels an impulse to crime. He often fails to resist this impulse and, consequently, falls a prey to it.
(c) Borderland Of Criminal & Non-Criminal
He stands on the borderland of criminal and non-criminal.
(d) Tactful Handling
By tactful handling, he can be easily rehabilitated and kept away from crime.
(e) Tactless Handling
If he is tactlessly handled and unduly condemned, he can become full-fledged criminal.
(ii) Habitual Criminal
Habitual criminal is a person, who has developed habit of crime:
- (a) Opportunity
- (b) Pleasure
- (c) Bad influences & dirty habits
He is not totally devoted to crime. He commits crime whenever there is an opportunity for it.
He derives certain pleasure out of crime, and this pleasure generates in him an urge to repeat the crime.
(c) Bad Influences & Dirty Habits
He does not inherit bad influences, but develops some dirty habits that force him for crime.
(iii) Professional Criminal
A habitual criminal usually becomes a professional criminal:
- (a) Reason
- (b) Willful & deliberate
A habitual criminal becomes a professional criminal because he finds that he must devote himself to the mastery of skill and perfect the techniques of crime in order to satisfy his criminal habits.
(b) Willful & Deliberate
He is willful and deliberate in commission of crimes.
(iv) White Collar Criminal
White collar criminal is a person, who belongs to upper strata of society:
- (a) Crime & detection
- (b) Funds & status
- (c) Mask of respectability
- (d) Commission of crime
(a) Crime & Detection
He commits criminal acts abundantly and usually escapes detection.
(b) Fund & Status
He covers up his crime with the help of his ample funds and his high status in the society.
(c) Mask Of Respectability
He wears the mask of respectability, and, therefore, cannot be easily suspected of criminal intentions.
(d) Commission Of Crime
He commits white collar crime in the course of his occupation.
It can be finally stated that white collar crime is financially motivated nonviolent crime that is committed for illegal monetary gain. It is an intentional crime, element of deception exists in it, illegal financial gain is motive behind its commission, there is no violence or threat of violence in its commission, it results in social injuries and it affects social and economic structure of society.