property and violent economic crimes ae notebook 1

Introduction for Property and Violent Economic Crimes

Property crime is perhaps far more important than violent crime in the lives of most of us. Much property crime is also referred to as economic crime, because it is primarily carried out for the purpose of improving one’s economic status. A very large majority of the general population is victimized in a variety of ways by such crime. If we are not victimized directly, then the prices of retail goods are certainly affected by shoplifting, cybercrime, and employee theft. Insurance rates are influenced by crimes such as auto theft and burglary. Corporate crime, a topic rarely addressed in the psychological literature, can threaten public health and safety, limit employment opportunities, and siphon public money away from human services and into corporate coffers.

We look at the psychological effects on victims, who may experience not only stress and fear but also a sense of a trust being violated. There are very few studies on the perpetrators of these crimes. However, psychological assessment experts have become involved in this area, noting that offenders try to communicate to both victims and police investigators. Personality assessment is simply not limited to the serial killer or rapist, but is potentially useful for solving burglaries, robberies, and arsons. One of the main psychological themes centers on the ways property or economic offenders minimize, neutralize, deny, and justify their actions to themselves and others. Perceived control of the environment is a secondary theme, and is characteristic of many economic offenders.

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Violent economic crimes either involve violent acts or have the potential of doing great physical harm to the victims. Most robberies do not result in serious physical harm, but a robbery gone awry can end in death. The psychological damage to the victim, whether or not physical harm occurs, can be great. Research on robbery suggests it is quite different from what is typically portrayed in media accounts. Most bank robbers, for example, are amateurs, and their crimes are not well planned. Likewise, street robberies are rarely planned; the opportunity presents itself and the perpetrator strikes. Street robbers typically want money or goods and are not likely to harm if victims do not resist.


For this assignment, do your work right in the Property and Violent Economic Crime media, reviewing resources provided there and writing your notes in the Notebook, which you will eventually print out in PDF format and submit as your assignment. Be sure to read the Deliverable Instructions below.

  • Review the Property and Violent Economic Crime media.
  • Use the resources available in the media. Feel free to find other resources outside the media that you find relevant.
  • Record your answers to the following questions in the Notebook:
    • Why is it important to establish whether it is an instrumental or expressive situation before an intervention takes place? What psychological motivation is likely to be present for the expressive hostage taker?
    • How does the Stockholm syndrome differ from the London syndrome? Use two research articles as the foundation for your explanation and provide links to the articles.
    • How is the behavior of offenders influenced by societal factors, such as economic recession? Find and refer to a news article, providing a link, on a violent economic crime, such as bank robbery, theft, embezzlement, et cetera, and answer the question.
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