Myth or Misconception about Crime and Society

The word criminal mean different things to different people. However, when individuals are asked to describe their imaginations, there seems to exist many similarities in what they think a criminal is. Criminals are dreadful characters, who inflict fear in people, maim, steal, kill and destroy their victims. Individuals imagine criminals to be tall, ugly, dirty and heartless persons, who happen to lack proper education and are bitter with life, hence prefer to take it out on others. But contrary to these common descriptions, most criminals are witty, nit and educated individuals. Most of them commit crime consciously. After pinpointing their targets, they often take enough time to research and establish means and methods of executing their plans.

Crime is a dreadful thing that everyone would love to avoid. To most people, crime is anything done purposefully by another person or group with the aim of limiting their happiness or causing harm. People consider crime to be a rigorous plot to cause harm because it does not take place without prior arrangement. Although people may fall visits accidentally, culprits are always aware of their deeds and they execute them precisely according to their plans. Crime is also considered to be harmful because its motivation has undesirable ends. Although many people have never encountered crime, every adult is aware of criminals and the risk they pose to their societies. However, it is the nature of crimes committed that prompts the definitions received.

Societies define crime differently, depending on the nature and magnitude of crimes. For instance, in regions where suicide bombing is common, individuals in the society will describe criminals as ruthless crooks who are ready to go to any height in order to harm others. On the other hand, a store manager that is frequented by shoplifters will describe a criminal as someone who lives on stolen goods. From these descriptions, it is apparent that the number of definitions for criminals matches the number of crimes that have been recorded.

Terrorism is one of the worst crimes that can ever visit a society. It is considered a crime because it fits the basic definition of crime perfectly i.e. crime is defined by the dictionary is an act that is not permitted by the government and is punishable by law (Short Cuts TV, 2010). Terrorists’ main objective is to cause terror, and make societies as well as governments submit to their aggressions. There are several forms of terrorisms that can be singled out as the worst forms; however, it is the religious crusaders that target societies with different perceptions that is most rampant. The most common groups here are the Al Qaida terrorists that like to associate themselves with Jihads, and target ‘Kaffirs’, Jews, Americans and Christians. Although they claim to fight for a noble cause; which supposed to be a fight against oppression and subjection, their motives as can be spelled out from their track of crimes seems to point to different directions

Al Qaeda has many factions, but operates centrally led by one common leader. For a long time, the supreme leader has be Osama Bin Laden, who was executed by the American lead mission in Pakistan. The current leader of the global group is Ayman al-Zawahiri (Collica, 2012). The group mostly thrive in weak democracies and then spread to other part of the world to execute their plans. Although lately there has been an increasing number of Americans and Europeans joining the outlawed groups, most its members are Arabs who subscribe to Muslim fundamentalist.

Among the most common methods used Al Qaeda to execute their plans is suicide bombing. However, the group has been revising its tactics to match the evolving international intelligence. For instance, the group used hijacked Aeroplanes to execute their evils during the 9/11 attacks. A few weeks ago, a mutant group of Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab attacked shoppers with grenades, homemade bombs and riffles in a Mall in Nairobi, Kenya to demonstrate their seriousness in fighting against Kaffirs.

There are various myths and misconceptions related to crime. These myths and misconceptions are mostly due to misrepresentation of facts. Understandably, the media which relay most the crime news that the public knows about, highlight crimes selectively. They often target crimes that are dramatic and would attract more viewers to their materials. However, contrary to the misconception generated by the media, violent crimes only constitutes about twelve percent of all crimes reported; this does not match the percentile of violent crimes that constitute 60 percent of all crimes reported by the media. The media generates only the contents that they feel will keep the viewers stuck to their screens, and regardless of the amount of violence, it only reports the compelling ones and ignores the rest (Barnett, 2010). Therefore, the public is made to believe that small crimes are less rampant than they are in the actual sense.

Another myth and misconception held by the public is that crime is committed by poor, mean and ignorant young men; however, white collar crimes are the most costly crimes in the society (Iwata, 2005). Crimes committed by corporate and rich organizational heads are harder to prosecute, thus they are rarely reported. However, this does not in any way suggest that they are none consequential as the myth may seem to indicate.

In conclusion, it is important to note that there are many forms of crimes that visit the society every day; however, crimes that are classified as petty crimes are often ignored. It is important to individuals to read police reports and briefs to understand the number and magnitude of crimes in their regions.


Barnett, C. (2010). “The Measurement of White-Collar Crime Using Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Data.” U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation: Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division. Retrieved from

Collica, K. & Furst, G. (2012). Crime & society. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

Iwata, E. (2005). “White-collar crime cases prove difficult to prosecute.” USA Today. Retrieved from

Short Cuts TV (Producer). (2010). Crimes of the Powerful. In Crime and Deviance: A Sociological Inquiry. Retrieved from