white-collar crime

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white-collar crime,

term coined by Edward Sutherland for nonviolent crimes committed by corporations or individuals such as office workers or sales personnel (see white-collar workerswhite-collar workers,
broad occupational grouping of workers engaged in nonmanual labor; frequently contrasted with blue-collar (manual) employees. American in origin, the term has close analogues in other industrial countries.
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) in the course of their business activities. White-collar crimes include embezzlement, false advertising, bribery, unfair competition, tax evasion, and unfair labor practices.

white-collar crime

‘a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation’. This is the definition which Edwin H. Sutherland gave in his book which started systematic sociological interest in this area: White-collar Crime (1949). Sutherland argues that criminal behaviour is not confined to working-class people. It is frequently, even routinely, found among people of high social status and respectability, but white-collar crimes are rarely treated as such.

Sutherland's focus was on crimes committed by managers and others in the course of their occupations, though the usage has often been broadened to include other areas of middle-class crime. In a study of 70 US corporations Sutherland found a large number of crimes including fraud, misrepresentation, infringe-ments of patents, and others. Much of his evidence did not come from criminal statistics but from the investigations of independent commissions, because very few of the offenders had been prosecuted. Even though the total amounts of money lost to companies, banks, etc., runs into many millions of pounds, it is still the case that white-collar crimes are very much under-represented in the CRIMINAL STATISTICS and are not stigmatized in the way that violent crimes or thefts from individuals are. The importance of Sutherland's work is in correcting common assumptions about the distribution of crime and in qualifying some arguments which have linked crime exclusively to deprivation.

References in periodicals archive ?
Business crime in whatever guise, whether cybercrime, fraud, counterfeit currency, intellectual property crime, shoplifting, theft or criminal damage - cannot be tackled by the business community or the criminal justice system working in isolation.
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The 2010 West Midlands Business Crime Forum report by Forensic Pathways Ltd makes harrowing reading.
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Sergeant Andy Gregory, the force lead for business crime said: "This short video really gets to the heart of business crime prevention.
Mrs Hart said: "The unit will deliver a programme of actions to both protect and educate businesses across all sectors in business crime prevention and cyber-security, and provide an opportunity for businesses in the ICT Sector to add to their portfolio of service.
Rod Fletcher, head of the Business Crime & Regulation ( http://www.
West Midlands Police has maintained business crime as a priority and we certainly welcome that along with further discussion and partnership working.
We will be spending more money tackling business crime, a total of pounds 450,000 over the next two years.
The AXA Insurance Business Crime Index also reveals a 10%rise in the number of crimes committed against British businesses in the first half of the year and an 18% rise in the cost of business crime.
This was swiftly followed by the Safer Business Award, the national standard for business crime reduction partnerships and awarded by Action Against Business Crime.

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