Crime, Professional

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Crime, Professional


crimes committed by persons for whom criminally punishable acts are a permanent occupation and the primary source of money. Persons who engage in professional crime have the skills and means necessary for criminal activity and specialize in some particular type of crime, such as theft or swindling. Professional crime has its own psychology and customs.

Professional crime was fairly widespread in the USSR in the early 1930’s. The criminals came from among the non-working or déclassé elements of society, and the most common forms of professional crime were banditry, smuggling, burglary, speculation, swindling, and the buying of stolen goods. Professional crime as a social phenomenon has been eliminated.

In the capitalist countries, professional crime occupies a significant place in the structure of crime and shows a tendency to outstrip other types of crime. Associations of professional criminals, known as syndicates, are growing and becoming more influential. They are monopolizing various spheres of criminal business, such as the narcotics traffic, kidnapping for ransom, extortion, stealing works of art, smuggling, and operating dens of vice. The activities of the syndicates extend over an entire country or even a group of countries.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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