Crimes Against Public Safety, Law and Order, and Public Health

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Crimes Against Public Safety, Law and Order, and Public Health


under Soviet criminal law, crimes involving violation of the rules of conduct established by law and other normative acts to ensure public tranquillity, the safety and health of the individual, and the preservation of socialist and personal property. Other crimes of this type include infringement of citizens’ normal conditions of work, domestic life, and recreation and violation of the normal operating conditions of state and public institutions, enterprises, and organizations. These crimes appear in a special chapter in the criminal code, for example, Chapter 10 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, and they may be divided into three groups.

The first group consists of crimes against law and order and violations of the constitutional duty to work. It includes hooliganism; threatening murder, serious bodily injury, or destruction of property; acquiring or selling property known to have been obtained by criminal means; regularly engaging in vagrancy or begging; refusing to carry out the decision of the executive committee of a local soviet of workers’ deputies to find work and stop leading a parasitic existence; and inciting minors to crime (for example, arts. 206–210 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR).

The second group includes crimes against public safety that are violations of legally established regulations for handling sources of grave danger (means of transportation, weapons, poisons, or explosives), violations which have led to or could lead to accidents involving people or other grave consequences. The elements of the crimes in this group vary depending on the source of grave danger: breaking traffic safety rules or regulations for operating transportation vehicles, hijacking motor vehicles, operating transportation vehicles in an intoxicated state, permitting transportation vehicles in poor condition to be operated, stopping a train unnecessarily and without authorization, violating safety regulations in certain types of work (mining, construction, or at enterprises with increased explosion hazards), illegally carrying, keeping, manufacturing, or selling firearms or explosives, and stealing firearms (arts. 211–220 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR).

The third group comprises crimes against public health—socially dangerous violations of rules established by the state to protect the health of citizens. They include practicing medicine illegally, polluting bodies of water or the air, making or selling narcotics or other powerful and toxic substances, operating dens of vice or procuring, offending against the person and rights of citizens under the guise of performing religious rituals, making or selling pornographic material, desecrating a grave, or deliberately destroying or damaging cultural monuments (arts. 221–230 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR).

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