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Predatory Crime and Technology

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Abstract

The researcher seeks to conduct a study to define the term predatory crime, as well as its minimum components, namely: the mental state, the act, and the causation. The work captures different categories connected to technology usages, such as the software and the hardware technology; areas in which technology affects crime, both positively and negatively, as communication devices, chemical weapons, alcohol detectors and speed guns; online crime prevention software programs, human and luggage screening gadgets and equipment, and bombs/explosives. The researcher also provides an assessment of technology usage and the level of its performance while addressing the corresponding threats.

Predatory Crime and Technology

Predatory offenses are often violent profit driven crimes that involve victimizing of a human being for the benefit of the perpetrator, as opposed to the victimless crimes, such as drug abuse or prostitution, etc. Such crimes include mugging, kidnapping, robbery, fraud, and murder, and consist of several characteristics: the redistribution of possessions from the victim to the attacker, use of force/threat, victimization, institution generating loss to the affected party, an affliction of the targeted person, and the necessity for a legal redress (Department of Justice 2011). Unfortunately, the modern technology, which is characterized by ingenious inventions and innovations, has brought a variety of new crimes as well as facilitation of criminal operations. Although the security agencies possess some advanced methods of confronting such wrongdoings, there are worries about the ability of criminals to use the same technology to avert, confront or paralyze security operations. Effective dealing with such problems would require severe training for security personnel, as well as the collaboration with the information technology experts and other scientists. Therefore, the paper seeks to discuss the impact of technological development on the crime development and termination.

The Minimum Elements of Predatory Crime

Mental State/Fault

The term refers to the presence of the intention or guilty mind that represents the willingness and purpose of committing a criminal act. It follows from the doctrine that “an action bears no guilt unless the mind bears the same” (Bonnie, Coughlin, Jefferies, & Low, 1997). For instance, an assault derives the motivation from the intention to cause bodily harm to the victim. Thus, such concept differs from the reason/motive behind the crime, although, it is inessential during the trial. Guilt results from the acts committed knowingly, purposefully, negligently, or recklessly or their combination.

Conduct/Guilty Act

The notion refers to the criminal offense when the thought/idea without the action justifies a legal intervention. Some of them amount to serious criminal offenses, as a threat, conspiracy, solicitation, and perjury, etc.. Essentially, evidence to support the allegations has to appear during the judgment. Additionally, an offense must possess a statutory declaration, a potential to harm an individual, community, society or a nation (Martin, 2003), a companion of intention and the violation of the law.

Causation

In detail, it comprises the actual harm and requires evidence: for instance, a murder must have a dead person while assault and battery charge requires bodily harm that validates the allegations. The conduct and the direct participation of the felon lead to the implication. However, the causation is not easy to sustain, as an act without the involvement of secondary factors may not be sufficient to cause harm, and, thus, to succeed the deed must have a close relationship with the consequence (Martin, 2003).

Technology and Predatory Crimes

Categories of Technology

Hardware technology. This advancement entails the use of sophisticated materials and equipment to execute a particular function. Such supplies consist of the closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras, metal detectors, luggage scanners, airborne drones to monitor a geographical region, bulletproof material shields, armored vehicles, and the protective gear for policemen (Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011). When gangsters are capable of acquiring bullet proof material, armored vehicles, and the protective gear, then their wicked task becomes easy, and thus security deteriorates. On the other hand, when security officers are equipped with such weapons and appliances, it becomes easier for them to preempt crime or to confront the thugs in action and thus promoting security. In my opinion, I believe such advancement is meaningful if the security agencies should employ strict measures to control the flow of illegal weapons.

Software system and process technology. This advancement entails, the use of computer programs and applications to monitor and track activities, individual movements and communication is vastly implemented in the criminal justice. The major focus of such procedures is the information and its extraction with a help of accounting systems, biometric systems, facial recognition and digital security systems (Byrne & Rebovich, 2007). The threat posed by the use of such techniques is the cyber intrusion that could paralyze the whole security system. The government should, therefore, employ highly qualified scientists to develop mechanisms for safeguarding online government systems as well as tracking cyber criminals.

Development of Chemical Weapons. The use of chemical substances provides the crime suppression through the introduction of non-lethal police weapons that cause irritation upon human contact and support the population dispersal during inappropriate demonstrations, thus, reduce possible damages. However, outlaws also adopt the use of odorless and tasteless, poisonous drugs to kill their targets or sedate them. Some chemicals kill in a few minutes time and thus, it is not easy to investigate such crimes because the identity of the wrongdoer stays hidden, so, in a word, such technology also promotes felony (Federation of American Scientists).

The Use of Alcohol Detectors and Speed Guns

Driving under the influence of alcohol and overspeeding are negligent actions that greatly contribute to road accidents that claim lives and inflict injuries on road users (Marx, 2007). The use of hardware technology in the criminal justice field led to the introduction of speed guns for monitoring motorists on the highways, as well as alcohol detecting machines for determining the extent of sobriety of a driver. These gadgets help maintain the sanity on the road, thus, decrease fatalities out of recklessness.

The Adoption of Online Crime Prevention Tools

The security agencies utilize software programs such as threat assessment tools, offender risk classification tools, programs for identity theft prevention, and protection of confidentiality of information. Digital crime registers enhance the monitoring of the movement, as well as the location of criminals, consequently providing the proactive approach to criminal acts. The use of trap and trace devices, wire taps, roving intercept orders, and pen registers enable the police officers to monitor communication and transactions to prevent fraud, online human trafficking, and sex crime (Soghoian, 2011).

The Use of Hardware Materials

Metal detector gadgets and luggage screening equipment help in averting the crime through inhibiting the smuggling of weapons into buildings and public places (Hankin, Hertz, & Simon, 2011). The use of protective gear, bullet-proof glasses, and armored vehicles for the cash couriers, dignitaries, prominent politicians, and security personnel makes it hard for criminals to execute robberies as well as more serious crimes. However, felons also have access to the protective gears. Thus, they could violently execute their operations while confronting the security officials.

Bombs and Other Explosives

The development and the usage of bombs, grenades, and other explosive materials subject the civilians, security officers, corporations, and institutions to the threat of terror attacks such as car bombings, hurled grenade attacks, and suicide bombers. Since the fatalities caused by the explosives have reached a high level, it is possible to conclude that they promote the killing as well as the destruction of property. Bombs and explosives such as grenades facilitate terrorist attacks due to their fatality, the ease of assembling as well as using them. For instance, a single person can easily attack a congregation of more than 200 people by simply hurling a grenade and cause deaths and injuries. However, security agencies also tend to respond to the threat by adopting the use of technology to detect the presence of such weapons, as well as safely detonate them.

Pros and Cons of Improved Technology

Enhancing security operations. On the one hand, the recent technological developments contribute to security improvement through communication (Harris & Lurigio, 2007), enhancement of sophisticated weapon and protective mechanisms for security officers, surveillance equipment as well as data storage tools. These improvements assist the struggle against crime and increase the safety of all people.

Facilitating crime. On the other hand, organized criminal groups utilize the modern technology to upgrade their operations through encrypted communication systems and the acquisition of weapons to instate violence towards civilians as well as avert the police attacks. Moreover, they also get into security agent’s databases to steal information or paralyze their work, rendering a country vulnerable to criminal activities.

Personal Opinion

Predatory crime is the offenses aimed at inflicting harm on the targeted individuals or groups, and technological advancement has improved security as well as increasing the vulnerability of people as well as their governments because modern criminals are intelligent people who employ the use of technology to orchestrate their wicked acts. The government should, therefore, employ computer as well as forensic scientists to develop resistance mechanisms as well as responding proactively to crimes.

Conclusion

In conclusion, predatory crime has three minimum elements, which include the mental state, the act, and the causation. The development of hardware and software technology has two facets, and while it inhibits the actions of felons through facilitating security operations, it also provides the conditions that promote crime through the use of sophisticated mechanisms, as well as the ability to resist security operations. The areas, in which technology influences crime ratings, are communication devices, chemical weapons, alcohol detectors, speed guns, online crime prevention software programs, human and luggage screening gadgets and equipment, and bombs/explosives, etc. All in all, even though technology development promotes crime, the contemporary world depends on it, so the scientists need to collaborate with security officers to make sure that the advanced devices and equipment is used for the right cause.

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