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Victimless Crime: Unawareness In Sense of Victim About Crime

Victimless crime is a crime without victim in it no third party is injured. This type of crime is private in nature and there is consent that is doing the victimless crime. Thus there is problem of complaining and evidence during prosecution. Victimless crime though don’t harm third party but for social interest it was penalized. Victimless crime to decriminalized is against the moral values and will diminish the Quality of life and cause real harm to the society.

Introduction
Victimless crime sounds differently but there are crimes in world which are without victim. Where no third party is is victim in it either perpetrator suffers in it. Victimless crime is private in nature but society is ready to relinquish its own privacy to punish the offender in victimless crime. The victimless crime prevention is in need to protect the society interest, thus society has given state power to punish such crimes. As criminal law is instrument of social policy even if the behavior in question harms no one else directly, there may be larger interests of society that need to be protected or furthered by criminal legislation,and in the eyes of conservatives the upholding of moral standards is one of those vital interests.

Concept of Victimless Crime:
“Crime without victim” or “Victimless crime” is a term used for certain actions that are illegal, but which do not directly violate or threaten the right of any other individual.When the first serious efforts were mounted to urge repeal of the archaic laws against homosexual acts, it was especially promoted by the work of the American sociologist Edwin M. Schur,Crimes Without Victims: Deviant Behavior and Public Policy(1965), which addressed the issues of abortion, homosexuality, and drug addiction.

A characteristic feature of such laws is that since no third party is harmed, there is no one who has an immediate interest in complaining to the police and presenting evidence against the culprits.

Victimless crime is mainly related to awareness and unawareness of victim for crime. When victim aware about crime and he or she knows he or she is a harmed and in this case he or she is a victim of crime but when the victim is unaware of crime and harm caused to him it is a case of victimless crime.

Consent leads awareness and if the subject of the crime is not harmed unless he becomes aware of the crime, then such crime is victimless, i.e. the victim doesn’t know about crime until he becomes aware of the crime. For e.g. a person trespassing through a neighbor’s yard, without being observed or causing damage is committing the victimless crime.

The victim in “victimless” is somewhat controversial. There are three widely acknowledged meaning of “victimless”.

1. Offenses with arguably no material harm in which all parties are consenting between adults such as prostitution, pornography and gambling.
2. Crimes in which the damage caused is overwhelmingly borne by the perpetrator, such as suicide, truancy or drug use. As the perpetrator has chosen to suffer the effects of these offences, he or she is not a “victim” in the normal sense.
3. Activities which are unsafe and could result in damage but specific instance do not. Traffic citations are frequently victimless, as are trespassing and failing to follow safety laws.
The victimless crimes normally do not harm the other individual by the act of perpetrator but harm to the society at large its morals, its productivity and quality of life. Like drug abuse it severally harms the productivity of society and also prostitution which harms morality of society. Traffic norms when do not obeyed it sometime become the cause of accidents.

Many victimless crimes begin because of desire to obtain illegal products or services that are in high demand. The supply of penalized which in turn drives the “black market price” up creating monopoly profits for those criminals who remain in business. This “crime tariff” encourages the growth of sophisticated and well organized criminal groups.

The criminal underworlds created against consensual crimes means that a subculture is created for whom police are enemy and who can’t rely on law and who follow a violent code of honor. This further encourages violence and revenge.

In the English-speaking world the influence of the Enlightenment in this area of the law was severely limited by the fact that the right of the state to punish "immorality" in general, and sexual immorality in particular, went virtually unquestioned. Indeed there was a tacit agreement that the state had a duty to punish such behavior in the interest of society. Thus interest of society plays an important role. Such crimes pose Social Policy Questions.The concept of "victimless crimes" poses more sharply than any other the question: To what extent should the criminal law be an instrument of social policy? Even if the behavior in question harms no one else directly, there may be larger interests of society that need to be protected or furthered by criminal legislation, and in the eyes of conservatives the upholding of moral standards is one of those vital interests.
“Victimless” or “consensual” crimes have unique characteristic that make them an indirect threat to the privacy of innocent people. The laws against victimless crimes are not direct threat to privacy themselves. In criminalizing certain acts, society makes a judgment that there can be no privacy interest in those acts.

“But victimless crime laws do threaten the privacy of innocents because of the monitoring and investigation they require for enforcement.” None of the participant in a victimless will report it to authorities. To enforce this kind of crime law, officials must engage in extensive monitoring, wiretapping and surveillance of suspects and the public.

Victimless crime have importance of consent and because of it is an offence of private nature not involving society at large like prostitution but it is against the social norms thus though it is private and with consent society interferes with it with instrument of law.

According to New man following are some victimless crimes or crimes without victims:
1.Health ‘protection’ crimes:the government can get away with lot of restrictions ‘for the good of the people’. This can be used to justify almost any law.
a. drug prohibition.
b. seat belt laws.
c. motorcycle helmet laws etc.

2. Youth ‘protection’ laws:these laws exist with the pretense of protecting children, but their effect is to make young citizens property of their guardians. Some are also based on the idea that ignorance will protect youth from harm (when it usually has the opposite effect).
a. clothing restrictions
b. Ban on factual sex education.
c. parental notification etc.

Some activities that are considered victimless crimes in majority of jurisdictions are drug abuse, bigamy, prostitution, ticket scalping etc. although it is debate as to whether they are really “victimless” or not, while some are legally regarded as victimless, such as prostitution, stand in the forefront of debate over whether anyone harmed or not, physically, morally or otherwise.

Health protection and youth protection is in interest of the society. Deceased people and youth involved illicit activities can be causing of the degradation of nation thus it is responsibility of society to protect health and youth thus it made laws in above matters.

There is a debate on whether prosecution to consensual crimes should be maintained or should they be decriminalized. There are several arguments for maintaining the prosecution of victimless crime, such as costs, but the main thrust of maintaining prosecution tends to be rooted in arguing that society as a whole is enhanced by locking up victimless criminal offenders.

The reason being:
1. By decriminalizing such activities like drug abuse, no seat belt etc. although the cost of law enforcement would be controlled but the other costs would become unacceptably high.
2. Decriminalizing such acts would cost the core values of the society and overall diminish the quality of life and causing real harm to the society.

Conclusion:
(1) Victimless crime doesn’t harm third party person thus there is problem of complaining of it and evidence while prosecuting.
(2) When the victim is unaware of crime and harm caused to him it is a case of victimless crime.
(3) There are kind of victimless crimes as suicide, truancy or drug use, Traffic citations, prostitution, pornography and gambling etc.
(4) Victimless crimes normally don’t harm the individual but harms society at large.
(5) Victimless crimes can capable of creating gang subculture because of involvement of demand and money.
(6) In criminalizing victimless crime acts, society makes a judgment that there can be no privacy interest in those acts.
(7) Victimless crime have importance of consent and because of it is an offence of private nature not involving society at large like prostitution but it is against the social norms thus though it is private and with consent society interferes with it with instrument of law.
(8) Health protection and youth protection is in interest of the society thus legal instruments penalize victimless crime which is against health and youth protection.
(9) Victimless crime criminalized for the quality of life and causing no real harm to the society.

References:
1. Drug addiction, criminal justice and human rights: Dr. Sheetal Kanwal, Amar law publications, pg. no. 32.
2. Victimless crimes: Warren Johansson, pg. no. 1370.

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