White-Collar Crime and Street Crimes

Sharing is Caring


White-Collar crime is a particular type of crime that is mostly committed by business people, government officials, entrepreneurs, and professionals. These people enjoy a high social position in society and deceive people through bribery, fraud, and cybercrimes.

What does white-collar crime mean?

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary

“A nonviolent crime involving cheating ar dishonesty in commercial matters.”


According to Edwin H. Sutherland

White-Collar crime is a crime that is committed by a mature person who enjoys a high social status in the society due to his occupation.

According to Investopedia

White-collar crime is a nonviolent crime committed for financial gain.

According to Wikipedia

The term “white-collar crime” refers to financially motivated, nonviolent crime committed by individuals, businessmen, and government offials.

Categories of white-collar crimes

The categories of White-Collar crimes are the following.

1. Crimes in Medical Profession

  • Health care fraud.

2. Business, Trade, and Industry Crimes

  • Money Laundering
  • Investment Schemes
  • Telemarketing Frauds

3. Corruption

  • Embezzlement
  • Forgery
  • Bribery

4. Crimes of Taxation

  • Tax Evasion

5. Other Crimes

  • Blackmail
  • Extortion
  • Counterfeiting
  • Conspiracy
  • Employee Theft
  • Cybercrimes

What causes white-collar crime to grow

white-Collar crime has grown its roots due to the following factors.

  1. Advancement of Science and Technology
  2. Industrial Revolution
  3. World War 1 & World War 2
If you want to read Why do People commit crimes?  Click Here.


White-Collar Crimes are different from Street Crimes.

White-Collar Crimes

White-Collar crime is a particular type of crime that is mostly committed by business people, government officials, entrepreneurs, and professionals.

These crimes are mostly financially motivated crimes. These crimes involve deceit, concealment, and violation of the trust of people.

Edwin H. Sutherland was a Sociologist who proposed the term White-Collar crime in 1939. It included a wide range of frauds and fiddles committed by businessmen and public officials.

White-Collar crimes include Bribery, Forgey, Embezzlement, Fraud relating to health, Theft, Cybercrimes, Corporate crimes, Copyright fraud, Corruption, and Money Laundering.

Which penalties are given to the criminals

The penalties that are given to white-collar criminals are the following.

  • Home Detention
  • Fines
  • Paying the cost of Prosecution
  • Supervised Release
  • Restitution
  • Community Confinement
  • Imprisonment

Street Crimes

Street crimes are those crimes that can be seen by other people in society. They are also known as Blue-Collar crimes.  These may be against the property or against persons. Street crimes are intentional and well planned.

Street Crimes Against Property: These crimes occur when one steals the property of another without causing physical injury to the individual. Examples are Arson, Burglary, Motor Vehicle Theft, Vandalism, and Shoplifting.

Steet Crimes Against Person: These are those crimes in which the criminal causes bodily harm to other individuals. The victim is injured as a result of violence. Examples are Homicide, Robbery, Rape, and Domestic Violence.

The most usual street crimes are the following;

  1. Crimes against Life and Health (Murder & Injury)
  2. Crimes against Public                 (Drug Trafficking)
  3. Crimes against Property            (Theft, Robbery, Fraud)
  4. Crimes against Public Order      (Hooliganism, Vandalism, Illegal possession of weapons)
  5. Crimes against Women              (Rape)

Which one is more severe

In general, street crimes are more violent in nature as compared to white-collar crimes. But if we talk about which one is more devastating, then the answer is White-Collar when it is compared with the street crime. The reason is that white-collar crimes have been proven more dangerous both financially and emotionally.

Street crime offenders are mostly from areas of low socioeconomic status as compared to white-collar criminals.

According to the book, “White-Collar Crime and Criminal Careers,” it is stated, 

“Unlike various street criminals, white-collar criminals are mostly employed and may have conventional career histories.”

In Street crimes, the offender directly targets the right victim who is mostly without defense. In street crime, the danger may be physical, emotional, and financial. It may result in the form of an injury. Street crimes have safety concerns.

On the other hand, white-collar crime also takes place with the keen intention of the offender. In white-collar crimes, the danger lies in financial constraints. White-Collar crimes have financial concerns.


1. Are white-collar crimes and street crimes categorized together or separate?

Street crime has a severe shock value and fear attached with its name. Street crime is now an internationally experienced violent offense and it may cause sudden death of the victims.

While, white-collar crimes may also result in the death of the victim but it is usually due to the use of sub-standard use of construction materials.

Thus, the two crimes cannot be categorized together because there is a different meaning behind each crime committed.


Both the White-Collar Crimes and Street Crimes are very serious crimes and have a dangerous impact on society and individuals. Both these crimes have been proven devastating for the community and its inhabitants. Both have their own victims and consequences.

Street crimes include murders, rape, and robbery while White-Collar crimes include tax evasion, bankruptcy, corruption, and cybercrime.

The punishments of these crimes also vary to a great extent. However, the law enforcement agencies must do something to eliminate these crimes from society.


Leave a Reply