To explain the cost of crime could be comparable to explaining the effect drugs and alcohol have on the community as a whole. None of us will ever truly know it all. The magnitude is so large, however, we can explain to the best of our ability what we do know.
Crime is defined as the breach of one or more rules or laws for which some governing authority or force may ultimately prescribe a punishment. Quite broad I must say. Perhaps leading to the problem of explaining the cost of crime in its totality
Take for instance the crime of fraud. Well, there are many types of fraud so I will choose insurance fraud. Claim your back is injured from a fall at work. The fact that you landed on your back when you fell from the tree building your son’s tree house is irrelevant. The doctor’s notes and comments coincide with your claim and the temporary disability is approved. The workman’s Comp kicks in and you have accomplished your fraud. What happens to the premiums your fellow employees pay monthly? They have been raised due to the amount of claims submitted the previous year. How many of those claims were a fraud like yours?
Lets talk theft. Stealing those jeans and that purse means nothing to a company the size of Sears. How about the earrings and the picture frame your neighbor stole. Theft is like a game to some. Let’s see if I can get away with it. If I do then I win. Well, your winning causes the rest of us (including you) to lose in the end. The earnings Sears posted for this year were down causing an increase in prices to cover the loss. Sears has to survive. Perhaps Sears was already doing poorly and the loss was great enough to push them to the brink of bankruptcy. There goes hundreds of jobs
When certain crimes are committed there are trickle effects that touch many lives. Selling your stash of cocaine causes the purchaser a heart attack. With no health insurance the hospital he is transferred to is left holding the bill, if the person is lucky enough to make it to the hospital. Perhaps the person dies and then the family, already living on food stamps, not only grieves but has to find a way to gather funds to bury their loved one. This explains two crimes. The purchaser and the seller. Maybe the purchaser’s family had no idea that drugs were an issue and mental health services will be needed for the children that person left behind.
Taxpayers pay for many things in the community. One crime such as corporate individuals receiving gifts to select the most expensive contractor to pave the roads just cost the taxpayers more than what was meant to be spent.
Crime is a widespread uncontrollable disease if you will, running ramped throughout our communities causing cost increases that we are probably not even aware of yet.
Crime affects citizens in their pocket books, in their ability to trust government and the choices they make. When in the back of our minds we have to question every thing, we are greatly affected.
Crime doesn’t pay, unless of course you are the criminal.