White-Collar Crime: an Overview and Discussion

  • Hazel Croall


White-collar crime is invisible in many different respects. Offences are typically concealed within occupational and organisational routines, are difficult to detect by victims, observers or law enforcers, and few offenders are tried and sentenced in open court. It is also absent from public and academic discussions of ‘crime’ and criminal justice policy. A major theme in research and literature has therefore been to expose the extent, impact and failure to fully criminalise the crimes of ‘the powerful’. This chapter will focus on some key themes and issues which continue to be significant for understanding white-collar crime. It will argue that despite an apparent increase in offending it is still necessary to render white-collar crime more visible. It will then explore the extent to which the concept itself requires modification, particularly by focusing more directly on the nature of offences than on the status of offenders. This directs attention to aspects of victimisation and the relationship between white-collar crime and both legal and illegal forms of business activity and organisation. This will be explored by looking at who suffers and who benefits from white-collar crime, an exercise which also raises issues about the close relationships between white-collar and organised crime. Finally, the chapter will briefly outline some major questions dominating discussions of how this vast group of offences can be controlled.


Crime Prevention Money Laundering Organise Crime Corporate Crime Criminal Enterprise 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hazel Croall
    • 1
  1. 1.University of StrathclydeScotland

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