Impact of changing nature of crime on criminology

changing nature of crime
changing nature of crime

Impact of changing nature of crime on criminology

The changing nature of crime has a significant impact on criminology, leading to more intriguing research on new aspects of crime.  As noted by Barlow & Kauzlarich, 2010: 18), criminology theories have established that the complexity of behaviors and criminal actions as explained in different criminological theories point to the fact that the nature of crime will continue to change.

The modern times are characterized by unique crimes including unusual cases of terrorism, larceny and cybercrime among others. Criminals have become more tactful and the advent of technology and crime-based films have further increased expertise in criminal activities. The need to address the changing nature of crime in a proactive manner is absolutely necessary and criminology must adjust to accommodate such developments.

Besides, there is need to investigate the impact of traditional forms of crime correction and punishment to establish its effectiveness in the wake of the changing nature of crime. Accordingly, criminology has been affected by the changing nature of crime and there is need to keep studying such crimes and ensure that they are amicably addressed. Criminology is tasked with the duty of studying crime and developing solutions; such that urgent research is required to address new aspects of crime.

The changing nature of crime could be a reflection that theories in criminology have been outdated and that new focus is needed in order to manage modern crime. New paradigms need to be explored in order to ensure enhanced crime management. In the case of terrorism for example, the field of criminology is tasked with determining the major motivations of crime and the possibility of preventing the attacks before they can happen.

Changing nature of crime: Terrorism

Recently, there has been a surge in the number of terrorist attacks in the form of lone shootings, an illustration that terrorism goes beyond the alleged question of religion where research has mostly been focused. The recent shootings in Las Vegas that left 59 people dead and nearly 500 injured on October 1, 2017 were perpetrated by a lone gunman whose motive of crime is yet to be identified.

Stephen Paddock as he has been identified planned the crime for a long time, purchasing guns and rounds of ammunition and booking hotel rooms that gave him a clear view of the venue (Yan & Karimi, 2017: 1). The attack raises questions on how such a crime could be executed under the tight security measures that the United States has taken against terrorism.

Paddock did not only purchase numerous guns and explosives but also managed to transport them in his car and into the hotel room without being flagged by security. It is possible if he managed to escape the scene as originally intended, he may have committed another crime such as a bombing, given the police found explosives in his car.

Paddock was mostly a private person and since no accomplice has been identified so far, finding the motive may require an investigation into his psychological health. Barlow & Kauzlarich (2010: 15) note that psychological causes have been linked to crime but its relation to terrorist attacks is still a new subject of study.

The changing nature of crime as far as terrorism is concerned needs to explore more theories than are currently being studied. This insinuates that criminology would have to change the direction of study towards investigating the impact of psychological issues and other factors as a trigger of terrorism (Corner, Gill & Mason, 2016; 561).


Barlow, H. D. & Kauzlarich, D. (2010). Explaining Crime: A Primer in Criminological Theory.

Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.

Corner, E., Gill, P. & Mason, O. (2015). Mental Health Disorders and the Terrorist: A Research

Note Probing Selection Effects and Disorder Prevalence. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 39(6), 560-568.

Yan, H. & Karimi, F. (2017). Las Vegas killer had more explosives, 1,600 rounds of ammo in

car. Retrieved from https//

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