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Portal:Crime

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In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term "crime" does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition, though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes. The most popular view is that crime is a category created by law; in other words, something is a crime if declared as such by the relevant and applicable law. One proposed definition is that a crime or offence (or criminal offence) is an act harmful not only to some individual but also to a community, society or the state ("a public wrong"). Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law.

The notion that acts such as murder, rape and theft are to be prohibited exists worldwide. What precisely is a criminal offence is defined by criminal law of each country. While many have a catalogue of crimes called the criminal code, in some common law countries no such comprehensive statute exists.

The state (government) has the power to severely restrict one's liberty for committing a crime. In modern societies, there are procedures to which investigations and trials must adhere. If found guilty, an offender may be sentenced to a form of reparation such as a community sentence, or, depending on the nature of their offence, to undergo imprisonment, life imprisonment or, in some jurisdictions, execution.

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The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada. It forms the first part of the Constitution Act, 1982. The Charter is intended to protect certain political and civil rights of people in Canada from the policies and actions of all levels of government. It is also supposed to unify Canadians around a set of principles that embody those rights. The Charter was preceded by the Canadian Bill of Rights, which was introduced by the government of John Diefenbaker in 1960. However, the Bill of Rights was only a federal statute, rather than a constitutional document, and therefore limited in scope and easily amendable. Hence, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's government enacted the Charter in 1982. One of the most notable effects of the adoption of the Charter was to greatly expand the scope of judicial review. The Court system of Canada, when confronted with violations of Charter rights, have struck down unconstitutional statutes or parts of statutes. However, the Charter granted new powers to the courts to enforce more creative remedies and to exclude more evidence in trials. As a result, the Charter has attracted both passionate support from liberals and criticisms by opponents of increased judicial power.

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Red Serge uniform
Credit: Library and Archives Canada

The Red Serge is the formal and ceremonial uniform of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It consists of a scarlet military dress-style coat, replete with a low neck collar, brass buttons, and golden braided ornamentation with a white cotton T-shirt underneath. The riding breeches (pants) are "midnight blue" (virtually black) with exaggerated bulges at the hips and a yellow strapping (stripe) down the outside seam of each leg.

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Bust of Marcus Aurelius
Poverty is the mother of crime.

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2 September 2019 – Corruption in Spain
Close to 40 people, including former presidents of Community of Madrid and senior politicians Esperanza Aguirre, Ignacio González and Cristina Cifuentes, are charged by the Audiencia Nacional with alleged crimes during the instruction of the Púnica corruption case. (El Mundo)
1 September 2019 – Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict
More than 100 people are killed in a Saudi airstrike on a detention centre in Dhamar, Yemen, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Saudi Arabia says it hit a Houthi military facility used to store drones and missiles, "in accordance with international humanitarian law". Iran labels the airstrike as a "war crime". (BBC) (The New York Times) (Iran Press)
31 August 2019 – 2016 Interstate 10 tour bus crash
A truck driver involved in the accident, which killed thirteen when two vehicles collided in California, pleads guilty to 42 crimes including vehicular manslaughter. The sleep-deprived driver fell asleep during a temporary halt to traffic; when traffic moved off again he remained stationary and the bus ran into the rear of his vehicle. (ABC News)
29 August 2019 – Capital punishment in Thailand
The Supreme Court of Thailand upholds death sentences against two migrant workers convicted of murdering two UK tourists and raping one. Rights groups say that the men are scapegoats and tortured into false confessions by police under pressure to solve the crimes, which attracted international attention. (The Guardian)
29 August 2019 – Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal
Six Pakistani men are found guilty of abusing and raping teenage girls between 1998 and 2002 in Rotherham, England. The National Crime Agency believes as many as 1,510 teenagers were sexually exploited in the town during the same period. (BBC)
28 August 2019 – Crime in South Africa
Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, experiences widespread looting and violent attacks by rioters focused on foreigners. Police are currently outnumbered and many businesses have been set on fire. The riots follow the death of a taxi driver reportedly shot by Nigerian drug dealers after they realized he had seen them complete a drug deal and had also seen their supplier. Bus services are suspended and authorities say the capital is currently unsafe. (Radio 702) (ZimEye)


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Chalk and pencil sketch of Jack Sheppard in Newgate Prison
Jack Sheppard was a notorious English robber, burglar and thief of early 18th-century London. Born into a poor family, he was apprenticed as a carpenter but took to theft and burglary in 1723, with little more than a year of his training to complete. He was arrested and imprisoned five times in 1724 but escaped four times, making him a notorious public figure, and wildly popular with the poorer classes. Ultimately, he was caught, convicted, and hanged at Tyburn, ending his brief criminal career after less than two years. The inability of the noted "Thief-Taker General" (and thief) Jonathan Wild to control Sheppard, and injuries suffered by Wild at the hands of Sheppard's colleague, Joseph "Blueskin" Blake, led to Wild's downfall. Sheppard was as renowned for his attempts to escape justice as for his crimes. He returned to the public consciousness in around 1840, when William Harrison Ainsworth wrote a novel entitled Jack Sheppard, with illustrations by George Cruikshank. The popularity of his tale, and the fear that others would be drawn to emulate his behaviour, led the authorities to refuse to license any plays in London with "Jack Sheppard" in the title for forty years.

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Charter Arms Bulldog revolver

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