Victimless Crimes.

RK Rangi Kemara Public Seen by 29

Many laws have been made to restrict human activities, most of which are because their intention is to prevent harm to others based on a scale of harm, and punish the doers of harm to others.

However some laws punish the law breaker but it appears that there is no actual or perceived ‘harm to others’ aspect to the law.

These are often called victimless crimes.

The point of this discussion is if you think there is a victimless crime in this country that can result in a person going to jail, then feel free to discuss it with the group in a sensible and respectful manner.

So for an example:
"I believe that _____________ is an actual victimless crime and would better be dealt with by ___________ rather than putting the law breaker in jail."

No trolling please. All trolling comments will be removed.


Rangi Kemara Mon 7 Jul 2014 3:32AM

I believe that driving with a limited car license in of itself is a victimless crime and would better be dealt with by addressing the connection between the rise in costs to get a full license and the rise of people on limited licenses breaking the law, rather than putting more fines on the lawbreaker, confiscating their vehicles or even in extreme cases, putting the law breaker in jail.


Rangi Kemara Tue 29 Jul 2014 10:12AM

I believe that abortion is an actual victimless crime and would better be dealt with by a doctor, her patient and a counsellor.


Colin Davies Thu 31 Jul 2014 10:19PM

I believe that electoral fraud is a victimless crime and would be better dealt with serious prison time.


Rangi Kemara Thu 31 Jul 2014 11:20PM

In some individual instances, one would love to see some politicians put in stocks, but that means the state forking out $150k to incarcerate the likes of Banks for 2 years for pulling a fast one on a deal that didn't actually rip anyone off from money they were willing to part with anyways, but merely gave him a potential boost for his campaign perhaps, mostly its a loss of trust issue.

If he gets jail time, he will spend the entire time in segregation, a cake walk, and do half the lag with no probation period when he gets out.

But to me electoral fraud is deception, so in any case of deception there are victims, in this case thousands of people he deceived.


Colin Davies Fri 1 Aug 2014 3:05AM

Yes Bank's crime was against the community, not identifiable victims.
I'll also argue @terangikaiwhiriake that many of other so called victimless crimes may have hidden victims.
Example, Driving without a licence, might not have victims but depending on the driver's skills, there are potential victims. Maybe the drivers own passengers.
The fact so many ppl are on the road without the appropriate licence is another issue entirely. And I agree it needs to be rectified.
Some clever legislation could probably exist.
- The abortion being a victimless crime probably stands well with way the current law is. Most of the NZ Abortion laws are idiotic.
We might as well have abortion on demand, for how the current law is implemented.


Rangi Kemara Fri 1 Aug 2014 4:13AM

As for Banks, like I said, while it would be nice for him to do a stretch just to wipe that smug smile off his face, I personally do not believe he should go to jail for that particular act of deception.

Well yes in the case of driving while disqualified, if there is a crash then there would be victims. But in the instances where there is no such crash, there is an inference that having had a license, they do possess the necessary skills to actually drive a car.

The question though is not whether or not we can burrow into all of this to find esoteric or potential victims rather than actual victims, the question is, should these types of common victimless crimes result in a jail sentence or even have the potential of a jail sentence attached to them?

The over arching purpose of course in all of this is to reduce the amount of people in prisons who should not be placed anywhere near such a place.

There definitely would need to be agreement on specific crimes as to whether or not they are victimless or not, and how many steps removed would still be considered a victim.

For example with child pornography, we know that being in possession of or distributing child porn images and videos drives the child porn industry, which ultimately results in child sexual abuse. There is only one step from the crime to the victim, as in, the victim is in the imagery.

So that is definitely not a victimless crime and that genre of crimes go without saying really.

But the ones that sit on the border to me are for example if a driver is stopped while driving her child to school and is found to be disqualified, should they face a charge that has the potential of jail attached to it?

Same goes if a hunter is stopped and is found to be in possession of a rifle without a license, they will be arrested and could be put in jail if they fail to prove lawful proper or sufficient purpose of possessing the rifle.

Also a woman who approaches her doctor for an abortion is acting in an arena of law that has a jail sentence attached to it. Although this has never been enacted that I know of, she could potentially face a murder charge according to the law.

And finally a user of cannabis can still face jail if caught enough times in possession of cannabis for personal use.

You almost need a dedicated group of law experts to troll through these laws and short-list clear instances of victimless crimes, and then the party should get to amending those as a part of a push to make sure that if people are to go to jail, that there is good reason for it, and as part of a measure to reduce prisoner numbers.


Rangi Kemara Fri 1 Aug 2014 4:19AM

Re: Banks
Two months' community detention and 100 community work [link]


Colin Davies Fri 1 Aug 2014 4:56AM

I'd like to stalk banks to see he does the full 100 hrs community work. Hardly any one does.


Colin Davies Fri 1 Aug 2014 5:06AM

I have met a number of drivers who could not pass there full licence test and so have stayed on restricted licences. So clearly if the can't pass the test they shouldn't be driving where those restrictions are in place.
There is a real growing trend of a lot of drivers staying on there restricted after they fail a full licence test. Obviously the cost of repeatedly taking the test deters them from taking it again, however it also deters them from improving their driving skills to a level to get the test.
Not: yeah I'm a professional driver, and have my driving assessed at least once a year and pass at 98 to 100, in a Class 5 unsynchronised gearbox Heavy vehicle, compared to a typical learner driver needing 80 in a class 1 vehicle.
Almost everyday I avoid a calamity that could be caused by somebody who can't drive in a class 1 vehicle.


Rangi Kemara Fri 1 Aug 2014 5:53AM

Don't get me wrong Colin, I am not advocating for giving people a pass, just taking jail out of the equation. Its no place for people with driving convictions.