There are countless types of criminals along countless spectrums. People may classify them according to the degree of atrocities they have committed. They may classify them according to their number of offences. They may even classify them according to how their local society brought about such behaviour. There is, of course, a simpler set of categories all criminals fall into, and it is answerable by one simple question: was it part of the plan?
Crimes of opportunity are more common than premeditated infractions. In fact, the likeliness of a person committing a crime dramatically spikes when a chance to take advantage of others presents itself. Depending on that person’s instinct to be ‘daring’, they may need a certain number of hints to assure them that they would get away with it.
According to professionals from Access Garage Doors, an installation and repair company, a common issue among burgled homeowners is that they unknowingly leave their garage doors open. Technology can now mitigate the risk of people forgetting to close the largest entrance to their home as they roll out the driveway, but many homeowners still put themselves at risk of burglaries by confidently leaving their garage doors open. Even more worrying is that unwary garage door owners are not the only potential victims of these potential criminals.
For example, as outlined by a study published in the Crime Science Interdisciplinary Journal, crimes of opportunity extend far beyond thefts, where an item is left in the open and ripe for the taking. “Criminal behaviour is partially a function of opportunities to commit specific classes of crime, such as embezzlement, bank burglary or illicit heterosexual intercourse”, says sociologist Edwin Sutherland.
“Opportunities to commit crimes of these classes are partially a function of physical factors and of cultures which are neutral as to crime. Consequently, criminal behaviour is not caused entirely by association with criminal and anti-criminal patterns, and differential association is not a sufficient cause of criminal behaviour”, Sutherland adds.
Crimes of opportunity account for a vast majority of losses every single day. Since the criminals themselves are not aware that they are about to commit an infraction until the moment itself arrives, the responsibility of keeping one’s belongings safe falls into the hands of every owner.