Report No. 29
10. Focussing of attention on white-collar crimes in the West.- Attention was focussed on the problem of white-collar crime in England and the U.S.A. after the First World War, when it was realised that losses resulting from business frauds far exceeded those from the offences against property that were punishable under the orthodox notions of crime. It was the financier, not the gangster, who was the greater public enemy1. As defined by Sutherland, white-collar crime is a "violation of the criminal law by a person of the upper socioeconomic class in the course of his occupational or activities".
Later, he seems to have added a refinement to the definition, by defining a white-collar criminal as "a person of the upper socio-economic class who violates the criminal law in the course of his occupational orprofessional activities2."
He pointed3-4 out, that white-collar crime was more dangerous to society than crimes committed by the members of the lower class, first, because the financial losses were higher, and secondly, because of the damage inflicted on the public morals.
The necessity of revising the social attitude towards such anti-social behaviour and perceiving its dangers was pointed out by various other writers also5-6.
1. Thurman Arnold Folklore of Capitalism, p. 276.
2. See Dictionary of Sociology edited by Fairchild (Vision Press, London) (1958), under "criminal White-collar", contributed by Edwin H. Sutherland.
3. See Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences (September, 1941), Vol. 217, p. 112.
4. See also Sutherland White-collar Criminality, (1940), American Sociological Review, pp. 1, 4.
5. See Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, (September, 1941), Vol. 117, " Crime in the United States ".
6. See also paras. 12, 19, 24, infra.