Credit Matters Blog

How long will criminals exist and why do good people become criminals?

Kim Radok 15 May 2019

How Long Will Criminal Exist and Wht Do Good People Become Criminals?

As John Silvester said “Where there is money to be made, there will be crooks. It is the nature of the beast.”

Criminality also exists where it is profitable, penalties are light, and when economic circumstances are tight and might cause people to steal to survive.

Another key driver of criminal behaviour are do-gooders who inspire legislators to enact prohibition by taxes on what they deem to be unhealthy past-times. We only have to think of prohibition in the US in the 1930s against alcohol to find out that didn’t work.

Today we see the same situation where criminal behaviour has increased against shops which sell tobacco, or where people are now smuggling tobacco into Australia, or growing it illegally.

Technology has allowed criminals to also operate effectively and crimes by technology are increasing exponentially each year.

Good people also become involved in criminal behaviour for a number of reasons. These reasons include gambling and or drug habits, difficult economic times, or they see criminal behaviour rewarded, or penalties are so light for criminal behaviour that taking a risk is worth having a go.

We know that since the dawn of time, criminal behaviour has existed when profitable opportunities present themselves. One of the key targets for all types of criminals is the business community. Today, we also live in a world where there is every likelihood that a downturn or recession is a real possibility.

As this environment becomes more evident, we will start to see businesses increasingly impacted negatively from all sorts of criminal behaviour. Those businesses most at risk therefore will be those that sell on B2B credit, outsource their accounts operation, have poor administration and business disciplines. In addition, many of these same businesses will also employ people under conditions which may motivate them to commit criminal behaviour as a result.

All business owners and managers need to try and ensure that their business can protect itself from criminal behaviour. This objective is only possible if you understand how and why criminals operate and try to reduce their opportunities of success. The best tactics of a positive organisational culture, strong business disciplines, knowing your customers, and employing people who understand that bad behaviour will be found and penalised, goes a long way in helping you protect your business.