NSW Crimes Act 1900 has 16 categories of crime
Which category a crime belongs to will often
affect the way an offence is
investigated, prosecuted and punished.
Be careful not to get confused between
categories of crime and examples of specific
offences. Understanding the wording in the
syllabus is crucial. For example, ‘offences
against persons’ is a category crime, whereas
‘manslaughter’ and ‘sexual assault’ are
examples of specific crimes that come under
the type of crime ‘offences against persons’.
You should aim to understand what each
category of crime is and be able to correctly
categorise specific offences appropriately. An
example is always an excellent way to support
a definition of a concept and you should aim to
do this in Legal Studies.
Creating a mnemonic can be an effective way
for you to remember the categories of crimes,
as in Pink Snails Eat …
The seven categories of crime
referred to in the syllabus are:
Offences against the
involve criminal acts against the government, e.g.
Treason involves the commission of acts aimed at
bringing down the government or head of state.
Sedition involves the incitement of hatred and/or
violence in Australia against the government or head
of state. The Federal Government’s anti-terrorism
laws contain sedition provisions. These provisions
have attracted quite a deal of debate about the need
to balance protection of society against freedom of
speech in this post 9/11 world.
Offences against persons
involve the intended causing of injury to a
involve the infliction of economic loss upon the
Loss or damage to the victim’s property e.g.
White collar crime, so called because it is committed
by office workers working in a business environment
e.g. embezzlement, the taking of money by an
employee from a business, or tax evasion.
Computer crime, e.g. identity theft, unlawful
downloading of material which is subject to copyright
such as films, songs, images.
involve the use, supply and possession of
prohibited drugs. Most offences are covered in
the Drug Misuse & Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW).
or supply prohibited drug, noting the
quantity of the drug will, in part, determine the
severity of the offence.
involve breaches of traffic laws.
Many traffic offences are strict liability
Other, non-strict liability offences include
driving occasioning death and driving
in a manner dangerous to the public.
Public Order offences
involve acts, which the reasonable person
would deem unacceptable behaviour. Such
offences aim to achieve a measure of social
control and cohesion through regulation,
conduct, offensive language.
involve attempting to or planning to commit a
crime, both of which are themselves criminal
e.g. attempted break, enter and
steal, loitering with intent.
Conspiracy involving two or more people
agreeing to commit a crime, e.g. planning to rob a
9-18 of your
Make 7 A4 posters (on paper or the
computer) which outline the
categories of crime in the syllabus
On each, define the type of
crime, give examples, and outline
the types of sentences that may
arise from these.