By: Dennis Brooks – Senior Communications Strategist, JCF
More than half of the white-collar crimes reported in Jamaica over the last eight years have been committed by men. However, women account for the majority of the most prevalent white-collar crime over the period.
The findings are contained in a new longitudinal research that seeks better understand the dynamics of White-Collar or Corporate Crime in Jamaica. The research, which was conducted by Paul Bourne, Dennis Brooks and Dr Vivienne Quarrie and is expected to be published in a peer reviewed journal in the coming weeks.
The researchers examine the demographic characteristics of white-collar criminals between 2015-2022 and the findings make for interesting reasoning. Among the most significant finding to emerge is the fact that the majority of those who commit white-collar crimes are males; accounting for 52.4% of the total number of cases. Contrary to what may have been expected, the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Manchester, and Clarendon have the highest number of white-collar crimes committed, making up 26.7% of the total cases. Manchester had the highest number of cases, accounting for 16.3% of the total white-collar crimes committed across the period.
The average age of those who commit white-collar crimes in Jamaica for the period was 31.0 years, which is quite young when compared to the average age of white-collar criminals in other countries. These findings highlight the need for greater attention and resources to be directed towards preventing white-collar crime in Jamaica, particularly in those parishes.
The study also reveals that Larceny by Servant is the most common type of white-collar crime in Jamaica, accounting for 53.2% of cases over the period. The authors also found that embezzlement was the second most common type of white-collar crime, accounting for 21.1% of cases, while larceny by trick accounted for 17.0% of cases.
The report also found a significant relationship between the type of crime and the gender of the perpetrator. Females were found to be more likely to commit embezzlement than males, while males were more likely to engage in tricks and larceny by finding. However, females were also found to be more likely to commit larceny by servant than males, but to a much greater extent than with embezzlement.
There are several possible reasons why males tend to commit more white-collar crimes than females. One possible explanation is that males are more likely to occupy positions of power and influence within organizations, making it easier for them to engage in white-collar crime. Additionally, societal gender roles may play a role in shaping behaviour, with males being socialized to be more aggressive and risk-taking.
The high number of white-collar crimes committed in Manchester is concerning and warrants further investigation. One possible explanation is that the area has a high concentration of businesses and organizations, providing more opportunities for white-collar crimes to be committed. Overall, these findings suggest that there is a need for greater attention and resources to be directed towards preventing white-collar crime in Jamaica, particularly in the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Manchester, and Clarendon.
Efforts to prevent white-collar crime should include education and awareness campaigns targeting individuals who may be at risk of engaging in criminal activity, as well as increased law enforcement efforts to identify and prosecute white-collar criminals. Additionally, businesses and organizations should take steps to prevent white-collar crime, such as implementing internal controls and oversight mechanisms to detect and prevent fraudulent activities. By working together, we can make progress in reducing the prevalence of white-collar crime in Jamaica and protecting the interests of the public.