Fraud and punishment: a study of public perceptions within the United Kingdom

Ramirez, Harriet (2015) Fraud and punishment: a study of public perceptions within the United Kingdom. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    Fraud, a form of crime, is responsible for vast economic losses each year. It can be described as an extremely current subject with new typologies evolving rapidly due to the technological advancements over the past two decades. Despite the cataclysm associated with fraud, little notice has been paid to the subject and it still remains a vastly unexplored area of criminology. This thesis endeavours to bridge the gap between current research and the immensely unbridled world of fraud.
    The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate the public’s perception of fraud and punishment in the United Kingdom. The study reviews relevant and existing literature on fraud and punishment, as well as providing an overview of crime and Rawls’ Theory of Justice. This area of study is very neglected in the world of academia and therefore presented itself as a worthy research subject.
    The research was conducted by combination of methods, including the completion of a literature review and primary research. The primary data was collected by distributing an online survey and was completed by 85 members of public. This allowed data to be collected for analysis and furthermore, compared to existing research. The online survey focused on several key elements of fraud and punishment. Several preliminary questions were included which allowed a brief assessment of participants’ morality. The main body of the questionnaire involved questions relating to various types of frauds and several case studies which allowed comparison to real events.
    The main findings of this study revealed that the current public perceptions of fraud are relatively diverse. From the results, it can be deduced that this variation can be explained by the personal and vindictive nature of some types of fraud. Frauds such as insurance and expenses fraud are perceived as less serious than forms of credit card fraud such as card skimming and false applications. Furthermore, the public perceptions of criminal sanctions as a result of committing these frauds are equally varied in nature. Fittingly, the participants warrant more punitive criminal sanctions for the crimes they perceive as more serious. However the main body of results did conflict slightly with the results collected from the case studies. This variation in results underlines the need for additional research within this area of study.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2015 12:39
    Last Modified: 03 Dec 2015 12:39
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/19000

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