Sample Notes from the Criminal Profling Course
Blackmail and Extortion
Blackmail and extortion are both serious crimes, and they are often confused with each other. They are similar, but not the same.
Blackmail is an offence when one person makes an unwarranted demand on another person to gain for themselves, but cause a loss for their victim.
For example, a blackmailer may demand money or they will tell a person’s partner that they are having an affair.
The information they threaten to reveal may be true or false. Blackmail contains several elements –
- There must be a demand for something. It can be spoken, written or implied by the person’s demeanour.
- The demand should be unwarranted with menaces. This is a demand that the offender makes to the victim in an intimidating or threatening way as a way to influence the victim that something bad will happen to them if they do not do what the offender wants. For example – If you do not do what I want, I will do this.If you do not give me money, I will tell your boss that you weren’t really sick last week, that you went to the football match.
- There will be a significant or serious threat, which can be considered menacing.
The blackmail can be about relatively minor things or significantly more serious ones. Think of the example above about a football match. That might seem relatively minor, but what if by missing work that day, they lost an important client, resulting in the loss of thousands of pounds for the business. A blackmailer telling the person’s boss that they were not sick but at a football match could be a significant threat to that person as a result.
Extortion is slightly different to blackmail. Extortion is an act of threating a person or their property with physical harm, violence or destruction unless they comply to the offender’s demands. So, with blackmail the threat may be morally or legally dubious, but not necessarily an offence themselves. Whereas with extortion, if the offender reinforced their demands, it would be an actual offence, such as physical harm or injury.
- If you don’t pay me, I will tell your boss what you did - Blackmail
- If you don’t pay me, I will burn your house down - Extortion
Within this is also the idea of sextortion.
- Sextortion has risen as a result of society media.It is a form of blackmail where a victim is extorted into providing sexual images or sexual favours as a way to get career advancement, job security, academic achievement etc.
- We can also see this where victims have been blackmailed with threats of revealing personal or sexual images of them online.
- A victim may be befriended online and encouraged to perform sexual acts or share sexual photos.These may then be used to blackmail or threaten the individual.
It may be committed by individuals or by organised crime gangs.
Extortion and blackmail are often carried out for the personal gain of the offender, but it can also occur due to jealousy or greed. It can also be a way for the offender to gain control or power over another person.
This advanced certificate in criminal studies allows you to gain an indepth and detailed knowledge of topics studying criminal behaviour. It will be a useful addition to your CV and could improve your job and career prospects.
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