Crime and Property covers a range of topics in which there is an interface between the principles of criminal law and property law. The most obvious of these can be found in the Crimes Act 1961.The central focus of the paper is on crimes against rights of property (eg theft, obtaining by deception, receiving, burglary, etc) contained in Part 10 of the Crimes Act. Beyond the central focus of crimes against rights of property, we may also consider some other ways in which criminal law and property law interact.
Property crimes include many common crimes relating to theft or destruction of someone else’s property. They can range from lower level offenses such as shoplifting or vandalism to high-level felonies including armed robbery and arson. Some such crimes do not require the offender to make off with stolen goods or even to harm a victim – such as burglary, which only requires unlawful entry with the intent to commit a crime. Others require the actual taking of money or property. Some, such as robbery, require a victim present at the time of the crime. Most property crimes include a spectrum of degrees depending on factors including the amount stolen and use of force or arms in theft related cases, and actual or potential bodily injury in property destruction crimes such as arson.