Different criminal activities keep eating into the fabric of society in every corner of the world and everything and method put into action to curb these crime rates keeps proving abortive. Both the government and the security operatives are viewed as incompetent and carrying out their first duty which is the safety of the lives and property of every member of the state. This article views criminal behavior as a deliberate action from the mind and not a thing of mistake as every criminal action is planned and calculated. The history of criminal psychology and the different factors influencing criminal psychology are itemized and provide the possible way out of the menace.

KEYWORDS:  Criminal, Psychology, Psychoses, Social media, Brainwash.



Just recently, there was a trend of a video of a young boy, I think from the South American continent of around eight (8) to twelve (12) years old being asked what he wants to be when he grows up. He said he wants to be a killer with a happy expression. The Interviewer went further to ask him why he wants to be a killer and he said it feels good. He went further to say he is going to kill anybody he could come along his way. The Interviewer asks that will he kill his Mom and siblings too, and he made an exception for them. The Interviewer asks if he is going to kill her too and he also makes an exception for her.

One question that comes to mind is where did this young boy get the mindset to be a killer? Was anyone in his family once involved in the killing that the boy witnessed? What intrigued the inhuman thoughts in the people found in different criminal activities, was learned as they grow from friends social media, and movies or they were born with it and they had it in them all through their growth

This study tends to conduct in-depth research into the psychology of crime and what motivates criminals to do what they did.

The Research work will be adopting both a normative analysis and a critical analysis approach. In order to assess the coherence and validity of normative data, such as the legal principles, provisions of some textbooks, journals, discussions on the subject matter, and other pertinent laws, it is necessary to examine the doctrinal data first. One illustration is deciding if criminalizing behaviour committed by an individual is normatively coherent, but ignoring what may have ignited the thought and behaviour.[1] A critical analysis, on the other hand, examines electoral and democratic principles in existing literature and policy in order to assess and apply these concepts to justify the modification of election laws. Case laws and some textbooks will also be consulted through the research of this topic.


Right from the creation of the world, maybe we decide to go by the Biblical way, the scientific story of man, or the one told by different customs and traditions across the world, crime has been in existence for a long time. Most people often think that the first crime in the Bible started with Cain killing Abel[2] but no, the first crime in the Biblical story is the conspiracy Lucifer and some angel had against God,[3] it is no need to state here that conspiracy is a crime. This conspiracy which played out in both Lucifer’s and Cain’s issues is an issue of the mind. The idea of rebelling against God his master and killing his brother started and was perfectly played out in their minds. This is to let you know that crime has been in existence for a very long time and it lives with us, we are born in it and we grow in it. However, it is left to an individual whether to develop and go into crime or just live a normal life devoid of crime.

The study of criminal psychology began in the late 17th century seeing the great crime rate increasing side every day around the world. Both frightening and interesting, the thinking of a known criminal. The usefulness of a quantitative record of criminal activity was highlighted by Sir William Petty and Bentham campaigned for the courts to maintain a statistical record of criminal convictions in 1778.[4]

The development of human behavior began with the establishment of tiny towns and villages in agricultural regions, and the application of the intellect to satisfy the needs of the body and its associated systems. Who began communal living first is still unclear. It is certain, however, that it began close to water sources where there was both vegetation and meat to be had. The supernatural, mysticism, and magic were also used in early attempts to comprehend human behavior. Long before Freud, people believed that dreams had meaning, and we continue to learn about ‘mental dynamics.’

‘Extrasensory perception (ESP) is an old idea that is enjoying much current study. It is based on the ‘psychic power’ enabling people to communicate with unseen and unheard people and other sources and that ‘The witch doctor or medicine man or shaman became the interpreters of ‘law’ or conforming behavior.[5]

The separation of the ‘mind’ and ‘body’ in early philosophies led to paradoxes in our understanding of how people behave.

Behaviorism in modern experimental psychology holds that anything that cannot be defined, observed, and measured is ‘mentalistic’ and subjective. Subjective data pertains to personal experience bound by past and present awareness and interpretation. Objective data or ‘veridical domain’ refers to data that can be observed and are available to everybody. Experimental psychologists and many social scientists are concerned only with objective data, while many clinicians, including clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychiatric social workers, are concerned with personal awareness and perception, experience, and the perspective of the patient.[6]

In contrast to scientists, religious philosophers place more emphasis on the latter. To determine whether intentions were good or evil and the behaviors that resulted from those intentions from realistic viewpoints, the debate’s goal was to examine the relationship between the mind and body. It has helped us to comprehend human behavior, especially criminal activity that is motivated by retaliation (also known as Actus Reus or Mens Rea) and related to purpose. A significant component of the interactions between Mens Rea and Actus Reus remained unexplored due to disagreements over criminal behavior and its causes.

Understanding criminal behavior and recommending corrective actions through the criminal justice system are based on criminality. The focus is on the types of crimes that are committed and how they are categorized per local law and social norms, with any imposed restrictions. The two primary aspects of the crimes, the Public Wrong and the Moral Wrong are mostly used to categorize and decide upon them. Mala in prohibita and Mala in se are two additional ways to distinguish between criminal offenses. The purpose of this example is to demonstrate how criminal behavior is consistent among those involved in comparable crimes and when criminal conduct is regarded to be a crime.

It should however be noted that any background can be used as justification for committing a crime, but in this section, it will be highlighted as to who commits what crimes and under what conditions. The fundamental notion regarding the commission of crimes is to comprehend the operation of a sense of capability. Human behavior is unique to each individual, and there may be many more causes than those covered in this article. It is important to emphasize that although man prefers easy, he must work hard to obtain relaxation.

Quarreling is defined as a physical altercation, a heated argument, or the exchange of insults, taunts, threats, or accusations between two people. These crimes are perpetrated by people who are aggressive and violent by temperament, but not to the point where they would hurt their adversaries physically. Most often, they are the ones that try to force others to follow the rules and procedures, whether they agree with them or not. They intimidate or abuse one another when they argue at a distance, yet they argue with one another face-to-face without being physical. However, their “Sense of Capability” prevents them from resorting to actual violence while they are blaming or arguing. The other type of abuse involves wrongly using someone, with or without their consent, by using their environment and circumstances to force them to participate in the abuse. Legally abusing is ‘deviating from legal or reasonable use of words or force in dealing with a person or thing. Injury to the mind, emotions, body, or sexual organs can come from physical or mental abuse.’[7] Because they lack the confidence to endure more than verbal abuse or to confront any retaliatory force, the perpetrators of these crimes choose weaker individuals as their targets, such as children, women, elderly or young people, and any type of subordinates.

Offenders of violent crimes physically damage others, whether or not there is a motive or animosity between them. Most often, people with anxiety or high blood pressure would commit these kinds of actions, which are both crimes and offenses, to fulfill their unfulfilled aspirations and desires. They would have unfinished wills that date back to their childhood, adolescence, or young. These individuals lack patience, thus they respond quickly to any unfavorable circumstance by hurting an adversary or creating property harm. Some people carry out these crimes to extort money under duress, while others do so out of passion or to fulfill their nasty fantasies. In every one of these situations, their “sense of capability” allowed them to act improperly regardless of the damage that resulted. The violence primarily manifests as an individual or group act. In cases of personal violence, the goal is to lessen or hinder the opponents’ capacity for competition by inflicting harm that results in a loss or some kind of temporary or permanent disability. Collective violence typically disrupts or harms the daily activities of the public, causing losses for the country.

Philosophy, medicine, law, and biology were the four main pillars of the creation of criminal psychology. Before there was criminal psychology, there was a debate in criminal law between medical specialists and court judges over how to proceed in the majority of instances, which prompted the formation of a specialized field for individualized investigations and assessments of suspects. Criminal anthropology[8], which focuses more on systemic characteristics of crime than specific suspects and court cases, is considered to be a subfield of the larger discipline of criminology, which is often regarded as having criminal psychology as a forerunner.[9]



Offenses are felonies, unlawful deeds, omissions, or circumstances that usually result in court-ordered criminal prosecutions. In every society, the State establishes some crimes as offenses by codification, and when these crimes are committed, police or investigation agencies are triggered to take action, bring the criminals to justice, and punish them.

An act or omission which renders the person doing the act or making the omission liable to punishment under this Code, or any Act, or law, is called an offense.[10]

However, C. M. V. Clarkson defines it as;

Criminal law sets standards that largely reflect community values of what is wrong and harmful. By setting these standards and punishing those who do not conform to them, lawmakers hope to strengthen respect for the standards and encourage people to comply with them. It is not enough simply to lay down these standards. They must be communicated to the public and potential wrongdoers. This communication must be in a language and in a form that is accessible and comprehensible to such a person.[11]

Offenses’ primary distinction from crimes is their widespread notoriety. The State declares an offense through legislation, which is publicized in the media and printed materials. Once something is classified as an offense, the public must refrain from it, and the job of the police to enforce it. Although there is a saying that ‘ignorance of the law is no excuse,[12]’The State also has to make sure that it receives widespread attention and has room for the general population to follow it. Except for special laws designed for particular objectives, no law can be enforced alone. All parties involved retain the right to know the specifics of this case as well. The knowledge of the seriousness of the offense and the punishment may serve as a check on the ‘sense of capability’ of some wrongdoers.

  • SIN

To operate daily operations smoothly in society, many issues are jointly agreed upon as laws or norms. Although many tiny transgressions or errors go unnoticed by the broader public, they have a significant impact on an individual’s future success. As an illustration, taking favorite foods away from kids without their consent, lying to get out of a situation where you might otherwise become angry, or berating others for trivial things are some examples. A pang of guilt known as sin is not the same as a crime or an offense. The Bible did not categorically defines the term sin, however, sin could, regardless of religion, be defined as;

Breaking God’s law and ordains or behavior that is against the principles of

morality. It may be an offense against convention that is considered contrary to common sense and that is fatal to the salvation of the soul.[13]

Sin causes a person’s personality to feel guilty, which prepares them for punishment.[14] To ensure that they are brought to justice, they continue to sin or commit crimes as a result of their newly found ‘sense of capability.’ Vice is any moral sentiment, ethical shortcoming, evil, corruption, flaw, or violation of one’s religious commitments. Fornication, cheating, backbiting, drunkenness, and other vices are among the numerous that fall under the criminal category. Having a guilty conscience maintains the criminal in a constant state of restlessness and mental disturbance, whereas punishment gives the convict a sense of satisfaction while relieving their social and emotional suffering. The possibility for guilty-conscious people has also been supplied by religious and social peers. They can confess their faults to God and repent, or they can submit to the law or go into confessional boxes as an alternative.[15]


Till tomorrow, every author will be creative with the right definition of the term crime. Just like the proverbial elephant and the group of blind men, everyone will define the term from their point of view. It is often viewed as;

Any act of wickedness or sin. In everyday use, the word often carries overtones of immorality and wrongdoing. The links between morality and criminal law have been very strong.[16]

An unlawful act or default is an offense against the public and renders the person guilty of the act liable to legal punishment.[17]

The Latin word, crimen, from which ‘crime’ is derived, means an accusation, a tort,

or wrong was done by one individual against another.[18]

Crimes typically involve actions that affect the public in some way, as opposed to merely interfering with private rights. The State is the public’s defender of rights under modern law. The distinction between the laws governing civil and criminal procedures highlights the public aspect of a crime. Therefore, subject to certain restrictions, any citizen may file a criminal complaint, regardless of whether he has experienced a direct injury.

In practice, of course, a vast majority of prosecutions are carried on by the police or other public officers who have no personal interest in the outcome. The individual who starts a prosecution may not discontinue it at will for it is not only his concern but that of every citizen. The initiator of the prosecution has no power to pardon the offender. This right belongs to the State, which represents the public interest in the matter.[19]

Making crimes a public wrong is necessary so that the efficacy of a criminal’s ‘sense of capability’ can be recognized and dealt with by the appointed administrative appointees, such as the police and other law enforcement authorities. The use of the guilty party’s ‘sense of capability,’ which is otherwise extremely difficult to judge at an individual level or in isolation, can be easily identified by reviewing the record of available evidence related to the commission of crimes. Based on this, the state can take corrective action to reduce crime both generally throughout the dominion and in the impacted areas in particular.

[1] Hutchinson T. & Duncan. (2012). Defining and Describing What We Do; Doctrinal Legal Research. New Jersey. Deakin Law Review. Vol. 17 No. 1.

[2] Genesis 4: 1-7See also https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%204&version=NLV

[3] Isaiah 14:13-14; See also How, why, and when did Satan fall from heaven? Retrieved from https://www.gotquestions.org/Satan-fall.html

[4] Sellin, (1964). The MeasuTement of Delinquency. 7-8.

[5] Vernon Fox. (1976). Introduction to Criminology. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 8-9.

[6] Ibid. 11.

[7] Bryan A Garner. (2007). Black’s Law Dictionary (8ed.) St Paul: West Group. 10.

[8] Anthropological criminology. Retrieved from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropological_criminology

[9] Vec Milos (September 2007). The mind on the stage of justice: the formation of criminal psychology in the 19th century and its interdisciplinary research. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18173066/

[10] Section 2 Criminal Code of Nigeria

[11] C.M.V. Clarkson. (2001). Understanding Criminal Law (3ed.) London: Sweet & Maxwell. 9.

[12] Ignorantia juris non excusat


[13] A. S. Hornby. (1974) Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary Oxford: Oxford University Press. 800.

[14] Romans 6:23; See also ‘For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Retrieved from https://biblehub.com/romans/6-23.htm

[15] Romans 3:23; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God Retrieved from https://www.bible.com/bible/1/ROM.3.23.KJV; See also 1 John 1:19; If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness Retrieved from https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-John-1-9/

[16] L. B. Curzon. (1997). Criminal Law (2ed.) Plymouth: M & E Handbooks. 7.

[17] Halsbury’s Laws of England. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-bd&q=Halsbury%E2%80%99s+Laws+of+England+definition+of+crime

[18] Vernon Fox (1976). Introduction to Criminology. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc. 27.

[19] Imran A. K. Nyazee. (2002) General Principles of Criminal Law (2ed.) Rawalpindi, F L H, 2002. 15-16; See also Ikomi v. State 1986 3 NCR, ALR 341; Okoli v. State 1992 6 NWLR Pt. 247 381; Abacha v. State 2002 100 LRCN 1588.