Every week we read about crimes that take place in Hong Kong and, of course, around the world. By comparison to other countries, Hong Kong's crime rate is relatively low. The United States, in fact, has the highest number of homicides (murders) with nine murders per one million people. Britain, Italy and Australia have the largest prison populations. In Europe, the number of reported robberies shows the biggest increase. Many countries like Britain and Australia have abolished the death penalty because they believe that it did not serve as a deterrent. It still exists in many countries, however, and in some American states. Useful expressions to describe: The offender (criminal) - To break the law/commit a crime - To belong to the underworld - To be a gangster/thug/hooligan - To sell something which has fallen off the back of a truck - To deal in stolen goods The victim - To be mugged/beaten up - To be a law-abiding citizen - To have your house burgled - To have your wallet pinched - To be assaulted Criminal offences include: - Murder/manslaughter - Armed robbery/robbery - Arson - Fraud - Drug-trafficking - Hooliganism - Shoplifting White-collar crimes are political corruption or financial crimes such as fraud and money laundering. The law: - To conduct a police inquiry into something -To arrest someone -To take someone to court -To try someone for a crime -To be convicted of a crime -To prosecute someone Read the following short passages and notice how the language is used. Most of the highlighted terms are from the above list. Robbers caught red-handed Three youths were caught yesterday as they were leaving a jewellery store in Central. They had stolen goods in their possession worth about $1 million. The police rushed to the scene and arrested the robbers as they tried to get into a taxi. Crime boss captured The leader of a crime organisation was captured yesterday, ending a year-long police inquiry into suspicion of drug-trafficking, fraud and murder thought to be the work of the organisation known as 'The Family'. Police stormed into an old warehouse in Western District where they discovered at least $5 million worth of goods which 'had fallen off a lorry'. The man known as 'King Pin', who will be tried later this month, faces a long list of charges ranging from murder, arson, armed robbery, dealing in stolen goods and drug-trafficking. If convicted, he could be sentenced to at least 90 years in prison. Streets not safe An old man was mugged yesterday in Mongkok as he headed home after having dinner with his children. He was robbed and assaulted, but was released from hospital after two hours. The thug, who got away, is believed to be about 16 years old. It's shocking that law-abiding citizens can no longer feel safe walking alone at night. Under Hong Kong's Compensation Law, victims of crimes can claim financial compensation. White-collar crime on the rise White-collar crime is increasing at an alarming rate, according to the police, as more and more people try to make quick money by breaching company trust as well as hacking into people's accounts. Over 200 arrests were made this year and as many as 180 convictions were recorded. During the trials, most of those accused said they didn't think they'd get caught while at least half said they didn't think they'd be prosecuted. Those who were acquitted will sue for damages as their reputation has been tarnished.