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to commit a crime

to punish/punishment

to pay/impose a fine

to go to prison

to act as a deterrent

to deter someone from doing something

the law/ a lawyer

to be innocent/guilty


community service



High-tech crime-fighting tools

GT Part 3 (good for Academic): multiple choice, open questions and Yes/No/Not Given

Key vocabulary
  • sophisticated
  • the effectiveness of CCTV
  • the limitations of cameras
  • reducing shoplifting and car crime
  • monitoring
  • to give a false sense of security
  • crime prevention
  • surveillance equipment/society
  • illegal fly-tipping and oil spills
  • the fight against crime
  • to invade our privacy


Reporting a Crime Listening Part 1 Completing a form (gap-fill)




Part 2

Describe a law in your country that you think is good.

– Say what the law is

– Say why this law exists

– Say what happens if people break this law

Explain why you think it is a good law.

Flip your response here.

Part 3

What international law should be applied all over the world?

Why should we follow the rules strictly?

What can be done to motivate people so that they abide by the rules and law?

Why do people break the law?

Scroll down for more Speaking topics


Learning Links


Writing Practice

In many countries the level of crime is increasing and crimes are becoming more violent.

Why do you think this is and what can be done about it?

Click here for a model answer

It is certainly true that the crime rate is increasing in many areas of the world. Many governments react to this problem by building more prisons to contain the criminals. This has proved so unsuccessful that each year bigger and tougher prisons are needed. Perhaps we need to go back to the basics of this problem and assess the possible causes.

One of the reasons that is often given is the increase in violence both on television and in computer games. While this may be responsible for making crimes more violent, I think it is unrealistic to lay the blame for all criminal activity on the media. In my opinion, the main cause of crime is the increasing gap between the rich and poor, as well as the increasing use of drugs. The majority of crimes are being committed by people in need who are forced to take what they do not have, and by people addicted to drugs.

Solving these problems is not easy. We could try to ensure that more jobs are created so that the divide between rich and poor is reduced. However, criminals need to be trained and rehabilitated so that they can enter the workforce. Furthermore, providing employment only addresses part of this problem; so far there has been little success in the war against drugs.

I believe that crime will continue to rise, particularly in crowded and overpopulated areas, unless we can find an effective way to address these issues. Perhaps we can help to break the cycle by trying to ensure fewer young people enter a life of crime in the first place. We could do this through education and by making sure that they are able to work.

One of the most serious problems that cities now face is crime.

What can be done to prevent the spread of urban crime?

Click here for a model answer

There is no doubt that numerous problems exist in most modern cities. Although traffic congestion, pollution and overcrowding often occur, many people believe that crime is the most serious problem in urban areas. Indeed, television and newspaper reports often tell us that crime continues to rise. However, I believe it is possible to tackle this serious issue in a number of ways.

One approach would be to increase the number of police. If more police were on the streets, whether on foot or in patrol cars, criminals would be less likely to commit crimes and people would feel much safer. Having more police visible at night would be particularly beneficial.

 A second possibility would be to make laws stricter and punishments more severe. This could involve increasing fines or lengthening prison sentences. If a criminal had to pay more money for doing something illegal or would face more time in prison, I believe this would reduce the crime rate.

Thirdly, methods to increase security might deter potential criminals. For example, more effective alarms in houses and cars would reduce burglary and theft. In addition, more information about home security would also be useful. In terms of personal safety, rape alarms or pepper sprays could prevent some attacks.

In conclusion, although crime is a major problem in most cities in the world, the situation can be addressed by adopting the methods mentioned above. In this way the negative effects could be reduced and people living in cities would feel much safer.


In conclusion, although the problem of crime can be addressed by adopting the methods mentioned above, it requires effort and investment from the government. In my opinion, tackling urban crime should be made a high priority and more money should be spent on ensuring the safety of urban residents.


Day 14: Vocabulary Review


Extra speaking topics

Part 2

Describe a rule you had at school that you disagreed with. Say

– what the rule was

– why this rule existed

– what would happen if you broke the rule

Explain why you disagreed with this rule.

Part 3

Would you like to have a job connected to the law e.g. police officer, lawyer?

Are these jobs popular in your country?

What kind of qualities do you need to be a police officer/lawyer?

Why does a society need laws?

Is it ever acceptable to break the law?

What problems are there in having international laws?

Do you think all countries will have the same laws in the future?



The vocabulary related to crime is HUGE. You do NOT need to learn it all. This is just here for your information.

Serious Crimes/Offences

  • abduction = taking someone against their will (kidnapping)
  • arson = setting fire to a property
  • assault = a physical attack
  • burglary = illegal entry to a building with an intent to commit a crime
  • child abuse = maltreatment of a child
  • drug trafficking = importing illegal drugs
  • false imprisonment = imprisoning a person against their will
  • fraud = deception for personal or financial gain
  • hacking = unauthorised access to data in a computer system
  • hijacking = illegally getting control of an aircraft or vehicle
  • murder (homicide USA)
    • premeditated murder = murder that is intentional (planned beforehand)
    • unpremeditated murder – murder that is not intentional (not planned)
    • manslaughter – unintentional murder (synonym for unpremeditated murder)
    • attempted murder = planning to kill another person
    • genocide = systematic killing of a race or religious group
  • organised crime = crime by an organised gang or organisation
  • smuggling = illegal import or export
  • terrorism = unlawful violence or threat with political aims
  • white collar crime = financially motivated non-violent crime by a worker

Minor Crimes/Offences

  • pick pocketing = taking from another person’s pockets
  • shoplifting = taking products from a shop without paying for them
  • traffic offences =breaking the rules of the road and driving
    • drunk driving = drinking whilst under the influence of alcohol
    • running a red light = going through traffic lights when they are red
    • speeding = driving over the speed limit
  • vandalism = deliberate destruction or damage to a building


  • crime = criminal
  • murder = murderer
  • theft = thief
  • trafficking = trafficker
  • hijacking = hijacker
  • terrorism = terrorist
  • smuggling = smuggler
  • shoplifting = shoplifter
  • vandalism = vandal
  • teenage criminal/ juvenile delinquent

Types of Punishment

  • the death penalty (capital punishment)
  • a prison sentence (imprisonment)
  • a fine = to pay money as a punishment
  • to suspend/revoke a licence = with holding a person’s right to use their driving licence
  • non-custodial sentence = a sentence which is not done in prison
    • community service = punishment by doing community work

Other Types of Punishment

This refers to punishment commonly used by schools and parents.

  • detention = to stay in school after hours for punishment
  • isolation = to be kept apart from others as a punishment
  • grounding = to be unable to go outside home as a punishment
  • corporal punishment = physical punishment

Court Language

  • judge = the person who controls the court proceedings
  • jury = a group of independent people who decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty
  • justice = fairness or court law
  • trial = legal proceedings to judge whether someone is guilty of a crime
  • court = the place where the trial is held
  • defendant = the accused person: the individual or group being accused in court of a crime
  • prosecutor = the lawyer against the accused person
  • defence = the lawyer protecting the accused person
  • witness = a person who sees an event happen
  • evidence = facts or information supporting the truth
  • proof = evidence supporting a claim
  • guilty = not innocent as judged by a court of law
  • innocent = found not guilty of a crime
  • to be found guilty = the court decided that the person did commit the crime
  • conviction / verdict = formal sentence of a court
  • circumstances of the crime = a condition or situation relating to a crime
  • extenuating circumstances = a condition that makes the crime or mistake less serious and more understandable
  • take into consideration = should be thought about carefully
  • maximum / minimum sentence = highest penalty / lowest penalty
  • a harsh punishment = hard, strict penalty
  • penalty / punishment are synonyms but penalty is often used for both minor offences and major crimes.

Other Crime & Punishment Vocabulary

  • armed police = police who carry guns
  • to deter (n = deterrent) = to put someone off doing something
  • to be soft on crime = not to have harsh or strict punishments
  • a repeat offender = a person who has committed a crime or offence more than once
  • a serial criminal = a criminal who repeatedly commit the same crime
  • diminished responsibility = when someone is not in a state to be considered responsible for their own actions
  • rehabilitation = to restore someone through education or therapy
  • reintegrate back into society = help someone return into society
  • peer pressure = pressure from friends or colleagues
  • role models = people whose behaviour should be copied and respected
  • mimicking violent behaviour = to copy aggressive actions


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