The world about us: Crime and punishment


Enseñanzas Oficiales de Idiomas

Nivel Intermedio B2: Segundo curso



The world about us: ..... and punishment

Crime Scene
Imagen de Yumi Kimura en Wikimedia. Licencia CC


Think about it.

What crimes are increasing in Spain? What are the main reasons for that?

How does crime in your town compare to that in other towns?

Are there any areas of the town which are much better or worse?

Are there any places (in your town or country or the world) which you would avoid due to fear of crime?

Are there any kinds of crimes which are more prevalent in Spain than in other places? Why do you think that is?

What precautions have you taken/do you take against crime?






Are there any things which are crimes in certain countries but shouldn’t be?

Discuss the activities below and decide if you think they should be punished or not.

Adultery                 Advocating violence or terrorism                           Asssisting in someone’ s suicide

Attempted suicide           Begging                  Disrespecting the nacional flag/ national anthem

Blasphemy                    Driving without a seatbelt                Failed attempt to immigrate illegally

Illegal busking/ street performance                 Indecency in artistic works

Jaywalking (= crossing the road without using the pedestrian crossings)

Lese majesty (insulting the head of state, e.g. monarch)                       Prostitution

Public nudity                Racist language

Refusing to uncover your face for religious reasons        Squatting in totally unused derelict buildings

Swearing on TV          Taking stuff from bins                             Unauthorised protest/ demonstration

Unlicensed selling on the street/selling from street stalls



Prison Guard Tower
Imagen de Rennett Stowe en Wikimedia. Licencia CC

These are some possible punishments for the crimes above:

- “An eye for an eye”

- Apologising to the victim

- Banishment/ Loss of citizenship

- Banning publication

- Being banned from contacting certain people/ approaching certain people (a restraining order)

- Being banned from holding public office/ certain jobs

- Being banned from using the internet

- Being forced to resign

- Blocking access to bank account(s)

- Capital punishment (the death penalty)

- Community service

- Compensation or other reparations to the victim(s)

- Compulsory counselling/ drug therapy/ psychiatric treatment/ anger management


- Corporal punishment (physical punishment)                 - Curfew/ Electronic tagging

- Fine                      - Hard labour                     - Having your name on a publically available list of offenders

- Informal warning                        - Life sentence                     - Loss of welfare benefits/ public housing

- Official warning                         - One night in a police station cell               - Permanent criminal record

- Prison sentence                                   - Prison tour                                   - Public apology

- Punishment of the parents/ guardians                             - Reform school/young offenders’ institution/ Military school

- Restriction of movements, e.g. curfew and/ or electronic tagging

- Stripping someone of a qualification, licence (e.g. teaching licence) or honour (e.g. a knighthood or honorary MA)

- Suspended sentence                                           - Suspension from job or educational institution


Try to think of at least one crime for each of the punishments above.

Is there any punishment for which you cannot think of any crime?