One of the core topics for IELTS is crime and justice. It is a tricky area as there are a number of quite technical words that need to be learnt. So what you will find here is not so much as a list of words, but more useful phrases that you can use in context. You will also find language notes and exercises to help you use this crime vocabulary.
Types of crime
Rather than learn lists of very specific words for names of individual crimes, it is almost certainly more useful to learn phrases that describe different categories of crime:
Another key word here is “offence” which is a close synonym for crime. It is a slightly broader word as it includes behaviour that is not necessarily criminal. You can also use the phrase “criminal behaviour“.
There is a common saying that “the punishment should fit the crime“. If you wish to practise this vocabulary, a standard exercise is to look at the crimes and decide what punishment you think they should receive.
In some countries, there is still capital punishment/the death penalty, while this is banned in other countries. An occasional IELTS essay topic is to discuss the merits of capital punishment. What are the arguments for and against it?
Another topic you need to consider is crime prevention. Is it more effective to send someone to prison or to prevent the crime in the first place? Linked into this idea is whether prison sentences act as a deterrent to criminals.
The justice process
The details of this will vary from the country to country, but here are some of the main ideas:
These are 3 exercises in the form of paragraphs from IELTS essays: