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Explain kindred offenses

Updated April 17, 2017

There are many ways for classifying different types of crimes. One way of doing so is by using the term "kindred offences." This relates to forms of criminal activities that have common qualities.

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In common language, the word "kindred" implies some form of familial tie or status of relation. The description with regard to criminal offences is consistent with this definition. It means crimes that can be identified as being of a similar nature or related in their characteristics. The term is more commonly used in Britain, its commonwealth and nations with British-English speakers.


A kindred crime or offence to larceny may be burglary or shoplifting, as each entails one form of theft or another. In a more aggravated case, rape may be seen as a kindred offence to other acts of sexual assault. Software piracy, as another example, is a kindred offence to copyright infringement or the theft of intellectual property.


The idea of kindred offences may aid lawmakers or policymakers in categorising different types of crimes through their relativity to each other. It may also help in establishing sentencing guidelines for various crimes due to their aggravating or mitigating circumstances. The term may also prove useful in generally describing a defendant's criminal history, i.e., "theft and kindred offences."

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About the Author

Geoffrey St. Marie

Geoffrey St. Marie began writing professionally in 2010, with his work focusing on topics in history, culture, politics and society. He received his Bachelor of Arts in European history from Central Connecticut State University and his Master of Arts in modern European history from Brown University.

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