The existence of crime in a society is a challenge to its members due to its deleterious effect on the ordered social growth. In fact, it leads to a colossal waste of human energy and an enormous economic loss.
On the contrary, its very prevalence makes it a normal feature of any society and it must therefore continue to exist because it has some useful purpose to serve. It may be that crime is useful because it provokes people to organise against it and thereby promote social order or solidarity.
Crime is said to be a form of adjustment, brought about by pressures -: and tensions of existence e.g. deprivation, conflicts, etc. (In other words, crime is an outward expression of other socio-economic or psychological' problems), and thus its presence forces the groups or the authorities to look into the changed circumstances which forced the individual to become criminal. Thus, attention gets focused on the various socio-economic and psychological problems, and the remedies or solutions sought for (For example, the investigation into the cases of juvenile delinquents reveals that they embark on that career because their energies are not properly channelised) .
It could be that the protest, which is emobodied in crime, against present restrictions and values is a subtle but dynamic factor in the whole process of social change and development. Thus, though crime is a threat to the stability of society, however it is not always dysfunctional and it may become source of the social change. And social change is necessary for the running or progress of human civilization. Thus, crime is also functional.
Courtesy:- Legal Point Foundation