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Flashcards in Measuring Crime Deck (29):

What do functionalists believe about official statistics

That they are social facts

- can be used to understand patterns of crime who commits crime and which crimes are committed


What does durkheim say about suicide statistics

Social facts show suicide is a social phenomenon
Happens because of ;
1. Social integration
- too much ALTRUISTIC eg Japan, doe for their emperor
- too little EGOISTIC
2. Moral regulation
- too much FATALISM eg imprison
- too little ANOMIE


Evaluation of Durkheim

❌ coroner decides = socially constructed
❌ varies from country to country


what does shaw and mcKay say?

There is no hidden figure of crime

πŸ‘… highest levels of crime is commited in the zone of transition, based off official statistics
πŸ‘… there are high crime crimes because of the lack of soucal disorganisation = love informal social control


What does interactionists say?

Police recorded crime statisics only rely on public reporting every crime and those recording it

= official statistics underestimate the real level of crime


What does becker say?

Crimes are more likely to be labelled as serious in a working class area

= crimes reported are socially constructed


What does Skolnick and Reiner say about Canteen Culture?

The police actively label some groups more criminals than others = pursue these crimes more

Eg. The McPhersons Report
- death of steven lawrence suggests the police is intuitionally racist


What does Cohen say?

Labelling by the media perceive crime as more serious and constant

Eg. Gilroy - labelled blacks as muggers = more targeting and arresting


Evaluation of interactionists

❌ braithwaite - media van reduce crime through reintegrative shaming

❌ functionalists - media is the window of to the world


Explain the Chivalry Theory

The police have more favourable labelling towards women = less targeting and less arrests

❌ box - men commit more serious offences = serious and harsher sentences
❌ walklate - in rape cases women have to be respectable to be believed by the patriarchal criminal justice system


What does Cicourel say?

Negotiation suggests the middle class are more able to negotiate their way out of arrest

= not report
= statistics are socially constructed


What does Marxist say?

Law creation & selective enforcement of the law

Snider - governments are often reluctant to pass laws which threaten the profitability of large companies

Box - there are fewer prosecutions against companies who break safety rules


What does Croall say?

While collar & corporate crime is rarely reported because the public is unaware they are a victim

❌ kinsey et al - many people do not report because they do not trust the police


Why are white collar crimes less likely to be reported?

They are crimes without victims

Croall - lower class offending crimes are more likely to be reported


Why are minor thefts unlikely to be reported

Victims feel there is little chance of getting their good back

βœ”οΈcrime survery of england & wales

Shows 70% of non-reported crime


Why would the public not report crime?

1. When crimes do not have a victim
2. Victims dislike/distrust the police
3. Victim feels sorry for offender
4. Victim will not inform if the offender is a friend/family

Eg. Maxine Carr gave false alibi for her boyfriend that killed 2 school girls


Explain official criminal statistics

Police recorded crime, based on crimes reported and recorded by police

- put together by Theresa May, the home office secretary


What is the role of the courts?

1. Crown prosecution services decides whether to prosecute more serious offenders in the crown court
2. Judges are trained barristers
- dominantly male white and privately educated
- sutton trust 2006 79% barristers = privately educated


What does the magistrate court deal with?

Minor Crime

πŸ’­ lighter punishments as ling as the clients pleads guilty


What is the role of the government?

1. Introduce new laws and decriminalise activities = crime changes over time eg homosexuality
2. Can change law in response to campaigns or even by moral panics eg. Public smoking laws


Problems of the role of the government

Makes research of crime difficulties, due to the changes of recorded crime = reflect law change

Eg. Cannabis
Went down to C grade then back up to B grade


What are victim surveys

Alternative way to see the extent to crime in society
- by asking what crimes have been committed against them = more accurate figure

βœ”οΈ without the government would not know about unreported crime
βœ”οΈ identifies the most at risk of crime


Strengths of victims

βœ”οΈ overcomes the problem of non-reported crime. Simmons - 42% of crimes are reported according to victim survey = lots of hidden crime

βœ”οΈ interview can be explain concepts in the survey = more validity


Weaknesses of Victim Surveys

❌ ares will affect the result
❌ certain crimes are not included eg corporate crime
❌ exclude children & those living in groups of residents


Local victim surveys

Eg. Islington Crime Surveys
- found higher reported levels of victimisation of ethnic minorities and domestic violence

βœ”οΈ new left realists - shows reality of crime


What does the media do?

Media sensitise acts so they are seen as criminal activities eg. Jimmy Savel

Eg. Domestic Violence used to be seen as inevitable media = zero tolerance = unacceptable crime


Explain self reported studies

- Confidential questionnaires, respondents are asked to record whether they have committed any criminal act
- to aid memory they have to tick the acts done that are listed


Strengths of self report studies

βœ”οΈ revealed that the crime is spread throughout the population & shows the differences between males and females .. Working class & middle class crime is smaller than official statistics show ( CAMBBELL)
βœ”οΈ challenge the validity of official statistics


Weaknesses of self report studies

❌ respondents may lie or over exaggerate- 80% are honest
❌ people may lie
❌ it is easy to study young