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Crime and Deviance > Measuring Crime > Flashcards

Flashcards in Measuring Crime Deck (20):

What are the two possible ways for crime to reach official statistics through the police?

1) Police witness the crime (under 10% of cases)
2) Person defines an act as a crime, person reports a crime, police record the crime, police categorise the crime, the crime goes to the official stats.


Durkheim and Police Recorded Crime

Creidts that police recorded crime has been collected since 1857 which means they provide us with a historical overview of changing trends over time. Therefore, we have an excellent historical overview of changing trends over time. Also give us a completely accurate view of the way that the criminal justice system process offenders through arrests, trials, punishments etc.


Heidensohn and Police Recorded Crime

Believes official statistics accurately portray that the typical criminal is male.


Hughes and Langan and Police Recorded Crime

White collar crime is often not detected due to low visibility, complexity, diffusion of responsibility and diffusion of victimisation.


Cicourel and Police Recorded Crime

Police stereotype working class and black minority ethnic groups as deviant, meaning they target them more and thus find more crime.


Walby and Police Recorded Crime

Women chose not to report domestic violence due to fear. Police often don't record it, they dismiss it as a marital row.


What is a victim survey?

A sample of the population is asked which offences have been committed against them over a certain period of time. It relies on people being aware of the crime, and remembering it correctly, and works by asking people to recall crimes they have been a victim of. CSEW is collected and published by the Government. Highly structured interview, carried out face to face.


Lea and Young and Victim Surveys

Show how the CSEW and other victimisation surveys can be compared with police records to reveal the dark figure of unrecorded crime. Victimisation surveys therefore reveal the difference between the true crime level, and the amount of crimes reported.


Walby and; Victim Surveys

Points out that they do not record repeat offences, which is a particular issue with domestic violence as it means that the fact that some people are victims of crimes several times are ignored, and domestic violence tends to be a repeat offence.


What are the issues of victim surveys?

Issues with validity as you may not recall or be aware of crimes you were a victim of. They are based on victims' memories which are often faulty or biased, the categorisation of the crimes that has been committedd against them is left to the person filling in the questionnaire, leading to considerable inaccuracy in the categories, despite victim surveys being anonymous, people appear to underreport sexual offences.


What is a self-report?

Works by asking people to recall the crime they have been the offender of. Collected by Sociologists for research, and you don't need a researcher as it can be completed independently using a questionnaire.


What are the weaknesses of self report studies?

Valid because there are no issues with social desirability as they are completed alone and invalid as you cannot ask questions. Respondents also may lie or exaggerate by accident. Also issues with representativeness as young people are usually asked, which also means the crimes found are often trivial.


What are police recorded statistics?

Drawn from the records kept by the police and other official agencies, and are published every six months by the Home Office.


What's an issue with police recorded statistics?

They are social constructions, therefore cannot be taken simply at their face value because they only show crimes that are reported to, and recorded by the police. When we dig deeper, lots of hidden issues are uncovered.


According to the British Crime Survey, why would individuals be less likely to report a crime to the police?

They believe it's too trivial, it's a private matter between friends and family- in which case they would seek revenge directly or may not wish for any harm to come to the offender, or it is too embarrassing, for example male rape. The victim also may not be in a position o give information e.g child suffering abuse or they may fear reprisals.


Why would people be more likely to report a crime?

If they see some benefit to themselves e.g an insurance claim or they have faith in the police ability to achieve a positive result.


How many crimes reported to the police fail to appear in the official statistics?



Why would the police not take crimes seriously?

They regard the offence as too trivial, they may view the social status of the person reporting the matter not high enough, or to gain the friendship of their peers/to gain a promotion, which they would not get if they produce too much work.


What are the strengths of victim surveys?

Overcomes the fact that a significant proportion of offences are never recorded by the police, it gives an excellent picture of the extent and patterns of victimisation.


What role does the media play in victim surveys?

Victim surveys are dependent upon people being aware that they are victims. The media plays a key role in this as they provide illustrations of 'crimes' and generally heighten sensitivity towards certain forms of behaviour- they sensitise the public towards certain types of activity that can be seen as a crime worth reporting.