Flashcards in Measuring Crime Deck (24)
What do we need to look at when measuring crime?
- the number of crimes reported
- unreported crimes
- how we perceive crime vs the actual patterns of crime
How is crime recorded?
What are the 3 methods to create official statistics of crime?
- police recorded crime statistics
- victim surveys
- self report studies
What are police recorded crime statistics?
- collected since 1857
- published every 6 months by home office
What are victim surveys?
- e.g crime survey for England and Wales
- face to face survey of victim
- conducted yearly by home office
- 40,000 over age 10 in England and Wales are asked about experience
What are self report studies?
- surveys to ask if p’s have committed crimes
- conducted by government departments and sociological researchers
What are the 3 most common crimes recorded in England and Wales? (May 2019)
1. Violence against a person: 36,536
2. Theft offences: 24,825
3. Criminal damage: 17,886
What 3 offences are least likely to be reported?
1. Sexual offences: 3551, fear of attacker / embarrassment
2. Drug offences: 7383, doesn’t affect anyone else
3. Possession of weapon: 1047, not all p’s can be identified
How many people on every age are victims?
- latest survey: 14 in 100 adults
- survey 10 years ago: 24 in 100 adults
Why can police report statistics (PRS) be inaccurate?
- product of society
- only show crimes that are reported and recorded
- dark figure: unreported crimes
Why are people less likely to report crimes!
- fear of consequences of reporting
- crime is within family
- some seen as unnecessary
- some don’t know if it’s a crime
- not able to report e.g child abuse
- self incrimination
- victim less crime e.g graffiti
Why are people more likely to report a crime?
- immediate physical danger
- if you gain e.g compensation
- if conviction rates are high
- if others come forward
- have faith in the police
What was found from a report in 2014?
- 1/5 crimes reported that should have been recorded weren’t included in stats
- police are filtering info reported by public
What factors affect if you he police recorded a crime?
- seriousness of offence
- police have limited funding so prioritise bigger crimes
- police can turn a blind eye
- social status of person reporting it e.g homeless
What are the strengths of police recorded crime stats?
- representative of England and Wales: large scale, generalise
- can reveal police assumptions and stereotypes
- easy to access: can find online
What are the weakness of police recorded statistics?
- not valid: doesn’t include dark figure
- ignores corporate crime
- doesn’t explain why crimes are committed
- different police forces may have more staff so record more crimes and vise versa
What are the strengths of victim surveys?
- reveals crime p’s feel necessary to report
- no police bias
- can show trends over time
- anonymous so p’s might be more truthful
What are the weakness of victim surveys?
- rely on victims memories and recollections
What are the strengths of self report studies?
- p’s more likely to tell the truth
- reveal hidden offenders
- removes police bias and police stereotyping
- useful to find out victim less crime
What are the weaknesses of self report studies?
- might downplay or exaggerate
- majority of crimes revealed tend to be criminal
- majority are on young p’s so don’t reflect older p’s
What do functionalists say about official statistics?
- can identify and measure patterns behaviour
- can test hypothesis and develop laws to explain patterns of behaviour
What do Marxists say about crime statistics?
- reject crime stats
- reflect inequalities and scope gating
- working class crimes are investigated
- corporate crimes are ignored
What do feminists say about crime statistics?
- reject crime stats
- don’t reveal amount of crime against women
- e.g sexual attacks and domestic violence
- occur in private which police are reluctant to get involved in