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1

crime

act that violates the law. punished by state

2

The law

context bound and subject to change

3

crime as a a social construction

a reflection of the attitudes and beliefs in society

4

factors affecting definition of crime

culture
age
context
circumstance

5

factor culture

crime varies cross culturally

6

factor age

what age should we make individuals responsible for actions

7

age in UK

in UK it is 10yrs old that you are deemed responsible for your actions

8

Historical context

the legal system changes its law over time

9

example of context

homosexuality illegal until 1967

10

factor of circumstance-- mens Rea

the intention to do the crime

11

factor of circumstance-- Actus reus

the crime should be voluntary act, the individual is in control of what they are doing

12

what are the two core elements of circumstance

mens rea
actus reus
when these are present it is a guilty act

13

ways of measuring crime

official statistics, victim surveys, offender surveys

14

official statistics

the office for national statistics monitors crime rates throughout England and Wales
categories include criminal damage, drug crime, violent and sexual crime
based of an incident reported

15

problem with official statistics

1. not every crime is reported, may not be a true representation
2. some types of crime difficult to measure-- domestic abuse

16

police recording crime

recored crime, not always resulting in conviction

17

problem with police recording crime

many crimes go unreported-- from fear on involvement, lack of faith in system

18

victim surveys evaluation

it is a self report technique = poor reliability
unreported crime know as 'dark side' of crime

19

offender surveys

-a offending cim and justice survey was taken place in England and Wales every year from 2003-2006
-it was done to pick up crime trends and patterns of offending behaviour

20

14th prisoner survey - male offenders

decrease of 20% in self reported drug use
45% reported they were drunk when committing crime

21

14th prisoner survey- female offenders

50% reported being drunk when committing offence
28% reported alcohol affected their employment

22

evaluation- offender survey

it can pick up on unreported crimes = more accurate picture of 'dark side'