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Flashcards in Victimization data Deck (21):

Cues to danger

- Darkness
- People (reassuring)
- Novelty
- Signs of incivility (trash, tags, broken windows)
- Dangerous people
o Young males
o Black males


Criminal behavior hardest to measure (crime measurement) – why?

- Victims of crime are reluctant to tell the police that they have been a victim of crime
o Fear of retaliation
o Shame
o Police not effective with some crimes
- Manipulation of data by authorities to not scare people


Incidents of crime

Number of crimes or offences in a jurisdiction during a time-period


Prevalence of crime

Number of criminals/offenders in a jurisdiction during a time-period


UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS (UCR) tell us 3 things about a reported crime:

- est. 1929 - oldest crime reporting system in the United States.
- Offences known to the police (OKP)
- Arrests
- Clearance rate = number of arrests/OKP


UCR flaws

Almost all of the data we get from the UCR is incorrect. Most crimes are not reported to the police. One traditional weakness of the UCR has been the failure to disaggregate crime statistics by ethnicity (e.g., arrest rates for Latinos).


The dark figure of crime

The difference between UCR figures and the true incidence of crime


Counting rule

in a criminal event that involves numerous crimes only the most serious crime is counted.


There are two crimes that the FBI keeps count of correctly:

1. Homicides
2. Car theft
3. Arson


Self-report method issues

Self-report researchers confidentially interview members of a population (usually a sample) and ask them to report their own criminal or delinquent behavior during some designated period of time (usually a year).


Certainty of punishment

Very low. Crime is usually done by adolescents and in groups. Most data collected on juveniles.


Victimization data

Researchers survey a population (again, usually a sample) and ask respondents to report incidents of crime committed against them or their household during a specified period of time (usually 6 months or 1 year).


The National Crime Victimization Survey

(est. 1973) An ongoing sample survey of about 90 000 households and 160 000 individuals each year. This large sample size is necessary because some crimes are statistically rare events and require very large samples to obtain statistically reliable estimates. The NCVS measures fewer offenses than the UCR or most self- report surveys (rape and sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft), but its estimates of some crimes are considered to be the best available.


Self-report method breakthrough discoveries

♣ Dark figure of crime
♣ Among juveniles (the age-group with the highest rate of offending), violating the law proved to be group behavior in most instances rather than the action of solitary offenders.
♣ The certainty of apprehension and punishment for many crimes was also discovered to be vanishingly low


Self-report method issues

o Confidentiality
o Ethical dilemmas
o Validity/ Accuracy
♣ Self-report research on adults is rare - mostly conducted on HS students
♣ Do respondents tell the truth?


National, longitudinal self-report studies examples

♣ National Youth Survey
♣ the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health,
♣ the Monitoring the Future survey.

They contain what are widely considered to be the best available data on topics like drug use and adolescent sexuality.



Rather than asking what kinds of people burgle homes, for example, victimologists ask an equally important question: What types of homes get burgled? This unique perspective generated a new body of knowledge in criminology and helped to align the field with emerging research in social science on risk and risk perception.


Indirect victimization

Impacts of crime that extend beyond those who are direct victims of crime. A prime example is fear of crime, which criminologists discovered to be far more common than victimization itself, and stunning in its effects on American lifestyles


Victimization survey limitations

♣ Some crimes (e.g., so-called victimless crimes like gambling and prostitution) cannot be measured via victims.
♣ Victimization surveys can be enormously expensive (particularly, if they rely on face-to-face interviews and large geographic areas
♣ Victim reports, as with self-reports, are susceptible to memory or recall errors on the part of respondents as well as ‘telescoping’ problems where respondents accurately recall events but move them backward or forward in time.


The International Crime Victims Survey

Collects data from 18 European countries with support from the United Nations and the European Commission. Among other contributions, its data on public perceptions and reactions to crime (including fear of crime) have advanced our understanding of the social impact of crime.


The International Self-Report Delinquency Study

a self-report survey of seventh, eighth, and ninth graders in 31 countries (including China and Venezuela) that is administered by researchers in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University.