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# 6 THREE WAYS OF MEASURING CRIME

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• 1. There are 3 ways of measuring crime statistically Will they all record the same number of crimes? Which one will indicate the most crimes, and the least?
• 2. METHOD A A) Official Criminal Statistics &#x2022; Recorded by the police and published by the Home Office each year &#x2022; Sociologists use these statistics as secondary forms of data &#x2022; Useful in identifying trends in recorded crime over time &#x2022; Useful in identifying trends in particular crimes over time &#x2013; has violent crime gone up or down &#x2022; Useful in identifying trends in recorded crime over time between areas in the UK &#x2013; is Nunny a crime hot spot?
• 3. How are Crime Statistics collected? &#x2022; Although the police detect some crime themselves crime statistics are mainly based (90%) on crimes reported to them and recorded by them.
• 4. Crime Probability of each Crime being included in the Official Crime Statistics Probability of crime being NOTICED Probability of crime being REPORTED Probability of crime being RECORDED by the police Reporting rates based on 2007/2008 British Crime Survey (Victim Survey) 1 Car Theft 2 Bank Robbery 3 Vandalism 4 Shoplifting 5 Common Assault 6 Stealing from Work 7 Illegal Drug Possession 8 Prostitution 9 Rape 10 Domestic Abuse 11 Racial Harassment 12 Tax Evasion 13 Murder
• 5. Crime Probability of each Crime being included in the Official Crime Statistics LOW HIGH 1 Car Theft 2 Bank Robbery 3 Vandalism 4 Shoplifting 5 Common Assault 6 Stealing from Work 7 Illegal Drug Possession 8 Prostitution 9 Rape 10 Domestic Abuse 11 Racial Harassment 12 Tax Evasion 13 Murder
• 6. Reporting rates based on 2007/8 British Crime Survey Type of offence Percentages Theft of vehicle 93 Burglary with loss 76 Burglary no loss (including attempts) 54 Theft from vehicle 44 Robbery 43 Vandalism 35 Common Assault 34 Theft from the person 32
• 7. The Dark Figure of Crime
• 8. What have we Learned? &#x2022; Criminal Statistics are Socially constructed &#x2013; they depend on human decisions, luck, priorities, circumstances....... &#x2022; Official crime statistics gathered by the Home Office do not measure the true extent of crime. They are INVALID. This so called &#x2018;dark figure of crime&#x2019; is unknown. &#x2022; Next time you see the media, politicians, and police chiefs presenting these figures uncritically as &#x2018;hard facts&#x2019; you know they are bending the truth.
• 9. Question: Write down 3 reasons why we might doubt the validity of official crime statistics which seem to suggest that Black people commit more crime &#x2022; 1 crimes black people commit may be more noticeable types of crime &#x2022; 2 crimes black people commit may be more HIGHLY reported &#x2022; 3 police practices might record more black peoples crime than white peoples &#x2022; 4 Police are racist/label black people and use discriminatory tactics like stop and search, so might find a higher proportion of black crime
• 10. METHOD B B) VICTIM SURVEYS &#x2022; The survey hopes to record crimes that have not been recorded by the police, by asking people what crimes they have been a victim of. The survey aims to count crimes that have not been recorded by the police for whatever reason. These unrecorded crimes are called the &#x2018;DARK or GREY FIGURE&#x2019; OF CRIME &#x2013; they are like the part of an iceberg below the water, invisible but very important.
• 11. METHOD B B) VICTIM SURVEYS &#x2022; According to the BCS in 2006/7 around 11.3 million crimes were committed against adults living in private households in England and Wales. In comparison around 5.4 millions crimes were recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2006/7
• 12. METHOD C C) SELF-REPORT STUDIES Are another way of trying to get a more accurate picture of crime, by asking people which crimes they themselves have committed .