• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why might figures for recorded crime underestimate the actual amount of crime that takes place? (Open Uni; Youth Scheme, 30 credit points)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Question: Why might figures for recorded crime underestimate the actual amount of crime that takes place? 'Crime' can be defined in two ways. There is the legal definition of crime, which states that crimes are acts which break the written law of the state. For example, stealing a jumper from a shop. There is also the normative definition of crime, which states that crimes are acts which break moral codes set by society, which can be formal or informal. For example, spitting. Legal and normative crime cannot be reconciled, as a lot of acts which are considered legal by the legal definition, are considered wrong by the normative definition. What is, and what is not a crime is socially constructed by the members of a society in both definitions. Culture and time play a large part in deciding what is right and wrong. ...read more.

Middle

There has also been an increase in violent crimes since 1999 to 2001, going from 581 thousand to 601 thousand (adapted from Social Trends, 2002). However, is all this information completely reliable? It does not take into account the changes in belief of what is and what is not considered a crime over time and how matters were dealt with. Certain crimes would have gone unreported many years ago. Child abuse and domestic violence just weren't talked about in a tight knit community. Where men dominated the household, women did not speak up against them, and so these crimes went unreported, and so are not included in official records. This shows that we underestimate the levels of crime in earlier eras. Similarly, today, records also do not take into account unreported crime. Victim surveys suggest that official records greatly underestimate crime rates. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is also evidence to suggest that people themselves underestimate the likelihood of crimes occurring against them. People most at risk of street crime believed themselves not to be at risk. Only 1% of men between 16 and 30 felt unsafe on the streets. The actual percentage of street crime against this group was 7.7% (Muncie and McLaughlin, 1996, Table 1.5). This group were almost the most at risk from street crime out of any group and they also estimated themselves at extremely unlikely to be at risk. This shows that many people underestimate crime that could happen to them. In conclusion, there are two main reasons why figures for recorded crime may underestimate the actual amount of crime. Firstly, in the past many crimes went unreported due to the traditional roles of people. And secondly, people may find reasons for not reporting crime nowadays, such as inconvenience and lack of faith in the police. So, overall we can say that figures do regularly underestimate rates of crime. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Miscellaneous essays

  1. exploring the police force

    Traffic * Air Support Unit * Specialist Search * Recovery Team * Criminal Investigation Department The police force offers many different career choices all of which would be rewarding and beneficial. Task B, Merit criteria Training Police officers deal with every aspect of crime whether it is big or small.

  2. Customer experience management in UK higher education

    The university now is called to assume a more or less explicit functions of teaching, research and extension education. (Elliott 2002 209) At the graduate level, research should be characterised by the process of redesigning the knowledge and, in graduate school; research should be the very substance of the work that is characterised in advancing knowledge.

  1. Ownership of the T & T industry

    If you were to book your holiday with a travel agent or a tour operator these services would be available and you have the choice as to if you want them or not. Different types of Ancillary services include: * Travel Insurance * Visa / Passports * Currency exchange *

  2. EVERYTHING THAT IS LEGAL IS NOT NECESSARILY ETHICAL' CRITICALLY DISCUSS THIS STATEMENT,

    consent from the children from the fact he states in the commentary that he asked the teachers not to tell the children why he was present in their class. Similarly, although Thorne (2004) gained legal consent from the school she failed to gain informed consent from the children themselves, which

  1. Crime and why young adults turn to crime

    Some young adults can become quiet and withdrawn and quite possibly lead to drug abuse. Some possible signs of criminal activities can be a sudden change in appearance, for instance they might have new and expensive clothes like trainers and jeans.

  2. Communication in todays society

    information so that it is easy for diverse audiences to understand and use. If a leader can't get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn't even matter. This explained how much leadership relies on communication.

  1. "Why has there been a substantial increase in the adopted population of children born ...

    their lifestyle, elements and aspects typical to those of the child's original culture. This includes developing and /or maintaining relationships with people of the internationally adopted child's ethnicity."2 If the question of whether or not being internationally adopted influenced a child's well being and learning were raised then the answer would be yes.

  2. Past and Current Drug Trends

    The youth might not realize their parents possibly did not start drinking until they were older. Another reason for teenage alcohol use is peer pressure. If the young people have the perception that their friends drink alcohol, they will initiate the use of alcohol during the school year.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work