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

Are Crime "Facts" Really "Myths"?

Extracts from this document...


Are Crime "Facts" Really "Myths"? Crime myths and facts are often confused. Crime myths are created when the media, government and other influential figures sensationalise particular incidents that occur within the community. Although there are many similarities between the "myths" and "facts" the distortion of the two are prominent when studied through surveys and police reports. "crime facts" could be considered somewhat inconclusive, when the only way to gather information comes from survey statistics and police reports. Through comparing and contrasting "crime facts" and "crime myths", this essay will explore whether there are any actual "crime facts". "Crime myths" evolve from the hysteria created by people who study crimes. People study crimes for many reasons with the foremost reason being "to find a solutions to Society's concerns" (Kappeler & Blumberg & Potter 1993, p2) about crime and to also find out why certain issues stand out more than others. (Kappeler & Blumberg & Potter 1993, p2) These societal concerns are brought to people's attention in one of two ways. Firstly by people who have an interest in a certain occurrence; in there mind it is of great importance. Secondly, by people who construct their definition of societal concerns from other sources e.g. Urban legends. The truth is somewhat distorted to fit their own opinion or view similar to "Chinese Whispers" where the truth gets 'blown out of proportion'. ...read more.


The government may report to the media that the crime rate has increased dramatically over a period of time; however the government may suppress the fact that this is proportional to the increase in population and the increase in the number of people reporting crime, thus creating a belief to the public that the crime rate has risen, when in fact it may be comparative. (Cowdery 2001, p22) Another example of how the government has control over society's perception of crime in Australia was given by Walker and Henderson. They write "while researchers examining prison trends over a period of time identify a growth in prison numbers for child sexual abuse, this is due to more severe penalties therefore a longer sentence" (Walker, Henderson 1991, p4), thus creating a myth that more people are in the Correctional System but really they are just incarcerated for a longer term. (Walker, Henderson 1991, p4) Anyone is capable of a committing a crime. The view of a 'typical criminal' has varied over the years. Lombroso believed that criminals "were born that way" and likened them to "Apes" because he believed "they had longer limbs". (Gabor 1991, p28). I am sure that this is no longer the view of the average person, but the average person tends to stereotype people who commit crime. ...read more.


Reference List ABS (2002) "ABS Crime and Justice Data" in A Graycar and P Grobosky p31-38 as sighted Study Guide CCJ15 'Crime and Justice' Braithwaite, J 1992, Crime Shame and Reintegration, "On Consensus" p38-43. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press as sighted Study Guide CCJ15 'Crime and Justice' Cowery, Nicholas 2001, Getting Justice wrong: Myths, Media and Crime, Allen & Unwin, Sydney Gabor T 1994, Everybody does it!: Crime by the public as sighted Study Guide CCJ15 'Crime and Justice' Gabor T 1994, Is everybody doing it? The extent to the Public's Criminality, as sighted Study Guide CCJ15 'Crime and Justice' Gabor T 1994 Our Stereotypes of the Criminal as sighted Study Guide CCJ15 'Crime and Justice' Goldsmith, Israel, Daly 2003, Crime and Justice: An Australian Textbook in Criminology, 2nd Edition, Lawbook Co, Sydney Graycar, Adam and Henderson, Monika 1991, Understanding Crime Trends in Australia, http:// www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi28.html Graycar, A and Grobosky P 2002, "Trends in Australian Crime and Criminal Justice" 9-20 and 22-26 as sighted Study Guide CCJ15 'Crime and Justice' Felson, M 1998, Crime and Everyday Life as sighted Study Guide CCJ15 'Crime and Justice' Kappeler, V, Blumberg, M, and Potter, G 1993 The Mythology and Crime and Criminal Justice, p 1.20 as sighted Study Guide CCJ15 'Crime and Justice' Northern Territory Government 2003, www.nt.gov.au/ocm/media_releases/20030915_ntcrime Sarre, Rick 1994, Uncertainties and Possibilities: A discussion of elected criminal justice issues in contemporary Australia, University of South Australia, Adelaide ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 of 7 ...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 Crime & Deviance 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 Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Free essay

    Assess the view that crime and deviance is the result of labelling, the media ...

    The labelling theory shows that the law is not a fixed set of rules to be taken for granted, but something whose construction we need to explain. It shows that the law is often enforced in discriminatory ways and that crime statistics are more of a record of the activities

  2. How influential is the media in shaping public understanding of crime?

    This has been a constantly recurring theme. A different concern about media representation of crime has worried liberals and radicals. To them the media are the cause not of crime itself but of exaggerated public alarm about law and order, generating support for repressive solutions. Cohen (1972)

  1. What are the uses of both qualitative and quantitative research methods for the criminological ...

    A positive aspect of collecting data using quantitative methods is that results are easy to summarise and analyse as regards to understanding the trends and patterns of crime and victimisation. As the results are carried out in a structured way the interviewee the interview eliminates any potential bias from occurring

  2. The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice.

    makes white collar criminals killers. Rather than admit wrongdoing or solve problems, corporations may use the labels 'isolated incident' or 'accident.' Even when the executives and managers encourage the dangerous working conditions, it may still be referred to as an isolated incident. Kappeler (2000) describes how 25 workers died in a fire in a chicken-processing plant, in North Carolina, because the exit doors were locked.

  1. Does the media heighten fear of crime?

    who argues that men are condemned to a state of false consciousness. Robbie and Sutton do not completely agree and rather conclude that beneath their bravado, men may actually be more fearful of crime than women: But for reasons such their perceptions that men should not express one's fear, they are suppressed from expressing the truth.

  2. The Scarlet Letter is a study of the effects of sin on the hearts ...

    She took this symbol which was forced upon her out of an evil punishment and turned it into something better, as we learn later in the tale when she is free to take it off but keeps it on in respect and honour for her daughter Pearl.

  1. Inequalities within the 'Criminal JUSTICE System/Process'

    to ensure that certain patients living in the community take their medication. (cure by force!) * Indefinite detention for people deemed dangerous, with untreatable personality disorders, even if they had never committed a crime. (assumes that they have symptoms that we can universally recognise.)

  2. Assess the view that crime and deviance is the result of labelling, the media ...

    The label sticks and people treat you differently even if it isn?t true. The label then becomes a master status and overrides other labels as friend, neighbour, brother etc. The labelled person then accepts the label even if it isn?t true; their self conception is largely made up of what other people think.

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