• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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. Assess The Contribution Of Control Theory To Our Understanding Of Crime And Criminality

    crime, peer groups, schools, and the family, cross-cultural comparisons, white collar crime and organised crime. There are differences among racial and ethnic groups, as there are between the sexes, in levels of direct supervision by the family. Thus, there is a crime component to racial differences in crime rates, but,

  2. Free essay

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

    The pair of sociologists believed there were three subcultures within society which are determined where they live. The criminal subculture is where an adult criminal role model tech them the tricks of the trade. This is a structural criminal hierarchy which gives illegitimate means to success.

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

    Therefore they can attempt to understand why or how this behaviour was displayed/carried out once again given validity to this experiment. Empathy is crucial for criminological understanding of patterns and trends of crime and victimisation as you need to understand how the participant felt and why they felt this way.

  2. The Birth (and Creation) of Demons and Despots

    Unfortunately, no one person in particular can be blamed for this. Similar cleansing happened nearly a century before and thousands of miles away in the Ottoman Empire, where all who fought against Islamic assimilation would be killed and slaughtered. These are just some examples of genocide which is based on religious, ethnic and national aspects.

  1. Does the media heighten fear of crime?

    Hawkins and Pingree (1983) failed to uncover definite evidence of the direction of the relationship between the viewer's viewing of television and the viewer's view of social reality: It is argued that even if there is a correlation between viewing television and the fear of the viewer, this does not prove there is a causal relationship.

  2. My hypothesis I expect to find that the official crime statistics in ...

    However many websites gave the suggestion that the results from the British crime survey are more reliable than those recorded by police, this suggests that crime statistics nationally do not reflect the real crime rate; I need to find if this is true in my area.

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

    A basic understanding Wilkins theory would be mentioned, finally a conclusion would be drawn up. Maguire (2002) Mass media representations of crime, deviance, and disorder have been a returning cause of concern. Two competing anxieties can be discerned in public debate, and both are reflected in a large research literature.

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

    reputation and the expectations of others, others relate to the labelled person on the basis of the label and the responses come to reinforce the reputation. Erwin Lemert is the founder of what is called the ?Societal Reaction? theory. This is original to the labelling theory which includes many of the same concepts.

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