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Assess the strengths and weaknesses of using structured interviews to investigate the real rate of street crime.

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Introduction

Assess the strengths and weaknesses of using structured interviews to investigate the real rate of street crime. Street crime is often associated with some degree of violence. For example, use of violence to demand money, mobile phones, bag snatching or damage to vehicles. With street crimes the people are usually aware that they are the victim. Structured interviews are similar to questionnaires, both involving asking people a fixed set of prepared questions(main difference being the interviewer with structured interviews) , which are usually closed-ended with pre coded answers. In its simplest form, a structured interview involves one person(interviewer) asking another person(interviewee) a list of predetermined questions about a carefully-selected topic. ...read more.

Middle

This provides more reliable data. The researcher is able to contact large numbers of people quickly, easily and efficiently. This makes it more representative of the wider population and as a result the data obtained can be generalized. It can be used as a powerful form of formative assessment. That is, it can be used to explore how a respondent feels about a particular topic( in this case street crime) before using a second method (such as observation or in-depth interviewing) to gather a greater depth of information. Structured interviews can also be used to identify respondents whose views you may want to explore in more detail (through the use of focused interviews, for example). ...read more.

Conclusion

Even where open-ended questions are used, the depth of answers the respondent can provide tend to be more-limited than with almost any other method. There is limited scope for the respondent to answer questions in any detail or depth. This makes the data provide less of a valid picture that in actual fact of what is truly happening. Training maybe required for the interviewer, which could be costly and take up a large amount of time. To conclude, Structured interviews have various advantages and disadvantages when investigating street crime. They may provide more reliable data and representative. However the main issue being lack of depth, and control, makes it lack validity to a certain extent. ?? ?? ?? ?? 27/11/2011 15:03 27/11/2011 15:03 27/11/2011 15:03 ...read more.

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