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Assess the Usefulness of Official Crime Statistics to a Sociological Understanding of Crime

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Introduction

Assess the Usefulness of Official Crime Statistics to a sociological Understanding of Crime. (40 marks) The Government publishes official statistics on crime in Britain annually. The main source of these statistics are gathered from recorded crimes by the police and courts and through the British Crime Survey (BSC) which is a large-scale victim survey conducted annually by the Home Office. The combination of both of these statistics should provide a picture of the full extent of crime in Britain, however, sociologists believe there are a number of factors that influence these figures and that these official statistics do not reflect a true representation of crime in Britain today. We shall explore these factors further to assess whether the official statistics do serve a purpose in the understanding of crime. ...read more.

Middle

They also don't report crime that could shame/frighten them and they don't report crimes that are unknown and they don't realise. Therefore many crimes are committed but are not recorded; this therefore means that crime statistics are not accurate. Lea and Young 'Losing the fight' study showed that some communities won't report crime because of a Lack of confidence in police. Visibility of crime also distorts the official crime statistics. There are many Crimes without victims such as drug dealing and prostitution and therefore are not reported. There are also White- collar crime - 'fiddles', 'perks' - for example, Ditton these crime are not reported. Many people are people are unaware they are victims in some crimes such as scams. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion I believe that official crime statistics are not useful to a sociologist understanding of crime. The statistics are so inaccurate that we don't know if a recorded rise in crime is actually a rise, or just an increase in convictions. Similarly, with a fall in the crime rate, is it an actual fall or just the result of fewer convictions? Although official crime statistics intend to be "value free" and objective, they result from interactions between various social groups and their motives and meanings. I personally believe that official crime statistics reveal more about the process of reporting and recording than about the extent of criminal activity. I also believe that crime statistics are seriously flawed and that there is a dark figure of hidden crime. ?? ?? ?? ?? Shohan Miah 1/2 ...read more.

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