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

Describe and Evaluate the Use of Victim Surveys as a Measurement of Criminal Activity

Extracts from this document...


Describe and Evaluate the Use of Victim Surveys as a Measurement of Criminal Activity Background Information The first victim surveys were carried out in the USA during the late 1960's (Biederman et al 1967, Ennis 1967 and Reiss 1967). There is a wide range of methodologies available for victim research but the most important means of data collection can be offered by household surveys. Description The British Crime Survey (M.Hough and Mayhew 1983) selected 16,000 households and interviewed at least one member who was 16 years or older from each household. The aim of the interviews was to see what sort of attitudes people had about crime, if they had been a victim of crime and to give details of the crime if they had encountered any. This survey agreed with Sparks (1981) who noted that 'criminal victimization is an extremely rare event... crimes of violence are extremely uncommon'. ...read more.


They said it was because They had an obligation to report the crime The crime was serious enough to report Reporting stops repetition of crime to others Reporting stops re-victimization by the same criminal They desperately needed police assistance The police would then catch the offender and punish them A demographic profile was produced by the 1998 BCS, which acknowledged who were most at risk from various crimes. For example: The Risk factors in victims of burglary Young unemployed head of household Living in rented accommodation Home is empty for three hours or more a day Living up north Low income Lone adults Multi-ethnic area Flat/end of terrace houses Dwelling in inner city/council house The Risk factors for repeated victims of burglary Single parents Living in inner city area Living in rented accommodation Living in area with high physical chaos The risk factors in victims of violence Single and living alone Living in rented accommodation Living in London/Northern England Low income or unemployed Living in a flat or ...read more.


a few problems with these surveys, for instance: The figures produced will tend to miscalculate the amount of crime committed They tend to focus on offences against a person and their property Overlooking the whole section of 'white- collar crime' i.e. fraud and embezzlement The responses given may not be accurate The amount of crime reported may be linked to the respondent's level of educational achievement. Even so, the figures produced by the surveys can help influence social and political policies towards supervising and controlling crime. Farrell and Pease (1995) suggested that by analysing repeat victimisation, we would be able to provide tactics for crime prevention. These tactics will not only help to reduce crime but they will also be able to help protect the most vulnerable groups of people. Therefore, surveys are a good thing to use to measure criminal activity but the problem is that people may not always be honest when answering questions which could make the results unreliable. Word Count: 996 Amritpal Saund Psychology ...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. Critically Discuss Some of the Problems Associated With the Measurement of Crime.

    As a way for communities to police any minor incidents as above and to improve communication among residents in order to help to profile any suspicious activities. There are other reasons that crimes are not reported such as no loss by the victim.

  2. How emergency incidents are graded

    the local hospital to treat the people who were affected by the explosions which they wouldn't have been able to do to the capability which the fully trained doctors could.

  1. This research project attempts to contrast local crime trends with the British Crime Survey ...

    Finally, Lea and Young point out that no matter how much police reform is advocated, no progress can be made without a long-term change in society. Methodology This study used a combination of both primary and secondary research. The primary research comprised of a semi-structured interview that intended to measure

  2. Do people choose to commit crime or are they propelled in to criminal activity?'

    His famous book, On Crimes and Punishment5 presented a new design for the criminal justice system that served all people. His book dubbed him the "father of modern criminology." Bentham's concern was upon utilitarianism, which assumed the greatest happiness for the greatest number.

  1. To investigate the problems of the victimisation of stalking.

    were subjected to persistent pestering compared to men (8%). The British Crime Survey identified particular groups of women most at risk as follows, * Students 12.4% * Single 9.8% * Living in privately rented accommodation 7.4% * Living in a flat or maisonette 6.6% * Living in a household with an annual income of less than �15,000 5.3%.

  2. How closely was criminal activity linked to economic circumstances in early modern England?

    Thus the number of convictions may be more indicative of this policy than an accurate representation of the criminal poor. In essence therefore the area of assessing the levels and nature of 'criminal activity' is fraught with inherent difficulties and in order to examine this area one must bear these in mind.

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