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'Evaluate the use and importance of official crime statistics both in the tracking of crime and the implementation of measures against it.'
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Toni Shane Pilbrow Timed Essay 08/07/03
Q: 'Evaluate the use and importance of official crime statistics both in the tracking of crime and the implementation of measures against it.'
This paper will consider which activities are officially counted as crime and feature in the official crime statistics, opening with a view as to why some activities do, whilst others, quite clearly and equally criminal, do not figure amongst these official statistics. This approach acknowledges that not all crimes, for whatever reasons, are reported to or acted upon by the police. We will consider serious and dangerous activities that some may deem equally criminal but which never find their way into the official statistics as a result of what Steven Box identifies as 'ideological mystification.' Having examined this paradoxical situation, we will consider the futility of using crime statistics in the tracking of crimes, and in the implementation of measures against them.
Before addressing this question, it would be helpful to be aware of what official criminal statistics represent in reality, and what they can actually tell us. Given this understanding, it seems that we can never be completely sure that the data, which represent
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