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Identify and briefly explain 3 limitations of using victim surveys to study youth offenders

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  • Essay length: 974 words
  • Submitted: 01/06/2011
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AS and A Level Crime & Deviance

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Identify and briefly explain 3 limitations of using victim surveys to study youth offenders (9marks)

Firstly, there is the issue of age in studying youth offenders. This can cause several problems for a researcher. In terms of access, victims of youth offending are usually youths themselves, and there is no readily available list of victims for researchers to use; this makes it difficult to obtain a representative and insightful sample. Also, due to age, there may be issues of gaining consent from parents and this causes further issues as some may be unwilling for their children to participate. For example, in the British Crime Survey they exclude under 16s to avoid these problems, but as young people are often at the centre of crime in terms of victims and offenders this removes a very important group.

Secondly, the very nature of victim surveys is to probe into areas that may be sensitive to a person who has been a victim of crime. Researchers have to be especially aware of this when surveying young people. Due to the possible distress that may be caused, it may be inappropriate to ask young people about certain issues, such as

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