Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2

Outline and assess the usefulness of official statistics in measuring crime and deviance

Do not show me this again

Are you in the right place?

Jump to Sociology and see how teachers think you should prepare in:

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

'Outline and assess the usefulness of official statistics in measuring crime and deviance'. The term deviance cover a wide range of behaviour which digresses from the norms and values of society; but an act doesn't have to break the law for it to be labelled as deviant. Whereas a crime is an act of behaviour or action that break the laws of a society; and covers all activities from trivial to serious. There are many methods for the measuring and collection of data on crime and deviance level within the British Society. The main one is Official Crime Statistics (OCS) - these government statistics that cover a wide range of topics. There are two major soruces of which official statistics are based on; these are crimes recorded by the police (which form the majority of the Statistics) and statistics about those who have been convicted of offences. The basic process for the collection of official statistics is: witness (es) discover(s)

Middle

Firstly there is the definition of crime is relative this can lead to crimes not being recognised by victims and not being reported. Some crimes are not thought to be crimes and depend on the victims' definition of crime. An example of a situation this would come into play is would be when a fair fight turns into assault; this is entirely dependent on the definitions of the people involved in the situation. Also considering the Dark Figure of crime (this is term employed by criminologists and sociologists to describe the amount of unreported or undiscovered crime) which is a very important factor in the evaluating of OCS. As the dark figure shows the incompetence of the official statistics process; it causes people to believe that the official picture that is created by these statistics is not complete and therefore inaccurate. Another drawback of the official statistics is the recording of crime - while the police have a statutory obligation to record all crime reported to them.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be summarised that Official Statistics are useful in measuring crime and deviance because they are already available. Their use saves time, effort and money. They give a wide- ranging picture of social observable fact in terms of crime and deviance. Also they have excellent comparative value in that they allow the examination of trend over time. However it is very simple to be critical of statistics because of the many defects; a solution would be to choose an alternative measure of crime and deviance. An example would be Self-reported Studies, are studies that attempt discover the characteristics of the criminals. They are interviews or questionnaire where individuals admit what types and numbers of crimes they have committed. Never the less these they are flawed; individuals might want to conceal their crimes. However, it can still be argued that self-report studies are more likely to identify more criminals, as it eliminates the problems; with the reporting and recording of crime and the dark figure.

The above preview is unformatted text

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • Over 150,000 essays available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Over 180,000 student essays
  • Every subject and level covered
  • Thousands of essays marked by teachers

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Crime & Deviance essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

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

    4 star(s)

    Although the British Crime Survey gives a clearer assessment of crime statistics through victim surveys there are some crimes that people maybe hesitant or even reluctant to admit to. Feminists argue that where sexual abuse or domestic violence occurs women are very reluctant to admit to being a victim of

  2. Evaluate the accuracy of official statistics of crime.

    relatively constant, recorded crime had increased rapidly since the 1950's and that the 1994 and 1995 crime statistics illustrate a 6% fall in recorded crime. However this data is very dated and it is highly unlikely that it is still correct.

  1. Sociological Theories on Crime and Deviance

    Some groups are organised around particular forms of social deviance; these are call deviant communities. Like subcultures and countercultures, deviant communities maintain their own values, norms and rewards for deviant behaviour. Joining a deviant community separates that person from conventional society and tends to solidify deviant careers, given that the deviant individual receives rewards and status from the in-group.

  2. The Sociology of Crime and Deviance

    they will be able to belong to a group that accepts them in. They will then learn the norms and values of that group and will learn the ropes as with any career. It could be argued that delinquents are produced by the agencies of social control or by society itself.

  1. Assess the usefulness of realist explanations of crime and deviance

    target hardening, which reduces the physical opportunities of offending and surveillance such as CCTV which is already being used within society.

  2. Examine the reasons why some sociologists choose to use official statistics when conducting their ...

    they see sociology as a science and develop hypothesis to discover the causes of the patterns of behaviour that the official statistics reveal. Positivists often use official statistics to test their hypothesis. For example, Durkheim put forward the hypothesis that suicide is cause by lack of social integration.

  1. Outline and Evaluate two or more sociological theories of the usefulness of crime statistics ...

    This was a very popular approach in the 1960's. Interactionalists believe that causes of crime are a result of two things, firstly small scale interaction. People get together in different social groups, it is said that outside of these groups crime happens.

  2. Assess the usefulness of participant observation as a sociological methods

    of Officer Kelly who "knew the people as regulars and strangers, and regulars were made up of decent folk but also drunks and derelicts that knew their place". This suggested that there were some boundaries in what behaviour was tolerated about levels of order and disorder and if communities or

  • Over 180,000 essays
    written by students
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to write
    your own great essays

Marked by a teacher

This essay has been marked by one of our great teachers. You can read the full teachers notes when you download the essay.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review on the essay page.

Peer reviewed

This essay has been reviewed by one of our specialist student essay reviewing squad. Read the full review under the essay preview on this page.

Do not show me this again

Are you in the right place?

Jump to Sociology and see how teachers think you should prepare in: