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This research project attempts to contrast local crime trends with the British Crime Survey (BCS).

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Introduction

This research project attempts to contrast local crime trends with the British Crime Survey (BCS). In addition, it intends to explore how many Isle of Wight residents have been victims of crime and whether they felt satisfied with the police. Furthermore, it intends to measure whether residents of the Isle of Wight view it a safer place to live than mainland Britain. A semi-structured interview was used for the primary research in order to collect quantitive data. This type of method and data collection seeks to be subjective and scientific. The Island has a population of approximately 130,000 and the majority live in one of the eight small towns on the Island. Agriculture and horticulture take up 80 % of the land area. The Isle of Wight Crime and Disorder Partnership claim that the Island is a relatively safe place to live. This study seeks investigate this claim by comparing statsical data for the Isle of Wight with the data from Southeast Britain. Hypothesis: The Isle of Wight is a safer place to live in terms of crime than mainland Britain. * Aim 1 - To investigate how many Island residents have been victims of crime. * Aim 2 - To investigate victim's satisfaction of the police. * Aim 3 - To measure whether the residents of the Isle of Wight view it as a safe place to live. * Aim 4 - To compare Isle of Wight crime statistics with the statistics for Mainland Britain (South East) Sociological theories into crime and methods can be divided by the two extremes, the positivistic approach and the subjectivist approach. Positivistic approaches derive from the belief that sociological studies should be scientific, objective and use statistic analysis to explain crime. The subjectivist approach stress that there is no objective world outside the consciousness of people. Gathering statistics never uncovers the reasons people commit crime. This approach tends to favour observational methods. ...read more.

Middle

The data has been divided into four sections. Each section represents the aims of the investigation. The results of the primary research have been compiled into graphical data that shows the results as percentages. The questionnaire comprised of 10 questions that aimed to ascertain how many respondents have been victims of crime and whether the victims reported the crime. In addition, the questionnaire aimed to determine if residents felt the Isle of Wight was a safer place to live than mainland Britain. The Primary Research Results Are As Follows: Aim 1 - To identify how many Island residents have been victims of crime. The results of figure1 indicate that 65% of respondent had been a victim. Furthermore, 45% indicated that nothing came of the reported crime. During the administration of the questionnaires the interviewer noted that this was due to a variety of reasons. Some respondents felt the police could not gather enough evidence to lead to an arrest. Others reported that they felt the police did not view the crime as serious enough to warrant an investigation. This may be an indication of the Vicious circle as described by Lea and Young. Perhaps the public's confidence in the police has led difficulties for the police in gathering enough information to be able to solve a crime. Aim 2 - To investigate victim's satisfaction of the police Figure 2 The respondents were asked how satisfied they were with how the police dealt with their complaint? The results of figure 2 demonstrate that 45% of victims were dissatisfied with how the police dealt with their complaints. The interviewer noted that most people thought the police could have been more vigilant in carrying out the investigation. In addition, the 20% of respondents that were satisfied with the police were so because the police apprehended the criminal and gathered enough evidence to lead to a conviction. Again this is evidence that trust and confidence in the police has declined. ...read more.

Conclusion

Evaluation The Validity and reliability of The BCS has to be questioned as the total number of crimes reported to the police provides the information. It does not take into account those crimes that are not reported or corporeal crimes. For example, some victims of domestic violence or sexual assault may be embarrassed to report the crime. Therefore, we cannot be sure of the real extent of crime. The victim studies confirm the BCS is unreliable. The 1997 found that only 44% of crime was reported. Only 26% of vandalism was reported. The results of the primary research showed face validity as they corresponded with the secondary results especially in relation to the fear of crime in rural areas. However, the primary research in this investigation may have been subject to some of the same problems. Asking victims about crime is very emotive. The presence of the interviewer may have affected the result. For example respondents are more likely to conceal crimes because of embarrassment or misplaced guilt. Care must be taken and only face validity can be accepted. The questionnaire in this investigation consisted of closed questions even though the interviewer was present to clarify any points and note other responses. To reassess the validity it is recommended that respondents be re-interviewed qualitatively. In addition, the sample of respondents can be said to be not representative of the Island residents. A recommended improvement is to increase the sample size and categorise the respondents according to the area they live, their class and their gender. This would increase the reliability of the results. As peoples perceptions to crime changes over time a further recommendation would to re-interview participants after a period of time. To conclude, this investigation adopted a positivist approach with the use of quantitative data. Positivistic approaches derive from the belief that sociological studies should be scientific, objective and use statistic analysis to explain crime. However, subjectivist stress that there is no objective world outside the consciousness of people. Gathering statistics never uncovers the reasons people commit crime. ...read more.

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