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statistical approaches to crime and deviance

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Introduction

Susan Winfield Sociology- Statistical Approaches to Crime and Deviance Crime can affect anyone, regardless of whether or not they have been a victim. Dealing with crime and associated problems is a concern for society and the government; there are two main sources of crime statistics: police-recorded crime and household population surveys of crime, this essay will evaluate both and outline the main trends associated with them. In 2006/07 the crime most commonly recorded by the police in England, Scotland and Wales was theft and handling stolen goods. In Northern Ireland it was criminal damage. Between 2006/07 and 2007/08 there was a 10 per cent decrease in the incidence of crime measured by the British Crime Survey (BCS) in England and Wales, from 11.3 million to 10.01 million crimes. Violent crime, which includes assault with or without injury, wounding and robbery, accounted for 2.2 million incidents of all BCS crime in England and Wales in 2007/08. In 2006, 26 per cent of 10-25 year olds in England and Wales were victims of personal crime in the last 12months, including robbery, personal theft and assault either with or without injury. There were 17,300 crimes reported in 2007/08 to the police in England and Wales in which a firearm was used, a 6 per cent decrease from 2006/07. ...read more.

Middle

but more serious crimes � An important indicator of police workload � Provides data for small geographic areas Police-recorded crime and survey-measured crime have different coverage. Unlike crime data recorded by the police, surveys are generally restricted to crimes against adults living in private households and their property and do not include some types of crime such as fraud, murder, and victimless crimes such as drug use, were there is not a direct victim. The number of crimes recorded by the police tends to be lower than that reported by household surveys, this is because the survey respondents identify a large number of offences that have not been reported to the police, reasons for this include the victim feeling the crime was too trivial, there was no loss or that in their view the police would not, or could not, do anything about it. There are many reasons why using official statistics can be useful: they are cheap, easily available, and provide detailed quantitative data which is reliable and often representative. However, Official statistics also have deficiencies, there are many reasons why the police may not take action against all offences which are known to them, police cannot take action against all offences which they identify, and therefore have to prioritize their activities. ...read more.

Conclusion

These insights can lead to a reassessment of the validity of official statistics on crime; the criticisms above suggest that official crime statistics need to be interpreted much more carefully. In some ways the BCS, give a better measure of many types of crime than police-recorded crime statistics. These surveys show the large number of offences that are not reported to the police and also give a more reliable picture of trends, as they are not affected by changes in levels of reporting to the police or by variations in police recording practice. Table .1. Crimes recorded by the Police: by type of offence, 2007/2008 England & Wales Scotland Northern Ireland Theft and handling stolen goods 36 33 23 Theft from vehicles 9 4 3 Theft of vehicles 3 3 3 Criminal damage 21 31 28 Violence against the person 19 3 27 Burglary 12 7 11 Drugs offences 5 11 3 Fraud and forgery 3 2 3 Robbery 2 1 1 Sexual offences 1 1 2 Other offences 1 12 3 All notifiable offences(=100%)(thousands) 4,951 386 108 SOURCE: Home Office; Scottish Government; Police service of Northern Ireland Table .2. SOURCE: British Crime Survey; Home Office http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/news/crime-stats-2008 www.crimereduction.homeoffice.gov.uk/statistics/statistics066.htm www.justice.gov.uk/publications/docs/stats-prison-pop-aug07.pdf http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk ...read more.

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