Descirbe and evaluate methods of obtaining information that could be used in an investigation into patterns of crime

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  • Describe and evaluate methods of obtaining information that could be used in an investigation into patterns of crime.
    • By choosing the four super output areas,Stockwell end,Newbridge, Whitemore reans and Stavely it allows us to collect data that we can compare as the areas are quite small and include around 600 houses.
      • By using census data, it is a very reliable source that gives accurate and correct information. As it is compulsory to cover almost aoo of the people in each area, it means that the results shown are very precise therefore giving you trustworthy data. However, some crimes cases do go unrecorded as not all cases are reported and found. This will effect the data and make it slightly unreliable. The www, website is very up to date and will allow you to collect data from 2014 all year round, making the data accurate and up to date.
    • Pedestrian count- This will allow you to see how many people are walking around at a specific time of day which will help to see if this is a factor that influences crime rates as it is more than likely that if it is busy, people are unemployed and the streets could be quiet.
      • You stand for 3 minutes at a specifc point and count how many pedestrians pass between that point and 40 paces ahead, within the time limit. We chose the points by doing systematic sampling which is a method that involves the section of elements from an ordered sampling frame. It allows large areas to be covered easily and averages to be made.
      • This method is good as it allows us to make links between the secondary data found. For example, if in one area the unemployment rates are high, this could possible be the reason for a high pedestrian count, therefore making this data reliable and useful.
        • One limitation about this method and doing it at the four different areas is that each pedestrian count will be done at a different time of day, therefore affecting our results. For example, at around 1/2 o clock the pedestrian count could probably be quite high because people are coming home from work to have lunch. The amount of people around can alos vary on the land uses near to the point picked. For example if it were right next to a block of shops, the pedestrian count it bound it be quite high.
          • Also, you can only see so many metres a head and someone might be just around the corner within your distance but you are unable to see them so therefore don't count them. This can make the results unreliable.
    • one more method that could be used is a survey on evidence of crime. A scale will be set for 'little evidence' and 'a lot of evidence' with a key explaining what each number means on the scale. Using a survey like this allows you to collect primary data that will be vital when answering our aim and help us to see any patterns.  It allows you yo collect data that will give an overal score of how much crime goes on in each area which you can compare and analyse.
      • One limiatation is that he example of crimes can vary in how major they are. So for example, if there was little evidence of litter this would be a good thing whereas if there was little evidence of drug use, this would be a negative thing. When any evidence is found of drugs, it shows lots of crime evidence. This can be very hard to explain in a key and hard to measure different rates.
      • This method can alos be biased as its your own perception and view on what you rates crime to be like. On top of this, you are unable to see every evidence of crime as there isn't enough time-unreliable.
    • Bi=polar survey on environmental factors that might encourage/discourage crime. It works by setting a scale of opposing sides of factors that could affect crime and then adding the total at then end that each area scored.
      • Good method as it allows you to get a better understanding and idea of why a certain area might have high crime rates, therefore linking them together.
      • However, this can be subjective because it is based on opinions and they can very from person to person so as a result. it is unreliable. Depending on the scale that you have set, there may only be 3 or 4 categories to choose from (1,1.5,2,2.5) which means that the results wont be precise and accurate, As the areas chosen may be quite big, you wont have enough time to visit the whole of the area so systematic sampling is used. Some say this is biased as you are choosing what points to use but i think it is the best suited sampling as it means no large areas are missed.
    • When using this sampling method for the environmental survey, it might not be very representational as you may have picked a point that is run down and has high rates of crime whereas over the road is a nice area,


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