Crime Statistics Matrix

A table comparing official statistics, victim surveys, and self-report studies. Invludes advantages, disadvantages, and evidence for each one.

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  • Created on: 10-04-13 10:26
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Type Advantages x 2 Disadvantages x 2 Evidence
Official Statistics 1. Provide and excellent 1. Not necessarily a true 1. Nicholas et al found 32% of
historical overview of figure of crime as it only crimes were reported to
crime, allowing us to look at looks at reported and the police and recorded but
trends. recorded crime. 11% were reported but not
2. They provide a valid picture 2. Police discretion will affect recorded.
of the way agents of social such statistics. 2. Police discretion is
control and the justice exemplified in Cicourel's
system process offenders. study "The Negotiation of
Victim Surveys 1. Oversee that many crimes 1. Victim's memories are 1. Maguire (2005) found the
aren't reported. often faulty or bias which BCS to be neither better
2. Offer an excellent picture may affect the results of nor worse than police
of the extent of patterns of the survey. recorded statistics.
victimisation. 2. Victim surveys often omit 2. The Islington Crime Survey
white collar crimes such as (Jones 1995) showed that
fraud, as such there is an BCS under-reported higher
underrepresentation of levels of victimisation of
such crime. minority ethnic groups and
Self- Report Studies 1. They reveal a great deal of 1. There is a low validity 1. Box rejected ideas of
information about because respondents may working class youths in
offenders who aren't lie of exaggerate their official statistics.
caught. answers. 2. Graham and Bowling found
2. They make it possible to 2. Representativeness is social class had no influence
find out forms of social questionable because only on admitting to offences.
differentiation amongst accessible groups, such as

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