The Social Distribution of Crime

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The Social Distribution of Crime
Key Questions
1. Do crime statistics give a true picture of crime?
2. Are people from different age groups, classes, ethnicities and gender groups treated
equally when it comes to crime?
3. Is there any link between location and criminal activity
Key Information
Crime statistics
- Police
- BCS and self-report study
Gender and crime
Ethnicity and crime
Age and social class
Crime Statistics
Official Statistics
Compiled from government departments like the police and courts
Recorded Crime
A crime which has been recorded by the police as a crime
Lack of Crime Reporting
Crimes may not be reported due to:
- Fear of reprisal
- Lack of awareness
- Fear it may not be taken seriously
- Crime is too trivial
Inaccurate Picture of Crime
White collar crime dealt with administratively
Only serious crimes from incidences is recorded
Rules for counting always change
Lack of recording makes clear up rates look higher
BCS and Self Report Studies
British Crime Survey
Now called British crime survey England and Wales
A victim study which asks people if they have been a victim of a crime and the
circumstances of that crime
It was conducted every two years from 1982-2000 then every year since
The study is based on representative sample of adults living in private household in
England and Wales

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In 2002 over 36,000 surveys were conducted
Certain crimes are excluded due to low reporting such as murder, drug possession or
dealing, fraud, offences against businesses
Self-Report Studies
Anonymous questionnaires which ask respondents if they have committed a crime over
the past year
They are usually based on self-completed questionnaires or interviews which contain a list
of offences
Respondents are asked to highlight which they have committed
Self-report studies show us that most people commit crime at some point in their lives so
crime is…read more


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