Alternative ways to measure crime

Alternative ways to measure crime

  • Created by: Lollipop
  • Created on: 13-06-12 14:18

Victim Surveys

  • These are generally large scale surveys of the population in which people are interviewed and asked what crimes have been commited against them in a period of time eg. the British Crime Survey (BCS)
  • Victim Surveys include crimes that have not been reported to the police so it is an important survey
  • It collects information about:
    • the victims of crime
    • the circumstances in whoch incidents occur
    • the behaviour of offenders in commiting crimes
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Victim Surveys


  • May uncover some of the hidden figure of crime
  • Focuses on the problems as people experienced them
  • Identifies local, geographically focused figures


  • Not all crimes will be reported for various reasons eg. a victim is embarrassed to reveal they have been the victim of certain crimes eg. ****
  • Participants may lie
  • In some cases, the victim cannot be questioned eg. child abuse
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Self-report Surveys

  • The basic approach of the self report method is to ask individuals of they have engaged in criminal behaviour and how often they have done so
  • They include lists of criminal or deviant acts that are given to people and they are asked to tick off the activities which they have committed within a period of time
  • It is always anonymous so that people feel free to admit crime
  • Self report studies suggest that criminal activity is more common than official statistics indicate
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