Crime- Victim interactions, evaulations

evaluations of chapter three

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Crime Victim interactions, chapter three, EVALUATI

METHODOLOGY.

Biological: scientific lab method, so generally collects quantative data. self report.

Webb and Marshall: (quantitative) investigated the factors affecting whether or not a victim will report crime. questionaire asked what happened, how they reacted and whether or not they reported it.

Pro's: high in ecological validity. quick and easy to collect. cheap. rich data.

Con's: demand characteristics. some may have felt they should have reported it and so lied.

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COMPARES:

self report teqnique of using interviews, which also generates quantitative data. TheBCS collects data on crime victims using face to face interviews.

Con: Demand characteristics.

CONTRASTS:

HOS: publishes statistics each year on crime levels using official police records.

Pro's: quick and easy to collect. easily compared.

Con: as Hollin states, the majority of crime is unreported therefore the reasearch lack validity as only 25% of crime is reported. Lacks usefulness.

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Crime Victim interactions, chapter three, EVALUTAT

ETHICAL DEBATE:

Biological:

Harm to participants. BCS which uses face to face interviews with people from households across the UK to gain evidence on victims of crime and their experience - harm and distress.

COMAPARES:

Brown: study investigating the problems faced by families of murder victims. - harm and distress.

Labelling: Kilptrick studied repsonses of female victims of sexual assult - 'Rape Trauma Syndrome'. It could be harder for people to get over this once they are told that it is a disease that they can never get rid of, - learned helplesness.

Therefore psychologists have to evaluate whether the findings of their study will be useful enough to justify the ethical problem of the distress caused to participants.

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Crime Victim interactions, chapter three, EVAULATI

APPROACH:

Biological: gender and ethnic differences affect the liklihood of someone commiting the crime.

Farrel and Pease: 16-24 year old afro carribean males are the most likely to be crime victims. These groups can then be targetted with media campaigns to inform them how to reduce the likelihod of becoming a victim.

Cons: deterministic - suggesting a persons vunerability to crime is predisposed by factors like their gender and ethnicity. This does not take into account that women are more likely to be sexually assulted and therefore ignores that some crimes are more specific to certain groups of people. The BCS informs us that those who live alone in rented accomidation are at high risk of crime.


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Crime Victim interactions, chapter three, EVALUATI

USEFULNESS:

The implications of research into victim responses to crime are that they can be used to train police officers in how best to deal with victims.

Harrower: police officers must be trained to recognise the distress that crime victims go through so that their eagerness to obtain information does not blind them from the reality of the victimisation. They should be sensitive to the victims feeling and give them advice on who to contact to help them with their problem. This can help identify people who are vunerable to severe responses to crime.

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CONTRASTS:

Psychosocial: changing personality variables or social atitudes can help reduce the likelihood of victimisation.

Lupfer: our responses to crime stem from a belief in a 'just world' where we assume that the world is fair and that crime victims are 'getting what they deserve' in order to reduce our own fears of likely victimisation. Lupfer arges that becoming a victim in these social circumstances is one reason why victims suffer such acture distress.

Useful because it shows us that some victims may not report crime because of this belief in a 'just world' and therefore people should be educated to have sympathy towards victims and understand that most victims are completely innocent, therefore they would be more likely to report crime.

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Rotter: people tend to have either an internal or external locus of control and studies that those with an internal locus of control tend to become more traumatised by crime as they believe they took all the reasonable precautions against it and therefore find it difficult to come to terms with their misfortune. This has the implications that victims with an internal locus of control should be identified and given extra support, for example councelling to help them cope.

This type of research also has implications for the government and law enforcment in informing us of where anti-crime resources should be targeted. BCS informs us that inner city areas, council estates and the North of England are the areas that suffer most from burglaries. This suggests that anti-burglary measures should be focused in these high risk areas, for example encorgaging residents to fit burglar alarms and setting up neighbourhood watch schemes.

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