Sociology - Patterns of Crime and Victimisation


Patterns of Crime and Victimisation

Sociologists interested in patterns and trends of victiminsation and why some groups in society are more likely to be victims of crime and whether certain characteristics (working-class, male, youthful, ethnic minority) make people more or less vulnerable to becoming a victim of crime.

The Crime Survey of England and Wales provides a rich and detailed data set of victimisation.

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Patterns of Crime and Victimisation - Ethnicity

People of mixed race were the most likely to be victims (mixed race are 2x more likely to be victimised as whites).

BCS data suggests African-Caribbeans and South Asians are at greater risk of victimisation than whites. African-Caribbeans are disproportionately victims of burglary, robbery, theft, and assault - dominantly material crimes.

South Asians are the most marked victims of vandalism, threats, robbery, and theft - Non material crime.

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Patterns of Crime and Victimisation - David Smith

Suggested reasons for disproportionate victimisation of ethnic minorities:

  • Tend to live in more dangerous areas, high levels of incivilities(Wilson and Kelling)
  • Higher proportions of young males
  • 'Black-on-black' crime accounts for much of the victimisation. Where offending rates are high, victimisation rates often follow suit.
  • Racially motivated crime. Crime and Disorder Act covered 'racially and religiously aggravated offences' in 2001.
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Patterns of Crime and Victimisation - Home Office

Most racial incidents were not reported to the police and of those that were reported, the clear-up rate was only 33%.

Incidents of low-level harassment reduce the quality of life of the victims but rarely appear in official statistics.

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Patterns of Crime and Victimisation - Demographic

Approximately 70% of British Muslims are under 25, so a relatively high proportion belong to the peak age group for male offending.

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Patterns of Crime and Victimisation - Social and C

Pakistani & Bangladeshi communities suffer higher unemployment than the Indian equivalents an have poorer educational performance.

Bradford - around half of these households have no full-time workers.

Unemployed youths congregate on the streets, forming troublesome macho subcultures.

Islamophobia compounds the racial discrimination experienced by Muslim seeking work. Defined in 1997 by the Runnymede Report as 'unfounded hostility towards Islam and therefore a dislike or fear of all or most Muslims'.

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Patterns of Crime and Victimisation - Gender

Crime Statistics for England and Wales released data in 2017 which showed men were slightly more likely to be victims of crime than women; and that young people were most likely to be victims.

Males at greater risk than females of being victim to violent attacks, especially by strangers.

Around 70% of homicide victims are male.

However, women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking and harassment, and people trafficking.

- Messerschmidt = normative masculinity

- Carol Smart = transgressive criminology

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Patterns of Crime and Victimisation - Class

People in urban areas were more likely to be victims of crime than those in rural areas.

People in more deprived areas were more likely to be a victim than those in more prosperous areas.

The poorest groups are more likely to be victimised, crime rates are typically highest in areas of high unemployment and marginalised groupsare more likely to become victims.

Newburn and Rock found that homeless people were 12x more likely to have experienced violence than the general population and 1 in 10 had been urinated on while sleeping rough.

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Patterns of Crime and Victimisation - Age

Younger people are more at risk of victimisation.

Most at risk of being murdered are infants under 1, whilst teenagers are more vulnerable than adults to offences such as assault, sexual harassment, theft, and abuse at home.

Elderly are also at risk of abuse, for example in nursing homes, where victimisation is less visible,

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Patterns of Crime and Victimisation - Repeat Victi

If you have been a victim once,  you are very likely to be one again.

According to the British Crime Survey, about 60% of the population have not been victims of any kind of crime in a given year, whereas a mere 4% of the population are victims of 44% of all crimes in that period.

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