Introduction: trends in crime
Reiner suggests theres 3 distinct periods that can be seen in regard to trends in criminal behaviour .
Period 1: early 1970's- early 1980's- rapid recorded crime rise
until 1983 cime was measured only using those crimes reported and recorded to the police. The OCS in this period suggested that there was a dramatic rise in the volum of recorded crime in the U.K and all major cattegories of crime experienced substancial increases.
Period 2: 1984-993 crime explosion
Between 1984 and 1993 the number of crimes recorded by the police increased by 111%. The number of crimes recorded to the British Crime survey (bcs) (which were used alongside the OCS after 1983) rose by 77% in the same period
Period 3: 1994-2009: falling crime rising fear.
Between 1994 and 2009 the crime rate significantly fell. both crimes recorded by police and reported to the BCS have declined in number. LOOK AT NOTES FOR COMPARISON TABLES
Introduction trends in crime continued
despite overal fall in crime recorded violence has increased in the last 25 years as a proportion of all crime. in 1997 violent crime only made up 8% of all reported and recorded crime but in 2009 it was 21%
However 4 important observations must be made.
- Administrative changes. in 1998-99 the counting rules for crime used by the police significantly changed. The National Crime Recording Standard was introduced. These administrative changes resulted in the introduction of new offences especially for less serious violent crime and led to a steep rise in the violence stats.
- The amount of violece reported to the BCS has declined. Since 1995 the number of violent incidents reported to the BCS has fallen by 50% and is now at a similar level to 1981. This fall represents 2 million fewer incidents and around 800,000 fewer victims in 2009/10 comared with 1995.
- Most types of seious violence are in decline. Serious violence (i.e murder, man slaughter, agrivated and grevious bodily harm , use of guns and knivesetc) has actualy declined to the level of the 1980's. However, serious sexual crimes in 2009 sincreased by 7% with 2008.
- violent crime has increased in the past ten yeards as a proportion of all crime because property crime has steeply declined since the 1980's
however interactionalists suggest that the ways in which the criminal statistics are collected and socially constructed are unreliable and concequently the picture of crime offered by the OCS doesn't reflect the reality of crime
The social distribution of C+D: Age
- 50% of all crimes are commited by young people
- - stats show the older a person gets the less likely they are to commit crime.
- Most burrglary, street robbery, violence against a person, shoplifting and criminal damage are commited by young people aged 17-24. The peak age for know male offenders is 18 years compared with 15 years for females.
- theres a range of crimes only commited by young people who fall under the category "juvenile delinquency i.e drugs, gang violence. generally commited out of boredum or malice and genrerally dont have a financial reward. Generally commited by subcultures or gangs.
The social distribution of C+D- Gender
- aprox 80/90% of offenders found guilty or cautioned are male concequently male to female crime ratio is 5:1
- at least 1 3rd of men are likely to be convicted for a criminal offence compared with only 8% of women.
- men and women are generally convicted for different types of offences ie men dominate all offences but when a female is convicted its likely to be for theft particularaly shop lifting. However there has been a rapid rise in recent years in violence commited by young women (although its still vastly outnumbered by male violent offenders)
its importnt to understand most theories of crime are aimed at male criminality. Fems call this "male stream criminology" which reflects patriarchal values. hoever some say it reflects reality in 2008 there were 4474 women in prison out of the total prison pop of 83,000
The social distribution of C+D- Ethnicity
- Prsion stats show an over representation of afro caribbean men and women in prisons i.e one tenth of male prisoners and one fifth of female prisoners in U.K prisons are afro caribbean yet as an ethnic minority they only make up 2.2% of the population.
- Black people are also more likely to be "stopped and searched" than other groups.
- Black youth are more likely to be cautioned or given an ASBO than any other ethnic minority group. There has been a rise in the number of Asians arrested and convicted but their numbers are still below the national average.
The social distribution of C+D- Locality
- Urban area's, especially inner city area's and council estates have higher rates of crime than the suberns and rural area's.
- This means residents of the inner city or of council estates ie urban poor and especially the elderly are more likely than most other social groups to be the victims of crime.
The social distribution of C+D- Social Class
Reiner: Notes theres a wc bias in the prison population:74% were either unemplyed or employed at the lowest possible occupational levels prior to their imprisonment.
Hagell and Neburn- study of youth detention centres found only 8% of persistent offenders came from mc backgrounds offences can also be differentialised by social class. Mc offenders tend to be accociated with white collar crime, fraud and tex evasion whist wc offenders are mainly found guilty of burglary and street crime