Measuring Crime

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Official Statistics :

The official crime rate is based on crimes that are reported to the police, which are then recorded in the official statistics.

Crime rates are not entirely accurate,
-Hollin (1992) "Official statistics account for only 25% of actual crime."
- Crimes which are not reported do not appear on the official statistics.

The official crime statistics for 2005-2006 suggest that crime has remained stable over the last few years. Despite a peak in 1995, the incidence of crime has fallen by 44% in the last 10 years. However Rose (2006) stated that the Home Office failed to report a decrease in the number on convictions. For example, for rapes; 6,281 were reported in 1997, which rose to 12,867 between 2004 and 2005, yet convictions rates dropped from 9.2% to 5.5%, therefore highlighting the inaccuracy of official statistics.

Farrington & Dowds (1985)
Aim- To investigate differences in crime figurees between countries in the UK.

Method- The researchers analysed a random sample of police records of crimes in Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Leicestershire.

Nottinghamshire police were more likly to record thefts of less than £10 in value, although this was an informal policy rather than an officialy stated policy. Crimes below this value were regarded as minor and were not recorded by the two neighbouring police forces. Thus the official crime rates in Nottinghamshire was higher than that of the two other counties.

Reasons why crime is unreported and unrecorded.

Not reported:
There is no victim,
Victim is too afraid,
Too trivial,
Cant be bothered,
Mistrust police,
Perperator is family member/ Friend,
Fear of offender

Not recorded:
Insufficient time,
Crime too trivial,
One of several similar offences,
Not a priority,


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