LT1- Official Crime Statistics (Quantitative secondary data)

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 18-01-16 19:42
What are OCS?
A secondary documentary source which are mainly based on figures from the police and courts,
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Who are OCS published by?
The Home Office (the Government)
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Who are OCS favoured by?
Positivist sociologists,
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For an advantage of OCS, what can they identify over time and an example?
-They offer the opportunity to identify trends in crime over time. -For example, they show that crime has sharply increase from the 1950s, and has fluctuated since then,
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What useful information do they provide about the offender and an example of what OCS show?
-They provide useful information on the social make up of offenders, -For example, crime statistics show that offenders are often working class, male, juveniles, of which a high proportion were male,
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How can OCS be used by sociologists and their theories?
It is possible to use the statistics to generate and test sociological explanations of crime,
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For example, how how left realists take OCS and what kind of explanations do they develop and reasons as to why working class,male, juvenile crime is highest?
-Largely accept OCS and take it at face value, -They develop causal explanations -Reasons such as marginalisation, relative deprivation and subcultures,
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What is another advantage of OCS based on the government?
They help government's shape and evaluate their policies on law and order,
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Give an example of what recent rising crime persuaded what government to introduce what?
-New Labour Government, -Persuaded them to introduce restoatative justice prgrammes (bringing offenders and victims together,
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What theorists criticse OCS and why?
Interactionists -They question the validity and reliability of OCS as they vastly underestiamte crime,
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What phrase do interactionists use to describe the extent to which OCS represent crime?
'The top of the iceberg.'
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What are the five reasons interactionists five to argue OCS are socially constructed?
1) Underreporting of known crimes, 2) Invisibility of white collar crime and cybercrime 3) The police don't record all known crime 4) Selective law enforcement, 5) Artificial flunctuations in crime rates,
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For the argument that crime is underreported, what survey suggests this and what?
-The British Crime Surveys, -They show that the public don't always report crimes they have been victims of,
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In 2008, what percentage of crime were reported by victims?
42%
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What are the most common reasons BCS give as why crime isn't reported?
-Too trivial, -A belief that the police would or could do nothing,
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What does this underreporting lead to?
It lowers the total volume of measured crime,
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For invisibility of white collar crime and cybercrime, why do OCS underestimate these crimes?
-They often go unreported or prove difficutl for agencies of social control to detect,
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Who are most likely to commit white collar crimes and where?
-Middle class people, -At work,
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What are the two main types of white collar crime?
-Corporate crime, -Occupational crime,
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Why is corporate crime commited?
It is committed on behalf of an organisation,
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Give an example of a corportate crime? Who committed it? What was his white collar crime? What were the consequences of this? His sentence?
Nick Leeson's fraudulent trading which generated losses of £827 billion and lead to the commapse of Barings bank. He was sentenced to 6 and a half years but was released after less than 4,
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Why is occupational crime committed?
It is committed at the expense of an organisation,
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Give an example of an occupational crime? Who committed the crime and when?
British MP's 'fraudulent' expenses claims revealed in 2009,
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Why is the invisibility of white collar crime a problem?
It means OCS significantly underestimate middle class crime (crimes of the powerful)
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What is the definition of cybercrime?
It refers to criminal acts committed with the help of information technology
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Who is cybercrime committed by>
By both working class and middle class people,
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Give three examples of cybercrimes?
-Internet-based fraud, illegal downloads and cyberbullying,
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What sociologist suggests reasons why white collar crime and cyber crimes are difficult to detect?
Langan
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Why does Langan suggest white collar crimes and cybercrimes are difficult to detect due to embarrassment?
They are often dealt with internally to avoid possible embarrassment for the company,
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What is another reason why they are difficult to detect due to victims being unaware?
Victims may be unaware a crime as been committed,
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What is the last reason Langan suggests as to why they are difficult to detect?
Their global nature and complexity makes them difficult and expensive to detect,
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For the argument that police don't record all know crime, BCS suggest what percent are recorded?
75%
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What does this underrecording create?
It creates a large dark figure of hidden crime.
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What is a reason why the police may underrecord?
The police may not accept that a crime has been committed,
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For selective law enforcement, what have a number of sociologists argued about this?
A number of sociologists have argued that the police are more likely to concentrate on offenders from the least power sections of society,
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What research shows how much more are black people to be stopped and searched by the police than whites?
-Home Office research, -8x more likely,
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What does this police bias lead to?
It leads to an overrepresentation of powerless groups in OCS.
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For artificial fluctuations in crime rates, how does this suggests OCS statistics are socially constructed?
As crime rates can rise and fall for reasons other than more or less law breaking taking place in society.
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What sociologist identifies a number of 'artificial' factors that can affect crime rates?
Fattah
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What are the two artifical factors Fattah provides that can affect crime rates?
1) Changes in the recording of crime, 2) Changes in the law,
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For an example of changes in the recording of crime, what changes were made in 1998 and 2002?
Changes in 1998 and 2002 made it possible for the police to record more of the incidents reported to them as crimes,
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What was the recording process prior to 1998?
Crimes would be recorded if a victim made an allegation and sufficient evidence was provided to support this.
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However, are these still needed now for the police to record crime?
No
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Give an example of changes in the law affecting crime rates?
New laws such as driving in a car without a hands free phone,
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To conclude, what sociologists offer what kind of response to OCS?
-Left Realists, -A responsible response,
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What do left realists recognise about OCS?
They have their limitations,
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However, what don't they do like Interactionists tend to do?
They don't dismiss OCS either,
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Instead, what do left realists argue about OCS' use?
They argue that they show the basic reality of crime, and that they can be useful if supplemented with other quantitative measures such as local victim surveys,
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Who are OCS published by?

Back

The Home Office (the Government)

Card 3

Front

Who are OCS favoured by?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

For an advantage of OCS, what can they identify over time and an example?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What useful information do they provide about the offender and an example of what OCS show?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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