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Ocs in Measuring Crime

In: Social Issues

Submitted By amnakhan1
Words 1077
Pages 5
Outline and assess the usefulness of official statistics in measuring crime.
Official statistics are a source of secondary data found in police records published by the Home Office, a government department responsible for law and order, since 1857. In order for a crime to appear two things must happen; the crime must be reported to the police and the crime must then be recorded by the police. People may be reluctant to report a crime to the police for a number of reasons; they could see the crime as trivial, they could have been blackmailed to remain silent, they could personally know the criminal, they could be scared to report the crime or they may be involved in the crime. Similarly, some crimes which are reported to the police may not be recorded as an official crime. This could be because the crime was too trivial, the police were too busy, the law was not in fact broken or because there was not enough evidence.
The other alternatives to measuring crime rates include self-report studies and victim surveys, which now form part of the official crime statistics. Victim surveys involve asking a sample of the population what crimes they have been a victim of, in the previous 12 months. These are effective as they include crimes which may have not been recorded by the police. As well as measuring crime the Crime Survey for England and Wales, a victim survey conducted by the Office of National Statistics, looks at those most at risk of crime, people’s attitudes towards crime and peoples experiences of anti-social behaviour. Due to the fact that the Crime Survey for England and Wales involves taking a random sample the representativeness is increased as everyone has an equal chance of being included in the survey. Self-report studies are similar to victim surveys except they ask respondents to admit to crimes that they have committed. Self-report studies are used less...

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