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Crime Statistics: In This Essay I Will Be Exploring The Accuracy Of Statistics Used To Measure Crime And Discussing Why These Statistics Maybe An Inadequate Indicator Of Criminal Activities

2118 words - 8 pages

Crime StatisticsIn this essay I will be exploring the accuracy of statistics used to measure crime and discussing why these statistics maybe an inadequate indicator of criminal activities. Moreover in this essay I will also use criminological theories and concepts. There are several different sociological/criminological explanations from a range of different perspectives used to explain crime and deviance. For the purpose of this essay I will be looking at the symbolic interactionists, labelling theory, the sub culture perspective and the Marxist perspective. Firstly this essay will look at crime statistics and the way they are measured. We will look at the criticisms of these methods and the reasons why these methods lead to the crime statistic that are release to the general public been an inadequate measure of the actual crimes being committed, or in fact reported.Crime statistics are provided by the police, the courts, government agencies that are involved in law enforcement and the British Crime Surveys. The figures that are released by these different organisations differ greatly with there findings. Crime figures are used within these organisations to calculate their performance in tackling crime; however they are used in political issues and news discussions debating the society we live in. Crime statistics have come into question due to its use in political issues on tackling crime. Sociologist refute the legitimacy of crime figures as they "do not comprise a complete record of those criminal offences known to the authorities" (Sociology in Focus; 2001:461) Crimes that are not collated depends on the discretion of the officer involved but also rules that they follow in this process. Additional in such cases as "fraud" and "child abuse" when the public has no idea that a criminal activity has taken place the crime has not been reported.Whilst researching the Internet for evidence of these crime statistics and how they are actually collated, the first problem I came across was that most of the websites that have been set up to show these 'stats' are inaccessible to the public. Surely it would be in the public interest to see freely how well their local force was doing in combating crime. Even though organisations in Law susch as the police are kept by the public coffer, this information is not freely available to access, after all we are the people who pay their wages. The website that I managed to access in relation to crime statistics was the Merseyside Police website. They website announced it had a 'new' initiative running called National Crime Recording Standard.This according to the website:Nationally, the police service predicted an increase of at least 10% in recorded crime as a result of the new crime recording standard, introduced to provide more consistency nationally in the way police record crime.http://www.merseyside.police.uk/news/17b_07_03/17b_07_03.html Accessed 19/10/2003So maybe the police are coming into line with what...

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