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To What Extent Do Current Crime Statistics Reflect Criminal And Deviant Behaviour In Our British Society

1680 words - 7 pages

Crime statistics exist entirely to measure levels of crime inside society; so, the purpose of this essay is to illustrate whether or not the statistical data on crime and deviance provides a true measurement of criminal occurrences in British society. The distinction between crime and deviance is going to be explored and a clear understanding of how they differentiate from each other will be gained. The terms Formal and Informal social control will be identified and their differences determined. In particular, official crime statistics will be analysed to gain an understanding of how accurate such data is in portraying the true figures of crime. Furthermore, key terms such as dark figure, reported crime and recorded crime will be incorporated in to this essay and defined appropriately.
Crime and deviance are behaviours that violate the social norms or laws of society, all crime is deviant behaviour, but not all deviance is crime. Tappan describes crime as an act that has been intentionally carried out in order to violate criminal law and one that is sanctioned by the state as a criminal act (Cliffnotes, 2013). Another description of crime depicts it as a behaviour that breaks the laws of the land and is punishable in a court of law (sociologytwynham, 2008). There are various categories of crime, each with their own sociological profile. Personal crimes include actions such as murder or rape. Crimes against property involve deeds such as theft, arson, or burglary. Victimless crimes have no willing complainant; these can be crimes such as prostitution, illegal gambling or drug abuse. White-collar crime is perpetrated by individuals who hold high social status within society. These individuals will carry out crimes such as embezzling money from a business, tax evasion and other violations of income tax laws. Organised crime may involve shipment of illegal goods or the provision of illegal services to others. This type of crime is normally operated by a structured group, which hide behind legitimate businesses (Crossman, 2014). Hagan has his own belief that crime can be divided into two categories; Consensus Crime is a term Hagan gives to the more serious crimes such as murder, rape, or theft. Hagan uses the term Consensus Crimes, as there is an overall consensus in society that these crimes are the most heinous. Hagan entitles the second category as Conflict Crime; these include crimes such as prostitution, drug abuse, or illegal abortions. Hagan believes that crimes in this category are treated less seriously by society, but are still crimes nonetheless (Sociology, 2014).
Deviance is behaviour that violates the norms of society, such behaviour is highly condemned in society; those who act in such a manner are often referred to as deviants. However, Britain is such a culturally diverse country the concept of deviance can be somewhat complicated; what may be classed as deviant behaviour in one group may well be completely...

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