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WJEC A2 Unit 4, Crime and Deviance Week 2: Measuring Crime

WJEC A2 Unit 4, Crime and Deviance Week 2: Measuring Crime

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WJEC A2 Unit 4, Crime and Deviance Week 2: Measuring Crime

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  1. WJEC A2 Unit 4, Crime and Deviance Week 2: Measuring Crime How to navigate this Slide Show: Either: Click the screen icon below far right for the ‘Slide Show’ option. Use the left mouse button to enter each new bullet point and to move on to the next page [Press Esc to exit Slide Show at any time]. Or: use the arrows below to navigate from one screen to the next Or click on the words on the left to go to the appropriate slide of your choice.

  2. Accessibility Statement • This slide show has been designed to be user friendly to people with dyslexia and visual impairment. • The accessible font Arial is used. • Black font on a white background is avoided. • Instead, font colour and background have been chosen to complement each other in order to avoid stark contrasts which dyslexic readers find hinders reading. • All text is left-justified to avoid ‘rivers of white’. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  3. Objectives of Chapter 2 Following this slide show you should be aware: • That crime statistics are a social construction. • That the official crime rate rose steadily for the past 100 years and peaked in mid-1990s. • That the official rate significantly underestimates the real rate of crime. • That victim and self-report studies show that there is significant under-reporting and under-recording of crime. • A fear of crime is disproportionate to the likelihood of being a victim of crime. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  4. Crime Trend in the UK Over Time This growth in crime is generally reflected globally. However, rates are still low in Japan, Singapore, and Scandinavian countries. Totalitarian states tend to have lower crime rates. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  5. Reasons For The Rise in Crime More state action: as policing gets better more crimes are detected. More laws: Because of more legislation on the statute book, there are more possible crimes (traffic offences, financial fraud, computer related crimes, etc.) More sensitivity: People are more sensitive to reporting crimes physical and sexual violence to the police. More victims: Because of increased affluence there are more things to steal. As opportunities have risen, so have crimes. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  6. The Official Crime Rate (OCR) In 1998, common assault, possession of a weapon, assault on a constable and harassment, were added to recorded crime. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  7. British Crime Survey (BCS) The BCS measures the amount of crime in England and Wales by asking people about crimes they have experienced in the last year. The BCS includes crimes which are not reported to the police, so it is an important alternative to the Official Crime Rate. Victims do not report crime for various reasons. Without the BCS the government would have no information on these unreported crimes. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  8. British Crime Survey Crime Trend Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  9. Trends of Reported Crime, Recorded Crime and the BCS Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  10. Recent Crime Rates In 2004/05 the British Crime Survey (BCS) recorded 10.9 million crimes on adults in private households in England and Wales. In 2004/05 the Official Crime Rate (OCR) (crimes recorded by the police) was 5,6 million offences in England and Wales. This represents a fall of 6% over the previous year. In 2004/05 nearly 24% of the population were the victim of some type of crime compared to 44% in 1995 Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  11. Official Crime Rate Figures By Crime 2004-05 Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  12. Criminal Characteristics The Official Crime Rate (OCR) is compiled annually by the police for the Home Office. • They show criminals are typically: • Male; • Working-class; • Youthful; • Disproportionately black. In addition they are likely to have a poor educational record, and come from a broken home. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  13. Dark Figure of Crime Statistics Sociologists argue that the Official Crime Rate of crime seriously underestimates the real or true rate of crime. TheBritish Crime Survey suggests that the true level of crime is at least twice the Official Crime Rate. The difference between the official crime rate and the real crime rate is referred to as the ‘dark-side’ of crime statistics Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  14. Social Construction of Official Crime Statistics Criminal statistics are a social construction because they are the product of social processes. They involve not only offenders but reporting and the behaviour of the police. It is estimated by the BCS that only 31% of crimes are reported and recorded. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  15. Functionalist View on Statistics Functionalists share the view of positivists and tend to accept crime statistics uncritically. The functionalist-inspired subcultural theory for example started with the view that crime is a young, working-class, male phenomenon. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  16. Marxist View on Statistics Marxists recognise the systematic bias in favour of the powerful in the application of the law. As a general rule, the higher people are in the social system the less likely they are to be arrested, charged, prosecuted and found guilty. Marxists stress the significant ‘dark-side’ of white-collar and corporate crime that is largely invisible and absent from crime statistics. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  17. Interactionist/Labelling Theory View of Statistics This interpretive approach sees crime statistics as largely useless and a distortion of reality. They argue statistics are a social construction and tell us nothing about the real level of crime, only who compiled them and how. Labelling theory is more interested in questions such as why some acts are viewed as more deviant than others and why some groups become labelled as deviant. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  18. Left Realist View on Statistics Left Realists are almost unique (apart from Functionalists) in accepting that official statistics have some value and should not be rejected out of hand. They accept the statistical view that typical offenders are young, male, working-class and disproportionately black. Using victim studies, they highlight how people (especially the poor and vulnerable) have real fears of crime. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  19. Feminist View on Statistics Feminists argue that crime statistic underplay the extent of females as victims: personal attack; domestic violence, etc. Until recently the police viewed attacks in the home as “domestics” and were reluctant to get involved. Many female victims of physical and sexual attack are reluctant to report offences. (See Chapter 8 for more detail). Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  20. Underreporting of Crime The British Crime Survey found that: 44% of crime victims felt the incident was not sufficiently serious to report. 33% claimed the police would be unsuccessful in solving the crime, so felt it was not worth reporting it. 22% did not report the crime as they felt the police would not be interested. 4% did not report crimes because they were fearful of reprisals. 4% did not report crimes because of inconvenience. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  21. Underreporting (Continued) Some crimes are not reported because they are victimless, e.g. drug-taking, smuggling, prostitution, etc. Some crimes are not reported because of the humiliation felt by the victim such as rape, domestic violence, etc. Corporate and white-collar crime is extremely difficult to detect and thus report. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  22. Under-recording: Police as ‘Filters’ Moore, Aiken and Chapman (2000) see the police as filters, only recording some of crimes reported to them. Seriousness: the offence may be regarded as too trivial. ‘Social status’ of the victim:important people tend to get a more favoured response than the poor, down and outs and homeless. Classifying the crime:(minor ‘assaults’ may not be investigated but ‘aggravated assaults’ usually are). Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  23. Police as Filters (continued) Discretion:each police officer has the discretion to press charges or let the individual off – even if they are known to be ‘guilty’. (Those whose demeanour is deferential, co-operative and polite are more likely to be let off for minor offences. Consider here AaronCiçourel’s ‘negotiation’, HowardBecker’slabelling theoryand Skolnick’s ‘canteen culture’). Promotion and relations at work: Police officers have to tread a tightrope between trying to impress senior officers and not appearing too keen (as this makes more work for their colleagues). Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  24. The ‘Cuffing’ of Crime The dishonest practice of not recording crimes is known inside the police as ‘cuffing’ or ‘Spanish practices’. It is suggested by some that the fall in crime in the 1990s was manipulated by police ‘cuffing’ rather than a real fall in crime rates. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  25. Victim Studies These are surveys of people who are asked to report all cases where they have been a victim of crime recently. Examples can be local like the Islington Crime Survey (1986 and 1995) or national like the British Crime Survey (annually). Victim surveys give a clearer idea of the extent of crime, who is likely to be a victim and people’s fears about crime. They also highlight the risk of repeat victimisation of victims. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  26. British Crime Survey An annual survey conducted by the Home Office of 40,000 households with data fed into laptops. Now includes a section on domestic violence, but interviews are usually with male head of household. Does not include corporate or workplace crime, victimless crime or crimes against people under age of 16. So it still underestimates the real rate of crime. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  27. Weaknesses of Victim Studies Relying on people's memory is a problem as recollections may be incorrect or biased. Sometimes people put crimes into the wrong categories. Surveys exclude white-collar crimes such as fraud and corporate crime: these become effectively 'invisible crimes'. People will not report 'victimless crimes' such as drug taking, or prostitution. There is an under-reporting of personal attack, domestic violence and sexual crimes, despite anonymity. (Note: the media sensitising issues can encourage people to report). Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  28. Self-Report Studies These ask people to honestly confess to crimes they have committed over a period of time. They can be an important way of getting a better picture of some crimes like drug-use. Anne Campbell gave a self-report study to young females and found they had almost as high a crime rate as young males. However,Steven Box argued that if petty crime was removed then the male-female ratio was closer to the official one: 5:1. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  29. Weaknesses of Self-Report Studies Steven Box (1971) argues self-report studies suffer from issues of validity, representativeness and relevance: ‘Validity’: are they true to life? Respondents can forget, play-down or exaggerate the extent of criminal activity they have been involved in. ‘Representativeness’. Since most self-report studies are on young people, they rarely include professional or managerial adults. ‘Relevance': the majority of crimes reported are trivial. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  30. Statistical Explosion in a Risk Society Ulrich Beck (1995, pictured left) coined the term ‘risk society’ to refer to the shared knowledge of contemporary risks, including rising crime. Mike Maguire (2002) notes how we are bombarded with data not just from the Home Office but researchers, agencies and even victims. This adds to our knowledge and fear of crime. Garland (2001) argues in late modernity we have lost confidence in governments. This explains why when officially the crime rate is falling, many people believe it is still rising. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  31. Fear of Crime Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  32. Fear of Crime Age: Not only do elderly people fear crime but both males and females under 25 report the highest levels of fear for most types of crime. Gender: Women are almost 3 times as likely to fear physical attack than men. Ethnicity: People from minority ethnic backgrounds fear crime more than the majority White population. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  33. Fear of Crime of the Over-60s Percentage aged 60 or over feeling 'very' unsafe when walking alone at night, 2004/05 (Source: ONS website www.statistics.gov.uk/) Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  34. Fear of Crime Finding by theIslington Crime Survey(1995) and shared by Left Realism is that there is a real fear of crime amongst the public. The group most likely to be a victim of violence is young males. In 88% of cases they know their attacker. Ironically, deprived inner-city areas and sink housing estates have the highest levels of crime. Such people who are victims of burglary stand a high risk of repeat victimisation. Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  35. Reflective Questions In Chapter 1 we saw how crime is a social construction stemming from Governments changing laws in response to cultural changes and influence of powerful groups. 1. Why does this make comparing crime rates and trends difficult over time? Most judicial systems reward people if they plead guilty. In the USA this is quite open and known as plea bargaining. 2. What impact might this have on the seriousness of crimes admitted to and solved? Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime

  36. End of Presentation Crime and Deviance Chapter 2: Measuring Crime