What Are the Major Problems with Regard to the Collection of Crime Statistics? Essay Sample

There are two chief beginnings for published offense statistics ; the British Crime Survey. a face to confront victimization study. covering experiences of offense in the old 12 months. and constabularies recorded offense which is supplied by 43 different territorial constabulary forces on a monthly footing ( Home Office. 2011 ) . Both beginnings have different strengths and failings such as constabularies discretion for entering certain offenses or the clip period covered in the British Crime Survey ( Walker et al 2006 ) . Besides. both beginnings cover different countries of offense in greater deepnesss. for illustration. constabulary recorded offense provides a more fuller image for the degrees of chargeable offenses such as homicides. The British Crime Survey can supply a more accurate image of drumhead offenses that may be live or unreported to the constabulary. Entirely. the beginnings fail to supply an accurate image for offense statistics. but when used jointly. it is possible to derive a Fuller image for offense statistics. On a monthly footing. 43 national constabulary forces provide informations that make up the official constabulary recorded offense statistics. The information provided by the constabulary contain major booby traps and so can non be taken at face value to organize an accurate figure of offenses reported in the official statistics.

There are three important factors which shape the statistics published ; formal recording regulations. the entering behavior of the constabulary and the describing behavior of the populace ( Maguire. 2006 ) . First. the recorded offense statistics do non include all offense classs. being to a great extent weighted by chargeable offenses such as homicide. which are triable in the Crown Court merely. This means that a huge bulk of drumhead offenses. such as child assaults which are tried in a Magistrates Court. are non reported in the official statistics published by the Home Office. Further to this. the recorded offense statistics do non include high degrees of revenue enhancement and benefit fraud. although internal records are kept of the latter offenses. By excepting many drumhead offenses and fraud instances. we can non garner a full and accurate image of offense statistics. However. to rectify this job. the Home Office has made alterations in 1998/9 to include more drumhead offense classs such as common assault. torment and assault on a constable which added over 250. 000 excess offenses.

This addition. although unreal. to an single unaware of the trifles. would propose an utmost addition in the degrees of violent offense. although this is non really the instance. A farther issue with the recording regulations of the constabulary is how offense is counted. Several offenses may be committed in a short infinite of clip and is accordingly regarded as one offense. for illustration a stealer may steal from a three people. this would be regarded as one sole offense. In 1967. following the recommendations of the Perks Committee. clearer numeration regulations were put in topographic point ( Maguire. 2006 ) .

However. these regulations were farther revised in 1998 to take a more victim based attack to numbering offense. so utilizing the old illustration of a stealer stealing from three people. whereas antecedently. these offenses would be counted as one offense. following the new regulations. the stealer would be accountable for three separate offenses as there are three victims. Although the regulations have been revised. some offenses have non been effected by the alterations. this includes on-going domestic maltreatment. This is because. although there are many different occasions of assault. there is merely one victim. therefore merely one offense has been committed. With the inclusion of more offenses and the alterations in numeration regulations. it can be said that there has been an addition in the figure of offenses reported in the constabulary recorded statistics of around 14 % from 1997/8 to 1998/9 ( Home Office. 2001:28 ) Although the official recording regulations provide the rudimentss for entering offense. there is still room for

Chloe Wraight. Level 4 Applied Criminology constabularies discretion. Police entering behavior plays a major function in the low degrees of drumhead offenses that appear in the published statistics. It has been found. by organic structures such as the Audit Commission that certain constabulary forces have been apt for under recording ( Audit Commission 2004 ) . In order to assist decide this issue. the National Crime Recording Standards ( NCRS ) was introduced in 2002. This aimed to better the honestness of constabulary recording and consistence between forces. The criterions were introduced in order to bring forth a closer consistence between offenses logged by the populace and those that went on to be recorded as offenses by the constabulary. making the premise that any incident reported by the populace to the constabulary should be recorded as a offense. This should merely so be removed from the offense records one time there is grounds to propose that the offense had non been committed. This would so supply a fuller image of offenses in the official statistics.

However. it is non possible to command police discretion when constabulary discover crimes themselves whilst out on patrol as they can turn a blind oculus to certain behaviors. The describing behavior of the populace can hold a important impact on the figure of offenses that reach the published offense statistics as the majority of offense reported comes from the populace. So any alterations in describing behavior can hold great impacts on offense tendencies. There are many factors as to why persons may or may non describe offense to the constabulary including alterations in engineering. such as the debut of Mobile phones which has made the coverage offense easier and so could take to an addition in the figure of offenses recorded. Besides. the addition in insurance policies may hold an impact on the addition of recorded offenses as it would be necessary to hold grounds to back up an insurance claim. The most important ground as to why people do or make non describe offenses is the position of the constabulary and their response to offense. It can be said that certain offenses. such as drug usage may non be reported to the constabulary as some persons may experience that nil would be done about the offense and so would be blowing their ain and police clip.

However. we can see an betterment in the positions of constabulary through the rise in recorded colza. due to the betterment in intervention of victims and the constabulary believing more histories of colza ( Blair 1984 ) . hence more victims of colza have come frontward. Finally. constabulary statistics do non incorporate of import information. viz. the context in which certain offenses have been committed. for illustration. robbery provides a diverse set of condemnable Acts of the Apostless. runing from organized robbery to snaping a bag therefore we can non to the full understand the badness of the offenses that are published in official statistics. In decision. with respect to patrol recorded statistics. it can be said that we can non supply any unequivocal replies about offense statistics with concern to tendencies. forms and contexts of offense due to the major ruins in how offense is recorded. reported and counted.

The 2nd beginning of offense statistics is the British Crime Survey ( BCS ) which is an official option to patrol recorded statistics. The British Crime Survey is a face to confront study where the interviewee is asked about their experiences of offense in old 12 months and besides their attitudes towards the constabulary and the Criminal Justice System. The BCS purposes to bring forth a fuller image of offense compared to the offense statistics with respect to certain types of offense ( Mayhew and Hough. 1988 ) utilizing a representative sample of families in England and Wales of persons in the families over the age of 16. If the person has been a victim of offense in the clip period of the old 12 months. they will finish a victim signifier ( Maguire. 2006 ) Further to this. the person will finish self completion faculties. These respect certain subject countries which may be uncomfortable to speak about to an interviewer. The ego

Chloe Wraight. Level 4 Applied Criminology completion faculties cover subjects such as illicit drug usage. sexual assault. domestic force and still hunt. These faculties are completed by the person on the interviewers laptop and one time answered. the replies are hidden ( Home Office. 2011 ) . This can supply positive effects on consequences of sensitive subjects as the person may experience more comfy replying inquiries in private. Besides. this could avoid issues. chiefly with domestic force. with the culprit being present whilst the interview is taking topographic point. Self study faculties allows the person to describe such offenses without fright of farther force from the culprit. A failing of the British Crime Survey is that it does non include many vulnerable groups of people who are more likely to be influenced by offense. including stateless people and those populating in establishments. This could hold a major impact on how representative the consequences gained really are of the whole population.

The British Crime Survey. like recorded offense. does non supply a true image of offense as it does non include offenses that are victimless and offenses set uping those under 16. It besides fails to include new offenses. such as fictile card offenses. due to consistency with the inquiries asked in the study. In decision. it is apparent that when utilizing the two informations beginnings together. we can derive a Fuller apprehension of offense rates within England and Wales. unlike when used individually where it is merely possible to derive a partial image of offense rates. Where the British Crime Survey highlights the fact that there is really 75 % of offense that goes unrecorded by the constabulary. it increases offense statistics dramatically. but this chiefly includes fiddling offenses. The BCS besides shows more unusual offenses. but it is less successful in demoing offenses where the victim knows the wrongdoer such as sexual offenses. these are more dominant in constabulary recorded offenses. Crime statistics are merely grounds about societal and political alterations within a clip period that consequence condemnable behavior. it is non conclusive findings about how much offense rates have increased or decreased in a certain clip period. Statisticss are besides non immune to societal alteration over clip. As stated before. many offenses are brought to visible radiation through public coverage behavior. If a certain behavior. which is condemnable. has become more tolerated over clip due to societal alterations it is less likely to hold a high rate within the official statistics. unless targeted by the constabulary.


Chloe Wraight. Level 4 Applied Criminology Word Count: 1. 709 Reference List Audit Commission ( 2004 ) . Bettering the Quality of Crime Records in Police Authorities and Forces in England and Wales. London: Audit Commission Blair. I. ( 1984 ) . Investigating Rape: A New Approach for the Police. London: Croom Helm. Home Office. ( 2001 ) . Condemnable Statistics. England and Wales 2000. London: Home Office Home Office. ( 2011 ) . Users Guide to Home Office Crime Statistics. London: Home Office Maguire. M. . Morgan. R. . Reiner. R. ( 2006 ) Oxford Handbook of Criminology. 4th Edition. Chapter 10. Oxford: Oxford University Press Mayhew. P. and Hough. J. M. ( 1988 ) . ‘ The British Crime Survey: Beginnings and Impact’ . in M. Maguire and J. Indicating. Victims of Crime: A New Deal? . Milton Keynes: Open University Press. Walker. A. . Kershaw. C. . Nicholas. S. ( 2006 ) . Crime in England and Wales 2005/06. London: Home Office

A limited
time offer!
Save Time On Research and Writing. Hire a Professional to Get Your 100% Plagiarism Free Paper