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Patterns of crime

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British Crime Survey
Annual victimization survey carried out by the Home Office
Home Office
Government department responsible for criminal justice matters
Islington Crime Surveys
Famous local victimization studies focusing on one area of North London. These showed that the BCS underreported the higher levels of victimization of minority ethnic groups and domestic violence.
Where there is an informal agreement that if an accused person pleads guilty to a lesser crime than that of which he or she is accused, the prosecution will agree.
Repeat victimization
Where people are victims of the same crime more than once.
(LATE MODERNITY) Garland suggests this is the shift towards blaming people for becoming victims of crime, by suggesting they have not taken adequate precautions.
Risk management
(LATE MODERNITY) The process whereby governments strop trying to prevent all crime and instead see it as their job to limit the risk of crime for the population.
Refers to the extent of disorder or minor criminal activity that people will accept. E.g. portrayal of domestic violence from a family matter to criminal activity.
Victimization surveys
Where people are asked what crimes have happened to them over a particular period.
Official statistics
They have been collected since 1857 and so provide us with an excellent historical overview of changing trends over time. They also give us a completely accurate view of the way that the criminal justice system processes offenders through arrests, trials, punishments and so on. They are used as guides for the formation of social policy in relation to crime by governments and social control agencies.
Official statistics AO2
1. Its use introduces systematic bias into the study of crime, stigmatising l/c ethnic minority males in the inner city and ignoring huge amounts of white-collar and corporate crime. 2. Statistical correlations between crime and social factors can lead to simplistic explanations of the causes of crime an inappropriate measures to combat it.
Police-recorded statistics
They are SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONS (as not all crimes are reported). Reasons for non-reporting: 1. Too trivial to bother the police with 2. A private matter 3. To embarrassing e.g. male rape 4. They may fear reprisals
Victim surveys AO2
1. The problem of basing stats on victims' memories is that recollections are often faulty or biased. 2. Despite victim surveys being anonymous, people appear to underreport sexual offences. 3. They omit a range of crimes, such as fraud and corporate crime. 4. Under 16s are excluded
Self-report studies
Where people are asked to note down the crimes they have committed over a particular period e.g. illegal drug use. Weaknesses: 1.Validity (may lie or exaggerate) 2. Representativeness (usually young people and students, there are no such surveys on professional criminals or drug traffickers) 3. Relevance (because of the problem of representativeness, the majority of the crimes uncovered tend to be trivial).
Age and crime
While most young criminals 'grow out' of their illegal activities as they settle down to family responsibilities, they continue to demonstrate a lack of self-control in their lives e.g. heavy drinking.