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January 12, 2009 / C H Thompson

Crime statistics

PoliceThere are three different methods for recording crime. These are Home Office Figures (otherwise known as Police Records or Official Figures); British Crime Survey and Self-Report Studies.

Home Office Figures show the number of crimes recorded by the police. These figures are seen to be objective as the criminal data is recorded by the police themselves. However there are issues surrounding the recoding of any data by officials which is evident in this article. 

 In contrast the British Crime Survey is otherwise known as a ‘victim study’. This is because you get asked to record the number of crimes which have been inflicted on you. Whereas as Self-Report Studies ask for the number of crimes perpetrated by you! The trouble is if you were wearing anti-rape knickers what would any assault be recorded as?

The slide below identifies all the main characteristics of each statistical measure. Look through the table and then answer the following questions beneath this slide.

Task 2 – please complete questions 1 to 4 before moving on.

We now come to our first synoptic section of the course. Because part of this unit is about focusing on crime statistics it requires a comprehensive understanding of the research methods used to compile thesecrimestats2006 statistics, so you can assess the strengths and weaknesses of these methods.

To fully comprehend the diversity of methods used, it’s useful to read this article on the research methods used by academics to understand the motivations in UK hitmen. As you will remember you studied research methods at AS. You now need to apply this knowledge to this unit, which we will now do in Task 2!

Task 2 – The reasoning and complications surrounding crime statistics and the different methods used to collect this data is examined in the following research methods page. You will need to read through the research methods page in detail in order to answer the remaining question in Task 2.

As well as understanding the different methods used you need to understand the principles behind each research method. This is a key piece of learning for this module as research methods is one of the main synoptic links.

To help you understand this process listen to the following Radio 4 clip and take as many notes as you can on the research methods used. Then, using the information you’ve gathered complete the chart below.

Next lesson

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