Essay on The Accuracy And Reliability Of Criminal Statistics

1393 Words May 5th, 2016 null Page
The accuracy and reliability of criminal statistics is something that has been of great discussion through criminology for decades. Whilst some believe that crime statistics are a misuse of time and resources, others believe that there is some use for them within the criminological community. The inaccuracies of criminal statistics come highlighted in abundance within academic articles and research, many of which highlight the main source as the dark figure of crime. Many also suggest other inconsistencies within official statistics to be influenced by law enforcement agencies and society. But whilst there is much research to suggest that criminal statistics are unreliable and of no use, there are some that suggest that this may not be entirely the case.

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Statistics recorded about crime and victimisation hold many reasons for their inaccuracy, one of these main reasons is the dark figure of crime. The dark figure of crime is suggested to be an occurrence that can be called a crime by some measure, but is not documented within official crime statistics, therefore they go unrecorded (Biderman & Reiss, 1976, p.1). The main source of criminal statistics are recorded by the police. The police can only record on crimes found and/or reported to them by others. Bishop (2004, p.65) highlights that, “not all crimes committed are detected by the police, or, necessarily, the victims” and, “not all crimes committed are reported to the police.” Lewis (2013,…

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