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4 Cards in this Set

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What is the definition of crime?

An act committed in violation of the law where the consequence of conviction by a court is punishment.

The two problems with defining crime

-cultural, what's considered a crime in one culture is not in another, i.e. Multiple wives



-historical, definitions of crime has changed over time, i.e. Homosexuality, crime till 1967. Right to hit child outlawed in 2004

Three ways of measuring crime

-official statistics, government records of the total number of crimes reported to police and recorded in the official figures



-victim surveys, records people's experience of crime over a specific period. 'The crime survey' asks people to document the crimes they have been a victim of in the past year



-offender survey, involves individuals volunteering details of the number and types of crimes they have committed.

Evaluation: Crime 5 AO3

-official statistics, characterised as unreliable in that they significantly underestimate the true extent of crime 25% are reported, 75% known as 'the dark figure'


Northampton police were more likely to report thefts under £10 suggesting police priorities distort official figures



-victim surveys, more likely to include details of crimes that weren't reported to police, therefore thought to have a better degree of accuracy compared to official statistics.


'Telescoping' may occur when victim misremembers an event, distort figures



-offender surveys, tells us how many people are responsible for certain offences, small group? Individual? However, offenders may exaggerate or conceal info 'too serious'.


Also, certain types of crime go unreported 'middle class' offences ie Freud



-multidisciplinary, combo of all methods provides true insight into the extent of offending



-politics, parties use types to their advantage