Advantages And Disadvantages Of Police Statistics

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In general, official statistics of crime recorded by the police and surveys of the public such as victim surveys and self-report studies are the three main measures of the extent of crime in Britain. The oldest method is to rely on official data collected by criminal justice agencies, such as data on arrests or convictions. The other two rely on social surveys. In one case, individuals are asked if they have been victims of crime; in the other, they are asked to self-report their own criminal activity. (Terence P. Thornberry and Marvin D. Krohn) Although these are a main secondary source of quantitative data, each of them may contain some drawbacks. Thus, this essay will introduce these three methods and demonstrates their disadvantages, such as the police crime statistics exclude the unreported and unrecorded crime;…show more content…
The police records crime reported by the public in 43 police force areas and provides these data to the Home Office and for their Basic Command Units. These data provide a wealth of statistical information on recorded crime rates and possibly identify long-term trends in recorded crime rates. Due to such data collecting process, how crime being reported by the victims or witnesses and recorded by the police may affect the accuracy of such official statistics. Thus, however, the main drawbacks of this kind of statistics are excluding crimes that are not discovered, reported or recorded. Firstly, some criminal activities are not witnessed or discovered then not recorded officially by the police. According to Croall (1998), a crime being counted officially should be perceived and recognised by a member of the public, a victim or law enforcement officers. For example, white –collar crimes such as fraud or misuse of expense accounts may not be discovered easily. Therefore, crimes that are not be seen may be uncounted in the official crime
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