Definitions and the counting of crime

Mahoney, Ian (2017) Definitions and the counting of crime. In: An introduction to criminal justice. Sage, London, pp. 40-58. ISBN 978-1-41296-212-4

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Abstract

This chapter argues that there are no universally agreed definitions of crime and that, even in the case of crimes such as murder, there is often disagreement as to which acts should be categorised as such. It shows how debates about the definition of crime influence its measurement, highlighting the different methodologies used in compiling police crime figures, the Crime Survey of England and Wales and other measures. Weaknesses in the methodologies of each of these forms of data collection will be used to demonstrate the impossibility of determining the true ‘crime rate’ with particular reference to current concerns over the validity of figures compiled by police forces. The extent to which changing levels of crime since the 1950s can be mapped through statistics will be discussed.

Item Type: Book Section
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Social Science
Depositing User: Ian Mahoney
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2017 11:15
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2017 11:15
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/1833

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