Crime Statistics : Police Crime Records And Court And Prison Figures

916 WordsJun 10, 20154 Pages
CRIME STATISTICS IN THE UK OFFICIAL CRIME STATISTICS Official crime statistics are obtained from ‘the records kept by the police and other official agencies’ (Moore, Aiken, Chapman 2006, p. 267). These records are gathered and published by the Home Office. According to Moore and Sinclair (1995) for an action to be officially categorised as a crime it should be considered as deviant and reported to the police. Then, the police should respond in the way which will start the legal process. There are two main types of official crime statistics: police crime records and court and prison figures. The police systemising records of the crimes into different categories, for example: burglary, child abuse, domestic violence etc. The courts register convictions for criminal offences. The prisons record how many convicts are in and which offences they committed. The official statistics are useful from historical point of view as they have been kept since 1857. They are providing valid perspective on crime tendencies in the society, geographical crime rates, police workload and changes in the criminal justice system over the time. However, the official crime statistics as any other kind of statistics are part of social processes, influenced by many factors and cannot show the whole picture of the extend of crime. The police records in general tend to underestimate the crime rate. On many occasions people do not report crimes as they regard them as too trivial (such as vandalism, for

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