Measuring The Validity Of The Figures For Doncaster Town Centre

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Even once data has been collected, there are a number of threats to the validity of the results. As exemplified in Skinns’ research carried out in Doncaster town centre in 1998, displacement can be a common problem. Results showed a 16% decrease in crime rates in Doncaster town centre. However there was evidence of geographical displacement to the surrounding towns that showed a 31% increase in crime rates. This therefore affects the validity of the figures for Doncaster because taking both figures into account the overall reduction in crime is only 6% (Skinns, 1998). It is difficult to measure displacement because the surrounding areas where crime has supposedly been displaced to may show these results because they have not yet been introduced to CCTV cameras. A further threat to validity is the possibility of other changes to the area under surveillance. In Doncaster for instance there were changes in the policing styles and there was introduction of out of town shopping resulting in fewer people in Doncaster town centre. As a result, reductions in crime rate could have been influenced by the amount of people actually present in the area (Coleman & Norris, 2000).

A third threat to validity is the possibility that results are caused by natural fluctuations in crime rates that would occur without any interference from crime prevention strategies. To combat this problem Ditton and Short have compared the crime rates of the areas under surveillance, to other places in the
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