Outline and Assess the Usefulness of Official Statistics of Crime to Sociologists.

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Outline and assess the usefulness of official statistics of crime to sociologists.

There are three main sources of information about the crimes for sociologists – the official crime statistics, which are collected by the police and are presented as secondary data for sociologists; victim survey such as British Crime Survey, which is also collected by the police and sponsored by the government, and in order to collect primary data sociologists use self-report studies and its aim is to uncover the true amount of crime in the society.
OCS are a source of secondary data, therefore it can be trusted as it has been verified before by other researches and are accepted by some sociologists uncritically, for example functionalist sociologists
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Also the representativeness is questioned because all crimes cannot be included in a questionnaire as the researcher has to be selective, so as a result some people may have committed a crime, but they can neither report it because of fear of being fined or put in jail nor because it is not included in the questionnaire. This means that the number of crimes in statistics will be decreased, however it will not represent the reality. In addition to this problem, mainly the youth are questioned as the BCS 2007 states that most of the crimes are committed by males aged from 15 to 25 and by females aged from 13 to 19 in England and Wales, therefore the rest of the population is not included and the concept of “white collar” crime is created, which is middle classed people not admitting their crimes, therefore this information cannot be generalized among the population.
As separate pieces of the research, all of the methods have their own advantages, however there are mainly disadvantages that make all of them either invalid or unreliable and nor representative. However if all these methods were combined into one – a mixed method research, all the qualities of the researches could have gone up, therefore it could have been even more useful to sociologists. Even though

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