Statistics And Crime Statistics On Crime

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Official crime statistics refer to statistical data which are compiled by official agencies such as the police and courts, and are published by the state. National statistics about crime in England and Wales have been collected and published by the Home Office annually since 1857. These figures are compiled by putting together the offences recorded by the police in each of the forty-three police areas in England and Wales. The statistics contained in these volumes are of great significance, not only for those who study crime or work in the criminal justice system, but also for politicians, the mass media and the general public, for whom these are the major source of authorized information about the extent and trends in crime. These figures give an indication of whether crime is increasing or decreasing and allow geographical areas to be compared, they also give a good indication of police workload. However, official statistics on crime arguably have serious deficiencies. Whether official crime statistics are an accurate measure of the extent and seriousness of crime can be questioned for a number of reasons, which will be discussed in the following essay. Alternative methods of measuring crime such as self-report studies and victim surveys, which may be a more accurate measure of the extent and seriousness of crime will also be discussed.

A crucial factor that can affect the recorded level of crime is the extent to which members of the public are prepared to report

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