The Extent to Which Official Crime Statistics Provides a Reliable Estimate of the Amount of Crime Committed in England and Wales

961 Words 4 Pages
The Extent to Which Official Crime Statistics Provides a Reliable Estimate of the Amount of Crime Committed in England and Wales

The Criminal Justice System is an area of the English Legal System that strikes a balance between punishing the guilty and protecting the innocent. This balance has been the subject of much debate in the last 20 years because there has been a large number of miscarriages of justice, where innocent citizens/ people are sent to prison. This then suggested that the system had tipped this balance too far and was greatly engaged in proving guilt. Examples of high profile cases that show some of these miscarriages of justice are , The Birmingham Six and The Guilford Four. The
…show more content…
These sources of media all contribute to crime and the fear of crime that usually relates to personal safety. Research have shown that this fear is especially high in the elderly, female and ethnic minority groups. So the higher the crime rate the higher the fear of crime. It is also important to question the authenticity of crimes reported by the media - has enough evidence been carried out before the crimes were published?.

Official statistics on crime are published annually in the UK, and provide two main kind of information: the number of crimes committed, as a whole and by type of crime; and certain characteristics such as sex and age, of convicted offender.

The British Crime Survey (BCS) is a yearly survey that collects data on crimes in England and Wales. This data is collected through randomly sent out questionnaires. There are also the Homes Office Figures which record all crimes reported to police. BCS figures include non reported crimes, while the Home Office includes only crimes reported. A number of studies have shown that majority of crimes which take place are not reported to the police. According to the BCS, the main reasons for not reporting are that the police would not be able to do anything about it. People also tend to report crimes where