Crime Statistics “Crime statistics is an attempt to provide statistical measures of the crime in societies.” Unfortunately, because some crime is secretive, some unknown because they are never reported, therefore the results become very inaccurate. There are several ways on how these statistics are received, such as, hospital of insurance records, household surveys, and reports for several law enforcement agencies. Many countries gather their statistical crime information and it becomes of interest to international organizations such as, Interpol and the United Nations. Places like the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Home Office in England & Whales, are the agencies that publish these crime statistics and compile the statistics based on the different crimes that have been reported. Statistics are usually collected on based on three categories: Offenses, the breach of law; Offenders, those who commit the offenses; and the victims, the ones who are offended against.
That usually means reverting to street crimes. These crimes include burglary, vandalism, and selling drugs. Those individuals feel that street crime is the only way they will obtain material success. Merton's theory may stand true when comparing social status with street crime; however, his theory becomes weak when the crimes include white-collar and business crimes. Therefore, Merton's theory has become an “anomie theory”.
There are many theories relating to deviance and crime with each theory illustrating a different aspect of the procedure by which people break rules and are classed as deviants or criminals. (New texts pg 138) which highlights the problems in defining crime or deviance. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CRIME AND DEVIANCE Many believe crime and deviance has developed on separate tracks over the years as criminologist serve only for legality, crime and crime-related phenomena. The study of deviance however serves for a wider range of behaviours that are not necessarily illegal for example suicide, alcoholism, homosexuality, mentally disordered behaviours. (Bader et al) The main difference between crime and deviance is deviant behaviour is when a social norm has been broken whereas a crime is where a formal and social norm is broken.
Official statistics is the name given to the numbers of crimes reported to or unveiled by the police themselves, which lead to a conviction, caution or are dealt with in some formal way by the law. Only offences which are dealt with by one of the above are actually recorded in official statistics. These offences can vary from minor incidents such as a window being broken to, an offence of a more serious nature such as rape or murder. These are social problems that are constructed by society, something that goes against the 'normal' runnings of society. The statistics can give us an understanding as to the levels of these crimes and as to why or where they are most likely to occur.
The British Crime Survey also includes crimes which are not reported to the police, therefore is an important alternative to police records and provides criminologists, the police, the courts, the media and anyone else who has an interest with the statistics, two different types of data: Firstly trends on crime over time chartered, Details are compiled from offenders who are eventually found guilty or cautioned; details gathered include sex and the age of the offender. Information is gathered on the “Known offender”, in this case the “Typical offender”, (Maguire 1997). Official crime
Under conditions of high population density, various contexts will exist in which the offender and target are present, but in spite of higher densities, capable guardians are either not present, or if present cannot be effectively deployed. Time of day, for example, may be critical. The population densities reported here apply, as they do in any national census, to the resident population that is actually present in the census-recorded locations at night, while for the most part away at work during daylight hours. Thus domestic assaults and even street crimes may occur virtually undetected in daytime in a neighbourhood with a nominally high population density but with a large proportion of the population at work during the day. By and large, the available evidence increasingly tends to suggest that most types of crime tend to increase in levels of occurrence with increasing population density.” (Conclusions and
Describing crime and deviance is varied across different cultures; history; social situations and place. It will look at the bodies that measure crime and look at the reasons why they are not accurate. There are several differences between crime and deviance, deviance is a violation of the social norms whereas crime is a violation of the laws of the land. Society has no power for deviance but the government can punish with crime. Much behaviour that was seen as deviant in the past has today become a criminal offence, as with crime behaviour seen as criminal is now seen as deviant.
Despite this, Positivists see official crime statistics as a reliable indicator of crime patterns. Positivists seek the causes of crime and over time can compare social groups and look for patterns in crime. The groups that are most likely to be convicted are young males, some ethnic minorities, inner city dwellers and working class. As not all crime is reported however, the statistics do not give a true picture. (Hallam et al.
Once a law enforcement agency has established that a crime has been committed, a suspect must be identified and apprehended for the case to proceed through the system. Sometimes, a suspect is apprehended at the scene; however, identification of a suspect sometimes requires an extensive investigation. Often, no one is identified or apprehended. In some instances, a suspect is arrested and later the police determine that no crime was committed and the suspect is released. (Bureau of Justice Statistics) If the justice system fails then any crime can be committed such as rape, burglary, murder, driving under the influence, etc.
Although police officers are authority figures for which who should be trusted, police officers are not trusted today. There are many police officers who abuse their authority and should be held accountable for their actions. There are many crimes being committed for which excessive force is being used today. The crimes being committed today which may need to use excessive force is need to apprehend criminals who are under the influence of many different drugs such as alcohol, and control dangerous substance. This is place because the tradition of an eye for an eye and tooth for tooth.