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Cover Criminology

3. What do crime statistics tell us?  

Tim Hope

This chapter focuses on one of the most popular of crime statistics—the crime rate—which provides an index of crime occurring in a particular jurisdiction for a specific time period. It discusses the nature of crime statistics; counting crime; recording incidents as criminal offences; reporting crime to the police; the frequency of crime victimization; and the rate of crime victimization.


Cover Criminology Skills

3. Statistics and official publications  

A number of government and other official agencies collect statistics that provide insight into the extent of criminal behaviour, and produce reports that explore issues such as the impact of crime; policy considerations concerning responses to crime; and evaluations of the work of the various agencies involved in the criminal justice system, such as the police, the courts, prisons, and the probation service. This chapter describes the various types of statistics and reports available, explains how they can be used in the study of criminology, and details where they can be found.


Cover Criminology

16. ‘Race’, ethnicity, and crime  

Marian FitzGerald

This chapter begins by exploring notions of ‘race’ and ethnicity. It then provides some background on how particular groups have come to be defined as ‘ethnic minorities’ in Britain and what the official statistics on these groups say about the differences between them—with particular reference to known risk factors for offending. After outlining the history of these groups' relations with the police and public perceptions of their involvement in crime and disorder, it considers trends in the official statistics on ethnicity and offending. The chapter argues that criminologists must interpret crime statistics in the light of relevant criminological theories rather than giving primacy to explanations which treat the experiences of different ‘ethnic’ groups as if they were unique.


Cover Understanding Deviance
Understanding Deviance provides a comprehensive guide to the current state of criminological theory. It outlines the principal theories of crime, deviance, and rule-breaking, discussing them chronologically, and placing them in their European and North American contexts considering major criticisms that have been voiced against them, and constructing defences where appropriate. The volume has been revised and brought up-to-date to include new issues of crime, deviance, disorder, criminal justice, and social control in the early twenty-first century. It considers new trends in criminological theory such as cultural criminology and public criminology, further discussion of how post-modernism and the ‘risk society’ is reformulating crime and deviance, and an assessment of how different approaches address the fall in crime rates across most democratic and developed societies. There is also a new chapter on victimology.