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Criminology (1st edn)

Steve Case, Phil Johnson, David Manlow, Roger Smith, and Kate Williams
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date: 12 August 2022

p. 1125. Crime statisticslocked

p. 1125. Crime statisticslocked

  • Steve Case, Steve CaseProfessor of Criminology, University of Loughborough
  • Phil Johnson, Phil JohnsonCriminology Lecturer and Academic Subject Leader, University Centre at Blackburn College
  • David Manlow, David ManlowPrincipal Lecturer in Criminology
  • Roger SmithRoger SmithProfessor of Social Work, Durham University
  •  and Kate WilliamsKate WilliamsSenior Lecturer in Criminology, Aberystwyth University


This chapter examines why the government wants to know about crime and how it goes about collecting the information it wants, whether that is the information it needs, and what is done with this knowledge once it is produced. It considers what recorded crime statistics actually measure by looking at various offence categories as well as patterns of offending in England and Wales. It also explores the main problems with police recorded crime statistics and what is meant by the ‘justice gap’; how the collation of crime statistics relates to broader issues of politics and power; and the main strengths and weaknesses of attempting to measure criminal behaviour through the use of social surveys. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) as a way of measuring crime and its trends in those countries.

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