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(p. 112) 5. Crime statistics 

(p. 112) 5. Crime statistics
(p. 112) 5. Crime statistics

Steve Case

, Phil Johnson

, David Manlow

, Roger Smith

, and Kate Williams

Page of

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date: 30 May 2020

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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