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Textbook on Criminology

Textbook on Criminology (7th edn)

Katherine S. Williams
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date: 23 January 2022

4. The extent of crime: a comparison of official and unofficial calculationslocked

4. The extent of crime: a comparison of official and unofficial calculationslocked

  • Katherine S. WilliamsKatherine S. WilliamsLecturer in Law, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Abstract

Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter focuses on the measurement of crime. The first part discusses the statistics collected by the police, considering the reasons for the reporting and non-reporting of offences; police recording of crimes; and other official effects on crime statistics. The second part considers the ‘dark figure of crime’, i.e. criminal activity in England and Wales that is not covered by criminal statistics. Many criminologists have tried to assess the size of the dark figure. The three methods used are estimates (or guesses), self-report studies, and victim surveys.

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