Outline and Assess Different Measures of Crime and Deviance

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When measuring crime and deviance sociologists use three different means, those are official statistics, self-report studies and victim surveys. These methods of collecting data have both strong points and weak points, but by combining them a possible general picture of crime and deviance could be drawn. The sociological theories have varying perspectives on the usefulness of generating measurable crime statistics and the validity of each method.

Firstly official statistics are compiled and then published every 6 months by the Home Office, and are drawn from records kept by the police and other official agencies. But due to the fact that official statistics are only compiled from crime that has been reported leading to someone being charged and convicted of that crime those crimes that go unreported are obviously not included. By use of official statistics we can see trends in crime throughout history, which crime rates are rising and which are falling and from that starting point we can work out the reasons for this change. In my opinion though official statistics may not be able to cover every crime as not all is recorded it can still gives us a starting point when looking for crime trends and the sociological reasons behind that. For example we can see through looking at the downloadable PDF Social Trends 40 that crimes such as theft, vandalism and household crime have increased from last year and through further statistics we can see that gang activity has also increased we can then put two and two together to show us why these crimes are increasing through use of the official statistics.

Feminists would argue that crimes that stereotypically affect women (such as domestic abuse or rape) are not covered in these statistics, as the women are too embarrassed or scared to come forward. As a result of this, feminists believe the statistics are not a realistic reflection on domestic or spousal abuse rates as the husbands or boyfriends are not being brought...
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