The Usefulness of Ocs in Measuring Crime

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Deviance is not usually a crime, but may be seen as one. Deviance is when someone breaks the norms and values of a society, but the act is not illegal. Crime is where a person beaks the law of land, they either do something they shouldn’t, or they don’t do something they should. Crime and deviance can be measured with the use of Official Crime Statistic (OCS). OCS is the crimes which are reported by the victim, and then further recorded by the Police. Not all crimes are recorded by the Police, which lead to a dark figure in the overall collected OCS. To avoid dark figures there are other methods to measure crime and deviance.

OCS is a police recorded measure of crime. One could argue that the police play a key role in how much crime there is in society. Police dispersal is much greater, and targets extra resources in particular localities, such as urban inner city areas, or target areas consisting of working class or ethnic minorities. This can then relate to the police discretion, the interpretations and meanings that the police attach to behaviour and social groups when deciding to make an arrest, this could also be associated with social characteristics of the police officer. This shows that the OCS can be deemed as unreliable, due to the police discretion.

Marxist view OCS as a bad measure of crime and deviance, as most laws are enforced to focus on the lower and working class. This means that there is less focus placed on white collar crimes, which are rarely prosecuted and the law does not define the crimes for the ‘rich’ criminals. Crimes such as embezzlement is most likely dealt with out of the public eye, and in house. Marxists argue that the working class is criminalised and that sociologists’ use of these statistics will only serve to maintain ruling class deception. OCS are seen by Marxists as a part of the ideological weaponry of the bourgeoisie. The Marxist view further highlights the negativity of people in higher status created OCS, in...
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