Has crime increased/decreased or remained at a stable level over the past 30 years?The first British Crime Survey was carried out in 1982 (of crime experienced in 1981) and therefore data is only available for the past 25 years rather than 30. According to the British Crime Survey, crime was increasing steadily until the early 1990’s, where it increased rapidly to a peak around 1995. After this it decreased quite quickly and since 2001/2002 it decreased very slowly until 2005 since when it has been somewhat steady. The crime figures are similar to what they were in 1981.
However, according to the police recorded crimes, crime has increased slightly since 1981 but at a very slow and steady rate. It was fairly steady until 1990 where it increased since when it has been mostly steady only decreasing slightly in 1998 to increase again until 2005/2006. According to the British Crime Survey, although crime has at times increased and decreased, it has remained at a fairly stable level over the past 25years, whereas according to police recorded figures, the level of crime has increased slightly.Sources:Crime in England and Wales 2006/2007, Home Office Statistical Bulletin, www.
homeoffice.gov.uk2. On the most recent figures, what percentage of all crimes recorded by the police do the following constitute:1. Murder?Murder (or homicide) accounts for roughly 1% of all police recorded crime; the actual number may be closer to 0.5%.2. Rape?Rape hardly makes up 1% of all crimes recorded by the police; it may actually be around 0.
3% but is often rounded up to 1%.3. Theft?Theft makes up 21 or 22% of all crimes recorded by the police.4. Car theft?Car theft accounts for 14% of all police recorded crimes.Sources:Crime in England and Wales 2006/2007, Home Office Statistical Bulletin, www.
homeoffice.gov.uk3. On the most recent British Crime Survey figures, what is the most commonly experienced form of crime?According to the most recent British Crime Survey, the most commonly experienced form of crime is property related crime. This includes burglary, vehicle theft, vandalism / criminal damage and other theft.
Collectively, property crime accounts for 78% of all British Crime Survey crimes.Sources:Crime in England and Wales 2006/2007, Home Office Statistical Bulletin, www.homeoffice.gov.uk4. What is meant by ‘clear-up’ rates?Clear-up rates is the term often used to refer to the rates of crimes that have been solved.
Clear-up rates have frequently been used as an indicator of police efficiency. However, there are a number of different ways in which ‘solved’ can be defined. These are some of the conditions that may allow a crime to be defined as ‘cleared up’ or ‘solved’:* Someone has been charged or summonsed (though not necessarily convicted).* Someone has been cautioned.
* The offence has been ‘taken into consideration’ at court – someone has admitted it even thought they haven’t been prosecuted for it.* There is sufficient evidence to prosecute someone, but no prosecution is proceeding (incapacity of the offender, victim, witness and so on).* Victim is unwilling to give evidence.* Offender is below the age of criminal responsibility (under ten).* The offender is already in prison for another sentence.Clear-up rates vary between offence types, and historically, have also varied markedly between police forces though this has somewhat changed since the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard.
These variations can occur due to the proportion of offences reported; of those reported, the proportion recorded; of these how many are ‘cleared-up’; and, finally, how many result in a caution, a conviction or a prison sentence.Sources:Newburn, T. (2007) Criminology (Cullompton: Willan Publishing)5. Give examples of variations in clear up rates between crime categories. What reasons might be given for these variations?There are often variations in clear up rates between different crime categories.
These can be due to a number of different reasons. For example; an important one is availability of evidence. Because there is not sufficient evidence available the case cannot be taken any further, the offender cannot be charged and therefore the case is left ‘unsolved’.
Such as fraud and forgery cases are now much easier to solve with the use of improved technology that track a persons movements and so on, whereas a crime such as domestic violence may not be as easy to solve with victims finding it difficult to speak up often with lack of support from family members. Many other factors can also affect clear-up rates for certain crimes.Some crimes may not be recorded down by police or even if they are recorded, the police may not see them as highly important and choose not to follow up on them.
Some cases that seem ‘trivial’ to the police can often be left hanging around with no will or desire of the police to attempt to have the case ‘cleared-up’. Some crimes also have many different ways of defining a crime, for example; if a person is attacked by 5 youths, does the police record that as one incident or five? If only one of the 5 youths is charged, does that mean the case is solved or is there still work to be done? Definition can often provide many problems in such situations.6. What is the National Crime Recording Standard and why is it important?The Association of Chief Police Officers, Home Office and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary carried out investigations into crime recording variations and found that variation in recording practices had made it difficult to accurately measure comparisons between police forces and national estimates of the level of recorded crime. The Association of Chief Police Officers then, with assistance from the Home Office, developed the National Crime Recording Standard. In April 2002 all police forces across England and Wales adopted the National Crime Recording Standard, though few had adopted it before this.
The aim of the National Crime Recording Standard was to increase consistency in the way police record crime and to take on a more victim-led approach in recording crime by recording alleged offences as well as evidence-based ones. It is important because it allows a more reliable estimate of real crime trends to be made. Before the police would not have recorded a crime until there was evidence or they were assured that a crime had in fact occurred.
This also means that victims who do not have much evidence are able to be given fair attention and taken seriously.Sources:National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS): An analysis of the impact on recorded crime, Companion Volume to Crime in England and Wales 2002/2003, Part Two: Impact on individual police forces, www.homeoffice.gov.
uk7. Which groups in the population are most at risk of becoming victims of violent crime?Young males (aged 16 – 24) are at most risk of becoming victims of violent crime. Full time students and unemployed people are also highly at risk of becoming victims of violent crime. It has also been noticed that this risk varies according to lifestyle characteristics.
For example; people who visit pubs and bars regularly are at more risk of violence. The risk of single people becoming victims of violent crime was also higher than most average.Sources:Crime in England and Wales 2006/2007, Home Office Statistical Bulletin, www.homeoffice.
gov.uk8. In terms of age and gender, which groups in the population are most likely to be known as offenders?79% of offenders in violent incidents are male. When victims were asked to estimate the age of offenders, it was found that in 10% of violent incidents the victims judged the offender to be of school age. Offenders aged from 16 to 24 were involved in 48% (nearly half) of all violent crimes.
Offenders of the same age group were estimated to be involved in 69% (over two-thirds) of all mugging incidents. These estimations have remained consistent throughout time where young males aged 16 to 24 are most likely to be known as offenders.Sources:Violent Crime in England and Wales, Home Office Online Report 18/04, www.homeoffice.gov.uk9.
Compared with other countries, is the crime rate in England and Wales high/low/average?In comparison to other countries, the crime rate in England and Wales is quite high. In a ranking of 60 countries, England and Wales comes right near the top at number 6. Dominica, New Zealand, Denmark, Chile and Finland are the countries that have higher crime rates than Britain.
Major Western European countries such as the France, Germany, Canada and Norway do not even appear in the top 10. The USA appears at number 8, still two places below England and Wales.Sources:Total crimes (per capita) (most recent) by country, www.nationmaster.com10. In comparison with other jurisdictions, is the use of imprisonment in England and Wales low, high or average?In comparison to countries such as France, Germany, and Italy, the use of imprisonment in England and Wales, was found to be almost 50% higher, and double in comparison to Scandinavian states. It was also found that England and Wales have one of the highest proportions of women prisoners and that there are there are more young people in prison than in any other Western European country (with only Turkey and Ukraine imprisoning a higher number). It was revealed that only eastern European states imprison more than England and Wales.
Only 6 more EU countries imprison more people than the UK (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary). Other EU countries such as Bulgaria and Turkey imprison fewer people regardless of their poor human rights records. In Western Europe, Spain has the second highest rate of imprisonment. It was also found that despite the social and political problems in Northern Ireland, it only imprisons just over half as many people England and Wales do.
Therefore the use of imprisonment in England and Wales, in comparison with other jurisdictions is high.Sources:England and Wales lead Europe in imprisonment, January 2006, www.wsws.org