Chapter 3. Notes - Chapter 3 The Nature and Extent of Crime...

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Chapter 3 The Nature and Extent of Crime Why Do Crime Rates Change ? Reporting-sensitive Is the public willing to call police? ________________ What are police looking for? Definition-sensitive Has the law changed? _________________ What are the media publicizing? Real change Is behaviour changing? Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) Collected by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics 1962: aggregate (summary) data collected each month from all police forces 1984: revised UCR2 collects information about each crime, more detail, 122 police forces participate (about ___________ of all crime) CCJS also conducts Homicide Survey (since 1961) Collecting the UCR _____________________ actual (reported) and founded (through investigation) Percentage change from year to year Crime rate # of crimes / population x 100,000 Clearance rate (by charge or otherwise) Can the police identify a suspect?
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Accuracy of the UCR _________________________ Are people willing/able to call the police? e.g. sexual assault ___________________________ Are police cracking down on some crimes and not others? e.g. zero tolerance policies Legal Definitions Have the laws changed? e.g. prostitution Accuracy of the UCR Media practices Do news stories encourage citizens to report more incidents? Do news reports encourage police to crack down? Methodological practices How are the crimes counted? How do police decide if a crime is founded? Self-report Surveys People report their _________________________ anonymously Used with captive audience e.g. students, prisoners. Problems with accuracy Lying, forgetting, bragging Emphasis is on minor offences e.g. drug and alcohol use Are the most deviant least likely to respond? e.g. truants Self-reports seem to be surprisingly accurate Victim Surveys US since 1966; Canada since 1988
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Mainly through telephone interviews Canadian Urban Victimization Survey (CUVS) General Social Survey (GSS) Violence Against Women Survey (VAWS) Includes questions about fear of crime Survey findings
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