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What is Crime - and as many as two out of three crimes are...

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What is Crime Robertson (1989:123) maintains that a crime is "an act that contravenes a law." Generally speaking, deviant behavior becomes a crime when it is too disruptive and uncontrollable via informal sanctions. Like all forms of deviance, crime is a relative matter. Most people, however, in any given society tend to view the difference between criminal and noncriminal behavior as being absolute. Sources of Crime Information Most of our information concerning crime comes from the FBI's "Uniform Crime Report (UCR) ." The UCR includes crimes such as murder, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, auto theft, and arson. The UCR is criticized sometimes because of the information it does not report . It, for example, includes only offenses that are known to the police
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Unformatted text preview: and as many as two out of three crimes are not reported to the police . UCR statistics under estimate the crime rate because of underreporting, . Due to this weakness, many criminologists prefer to use the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) . The NCVS asks people whether they have experienced a crime. It may come closer to documenting the full extent of criminal behavior in the United States. The UCR is also criticized because it tends to focus on crimes committed by the poor . Reiman (1998), for example, argues that the UCR does not do a very good job of cataloguing white collar crime. Reiman (1998) contends that this is especially unfortunate because white collar crime cost the American public more than street crime....
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