Presentation on theme: "The Nature and Extent of Crime"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Nature and Extent of Crime Chapter Two:The Nature and Extent of Crime
2 Chapter Objectives Be familiar with the various forms of crime data Know the problems associated with collecting dataBe able to discuss the recent trends in the crime rateBe familiar with the factors that influence crime ratesBe able to discuss the patterns in the crime ratesBe able to discuss the association between social class and crimeRecognize that there are age, gender, and racial patterns in crime
3 Primary Sources of Crime Data Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)Self-Report SurveysNational Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
4 Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) A large database compiled by the FBI of crimes reported and arrests made each year throughout the U.S.Collected from local law enforcement agencies and published yearlyAccuracy is somewhat suspect as research indicates less than 40 % of all criminal incidents are reported to the policeValidity issues: reporting practices, law enforcement practices, methodological issues.
5 National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) A program begun in 1982 that requires local police agencies to provide a brief account of each incident and arrest, including incident, victim, and offender informationWill improve the accuracy of official crime dataExpanded crime categories , 46 specific serious offenses and 11 less serious offenses, will include data on hate or bias crimesThis should bring greater uniformity and accuracy in reporting crime across the nation
6 Self-Report SurveysA research approach that asks subjects to describe, in detail, their recent and lifetime participation in criminal activitySurveys typically involve sampling, which refers to the process of selecting for study a limited number of subjects who are representative of entire groups sharing similar characteristics, called the populationParticipants are asked to describe in detail, their recent and lifetime participation in criminal activity.
7 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) To address the non-reporting issue of the UCR, the federal government sponsors this annual comprehensive, nationwide survey of victimization in the United StatesValidity issues: overreporting due to victims’ misinterpretation, underreporting due to embarrassment, inability to record personal criminal activity of those interviewed, sampling errorsMurder not included, for obvious reasons
8 Each source of crime data has strengths and weaknesses Evaluating Crime DataEach source of crime data has strengths and weaknessesAll sources record similar trends regarding personal characteristics of serious offenders, and when and where the crime occursSources are reliable indicators of changes and fluctuations in yearly crime rates
10 Secondary Sources of Crime Data Cohort Research: Longitudinal and RetrospectiveExperimental ResearchObservational and Interview ResearchMeta-Analysis and Systematic ReviewData MiningCrime Mapping
11 Trends in Violent Crime Violent crimes include murder, rape, assault, and robberyBetween 1995 and 2005, violence in the U.S. decreased more than 20%Between 2004 and 2005, murder, assault, and robbery increased, though are still much lower than in the pastAfter years of decline there has been a recent ( ) uptick, about 5 percent in the estimated volume of all violent crimes except rape
12 Trends in Property Crime Property crimes include larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arsonIn 2005, about 10 million property crimes were reportedIn 2006 they were down almost 3 % from the previous yearBetween 1995 and 2006, the total number of property crimes declined about 18%, and the property crime rate declined more than 25%Property crime rates have declined in recent years, though the drop has not been as dramatic as that experienced by the violent crime rate.
13 Trends in Victimization Data (NCVS Findings) Reported victimizations at the last count (2005) experiences about 23 million violent and property victimizations.In 2005 about 16 million households experienced one or more property crimes or had a member who experienced one or more violent crimes.Reported victimizations have declined during the past 30 yearsBetween 1993 and 2005, both the violent crime victimization rate and the property crime victimization rate decreased approximately 50%
14 Explaining Crime Trends Crime experts have identified a number of social, economic, personal, and demographic factors that influence crime rate trends:AgeImmigrationEconomy-JobsAbortionGunsGangsDrug UseMediaMedical TechnologyJustice Policy
15 What the Future HoldsSome criminologists believe that crime rates may eventually rise as the number of teens in population increasesThe aging of the population may offset this trend, large number of senior citizens will produce a lower crime rateMost agree that the age structure of society is one of the most important determinants of crime rates, however the economy, technology change, and social factors help moderate the crime rate
16 Crime Patterns Day, Season, and Climate: Most reported crimes occur during July and AugustCrime rates are higher on the first day of the monthTemperature, crime rates rise with the temperatureRegional Differences:Large urban areas have the highest violence ratesRural areas have the lowestWestern and Southern states have higher crime rates than the Midwest and Northeast
17 Social Class, Socioeconomic Conditions, and Crime Instrumental crimes: unable to obtain desired goods and services through conventional means, criminals may resort to theft and other illegal activitiesExpressive crimes: such as rape and assault, as a result of their rage, frustration, and anger against societyAlcohol and drug abuse help to fuel violent episodes
18 Social Class, Socioeconomic Conditions, and Crime Official statistics indicate that crime rates are higher in the inner city and high-poverty areas than they are in suburban or wealthier areasAn explanation for these findings is related to law enforcement practices, not actual criminal behaviorPolice may devote more resources to poor areas consequently apprehension rates are higherPolice more likely to formally arrest and prosecute lower-class citizens than those in middle and upper classes
19 Age and CrimeThere is general agreement that age is related to criminalityRegardless of economic status, marital status, race, sex, and so on, younger people commit crime more often than their older peersThe research indicates this relationship has been stable across time periods, from 1935 to presentYoung people are arrested at a disproportionate rate to their numbers in the populationThey account for 6% of the population, however they account for about 25% of serious crime arrests
20 Gender and CrimeMale crime rates are much higher than those of femalesVictims report that their assailants were male in more than 80% of all violent crimesExplaining gender differences:Masculinity hypothesisChivalry hypothesisSocialization and developmentCognitive differencesFeminist views
22 Chronic OffendersData show that most offenders commit a single criminal act, and on arrest, discontinue their criminal involvementA small group of offenders, called chronic offenders or career criminals, is responsible for a majority of all criminal offensesPunishment is inversely related to chronic offendingThe more stringent the sanction, the more likely a chronic offender is to engage in repeated criminal behaviorEarly on-set: kids exposed to a variety of personal and social problems at an early age are the most at risk to repeat offending
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