Dark Figure of Crime Essays

2350 Words Jan 16th, 2009 10 Pages
I am going to discuss the accuracy of the statistics used to measure crime using examples.

Is the world a more dangerous place now than fifty years ago? Do we all have the same views on what is a crime? Who are ‘criminals’?

I am going to look in detail at exactly how crimes are recorded in England and Wales, what process a crime has to go through before it is recorded, and what happens to all those crimes that go unrecorded.

I accept that this is a diverse and controversial area, and for the purpose of this essay I am going to concentrate on attempting to discover just what the relationship is between the real crime statistics and the Dark Figure of crime.

According to statistics, the British crime rate has risen regularly
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Some crimes are ‘victimless crimes’ - the consumption of illegal drugs or prostitution, where the criminal does no harm to any other person, very often these types of criminals do not consider that there has even been a ‘crime’.

As a general rule, the higher people are in the social system, the less likely they are to be arrested, charged and found guilty. Crimes committed by the upper classes are usually fraud and are known as ‘white collar and corporate crime’. Victims of white collar crime are often reluctant to come forward. If it is a minor event and they realise they have been duped they may be embarrassed. If it is a major life-altering event it takes time for them to rationalize the event and even then may not be aware they have been victims of a crime. The effects of large-scale white-collar crime can often be more devastating than those of robbery or physical assault, but remain “hidden and ignored”, according to a report by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, because they do not fit government targets. White collar crimes are largely invisible and so are absent from crime statistics.

Another stage the crime must go through before it could be considered to be a statistic is that it has to be reported, the witness, after weighing up the pros and cons might decide that it isn’t worth his while, he may have witnessed some kind of ‘gang killing’ and decide that it

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