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Lecture 8

SOCI-225 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Arson, Homicide, Visible Minority

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-but data about criminals tells us about the justice system not the crime and criminal behaviours; some
people more likely to be caught/charged
-difficult to make international comparisons, but Canada incarcerates more than western
Europe, but fewer than the USA (some have argued this is proof Canada is too punitive, while others
claim we have more crime)
-difficult to count crime in that it is secretivesome crimes are easier to hide and harder to convict; the
dark figure of crime: the crime that is unreported or unknown
-the MSO rule: Most serious offence, used with the UCR
Violent incidents: involve offences that deal with the use orr threat of force including homicide,
attempted murder
Property incident: unlawful acts with the intent of gaining property without threatening the individual
(ie fraud, break and enter)
Other criminal code incidents: not violent or property incidents, but note it excludes traffic offences (ie
mischief, arson, prostitution)
Total criminal code incidents: tabulation of all reported incidents for one year
-violent offences always take precedence over nonviolentfor violent crimes, a separate incident is
recorded for each victim; for non violent crime one incident is reported for each distinct event. Robbery
is one exception: categorized as violent but but is equal to one incident
-for example, farud affecting three victims only gets recorded once
-actual incident: when a crime is reported to the police it is recorded as reported and then a preliminary
investigation is conducted to determine the validity of the reportoccasionally crimes reported to the
police are unfounded and must be subtracted
-person cleared by charge: an individual who the police recommend to be formally charged, or is
formally charged
Police stats: based partly on victim perceptions and public concern;
-the victim must also see the act as worth reporting
-official crime stats shaped by both common sense and legal definitions, not simply by the criminals
Ex: we are less tolerant now of familial ause so rie stat sees to e risig; rather just higher rate
of reporting
-ie police also target drug crimes as a policy focus: may make it seem like drug use is on the rise
Trends: violent crime consistently lower than property crime
-property crime and violent crime both increased in 1992 but have declined by 2009
-crime rate: the number of incidents per 100000 people; references to rate rather than just gross total
accounts for population change and allows comparison
-crime rose from 62-91 but has been steadily declining ; the 2012 rate is lowest since 1966
-some offenders (ie family member) unlikely to be reported
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