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Lecture 5

CRM202: Week 5 (Measuring Victimization).docx

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Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRM 202
Professor
Tammy Landau

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CRM202 – Week 5 th Thursday, February 14 , 2013 Class 4 –Measuring Victimization 1. Measuring Crime: Official statistics – Uniform Crime Reports Factors influencing official statistics Strengths, weaknesses [responsibility of consumer of information to weigh the strengths and weaknesses of any research/statistic] 2. Victimization Surveys The General Social Survey 3. Alternative Methods: Self-Report Studies Institutional Data (eg hospitals, homes for the aged, psychiatric institutions, child welfare agencies, correctional facilities Inquests 4. Additional Challenges: Institutionalized populations Systemic victimization Victimization by the State Official Statistics-Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) - collects crime and traffic statistics reported by all police agencies in Canada, and reflects reported crime that has been substantiated by police investigation - includes number of reported offences, number of actual offences, number of offences cleared by charge, number of persons charges by sex, and adult/youth breakdown - does not include victim characteristics [we normally don’t find out about the victim characterization because police are more focused on stopping the crime; makes it challenging that the information we are looking for doesn’t reside with the police] [ONLY crime that gets reported to the police and ONLY crime that has been substantiated by the police -> example: police often decided that rapes were unsubstantiated during the Jane Doe case timeframe; Before this, there IS NO CRIME until those two criteria are met] [Examples: domestic violence, where the victim does not report it because they are in a relationship, sexual assault, or less severe crime such as shoplifting, break and entering. Also, if an accident results in damages over 1,000$, you must have a police report if you want to claim the insurance] Revised Uniform Crime Reports (UCR2) - includes characteristics of victims, accused persons and the incidents [actually tries to collect more information about the context – some recognition of the importance of knowing the victim] - data from this source are not yet nationally representative Factors Influencing Official Crime Statistics: - Reporting to Police - Changes in legislation, policies and practices [Examples: A change in policy such as Ryerson’s academic integrity law, RIDE policy] - Definition of “Crime”: total police-reported Criminal Code “actual” incidents - Multiple Offences [report only up to four crimes, and they rank them of most severe = impact on crime statistics: exclusion of less severe crime like property crimes, etc. and therefore undercuts those crimes while over-representing the serious crimes] Reporting Victimizations to the Police (Perrault and Brennan, 2010) - approximately 31% of victimizations were reported to the police: these were highest for household victimizations (at 36%), followed by violent victimizations (at 29%) and thefts of personal property (at 28%) - for violent victimizations, robberies were the most likely to be reported to the police (at 43%), followed by physical assaults (at 34%) - for household crimes, break and enters were most often reported (at 54%), followed by motor vehicle theft (at 50%). - violent victimizations when the victim was over 55 years of age were more likely to be brought to the attention of the police (at 46%) than those involving victims between 15 to 24 years of age (at 20%) [high risk in terms of being victims of crime as well] - violent victimizations involving multiple offenders, and those which occurred in the home were more likely to come to the attention of the police Reasons for Reporting Victimizations to the Police - “a sense of duty” was the most common reason given for reported to the police (at 86%) - wanting to arrest and punish the offender was reported by 69% of respondents - victims of violent crimes were more likely to report to receive protection - victims of household crimes were
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