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Lecture

CRM 101 - Counting Crime & measuring criminal behavior


Department
Criminology
Course Code
CRM 101
Professor
Gurpreet Johal

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CRM 101: Counting Crime and Measuring Criminal Behaviour
COUNTING CRIME
What forms of social behaviour are counted as criminal acts?
Where do we look for data regarding these criminal acts?
OFFICIAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE RECORDS:
Police, Courts, Corrections
Stats Canada (Canadian centre for justice statistics)
Uniform Crime Reports
UNOFFICIAL SOURCES:
Victimization Surverys
Self-Report Studies
Field Research
OFFICIAL SOURCES:
Police Records:
DIfferent police department use different procedures
Individual officers have discretion and do not record crimes consistentl
y
Not all those arrested are guilty
The majority of crimes are never reported to the police (the 'dark figur
e' of crime)
The Crime Funnel (see slideshow)
Court Records:
Are somewhat limited in Canada, but are now beginning to provide some in
formation about the operation of the courts
Prison Records:
Reflect official decisions more than actual crime patterns (prisoners ar
e not a representative sample of all criminals)
FROM RECORDS TO STATISTICS (1)
Unit of Court
What is being counted (i.e) suspects, charges, calls for service, number
of prisoners)
Levels of Aggregation:
How data are combined (i.e Local area, city, province, national)
Definitions:
How to define what is being counted (i.e Is someone on remand on inmate?
)
Data Elements:
What specific information should be collected (i.e Type of information,
level of detail)
Counting Procedure:
How to count units and elements (i.e Is assaulting three people in the s
ame attack one crime or three?)
CANADIAN UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS (CUCR)
Primary source of official data
Derived from nationalized reporting process for police
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