CRIM 101 – LEC 9 – Mar 14
The Aftermath of Crime
A BRIEF REFRESHER
Precursors—circumstances that lead up to the criminal event.
Transactions—what happened, where it happened, when it happened, who was
Aftermath—how do victims respond? How do offenders respond if they’re caught,
convicted, and punished? How does the convicted, and punished? How does the
general public react to crime? What are the actual costs of the crime?
ANALYZING THE COSTS OF CRIME
The real costs of crime can be difficult to measure accurately.
Direct financial losses (money or property stolen) are easiest to evaluate.
How do you place a value on the pain caused by a minor injury, or by the fear of
ANALYZING THE COSTS OF CRIME cont.
If somebody moves to different neighbourhood, purchases automobile tracking
system or burglar alarm system after being victimized, should these be
included in costs of crime.
VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE
One of main ways we find out about cost of crime is through victimization
According to the GSS, 25% of all violent incidents resulted in some form of
Only about 10% of victims of violence-sought medical care for their injuries.
35% of robbery victims reported difficulties in carrying out heir main activities
(e.g., work, school, etc.).
39% said they were affected for period of between two days and a week.
16% said their main activities had been disrupted for over two weeks.
Includes break and enter, theft of household property, automobile theft, etc.
63% of all reported losses were less than $500 per incident.
42% were less than $100 after victims received compensation from insurance
THEFT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY
Having credit cards, money or jewellery stolen while in shopping malls,
commercial buildings, etc.
42% involved out-of-pocket expenses of less than a hundred dollars. ROUGH ESTIMATES
Annual cost of crime in Canada estimated to be around $57 Billion.
$46 billion attributed primarily to health issues, lost wages, and insurance
$11 billion spent on operation of the criminal justice system.
READING THE FINE PRINT
Figures do not include expenditures on private security, burglar alarm systems,
or other theft prevention devices.
If figures from GSS used (rather than figures from UCR), the total annual cost of
pain and suffering for all types of crime would be over $35 billion (not including
direct economic losses, insurance costs). If this figure was added to estimates
provided above, the actual cost of crime in Canada (including pain and suffering)
would be closer to $92 billion a year.
EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIOURAL CONSEQUENCES
GSS reports that overwhelming majority of people in Canada (94%) feel sae from
Majority of Canadians (59%) feel their neighbourhood feel their neighbourhood is
safer than other neighbourhoods.
REACTIONS TO VIOLENT CRIME
Majority were angry, few people were anyyoyed
Some individuals do become fearful of crime, and may go through process
knows as vulnerability conversion.
Feel they are more susceptible to the dangers of life than they thought.
Being the victim of a serious (especially "random―) crime can cause people to re-
evaluate their notions about the world making sense, or about life being fair.
VULNERABILITY CONVERSION cont.
Victims may feel weak and helpless, and even start to blame themselves.
Having home broken into is tantamount to invasion of privacy.
May suffer additional distress if personal possessions to which they are
emotionally attached are stolen or damaged.
Steps people take to distance themselves from situations they perceive to be
Moving to new neighbourhood, or staying away from downtown core, especially
at night (avoiding potential offenders).
Precautionary measures people take to reduce their risks of being victimized.
Getting a guard dog, installing a burglar alarm system in their home – defending
their personal space. OTHER REACTIONS
Many victims of crime react by talking about it with friends and neighbours, family
members and co-workers.
Even if they do eventually report to the police, victims often consult first with their
friends and neighbours, family members or co-workers.
Suggests that decision about reporting to police is influenced socially, through
contact with significant others.
OTHER REACTIONS cont.
- neighborhood is a social reaction.
THE FEAR OF CRIME
Fear of crime is disproportionate to the actual amount of crime.
Fear of crime might be as serious a problem as crime itself.
Fear is difficult to define, and just as difficult to measure.
THE GENDER DIFFERENCE
95% of men and 93% of women express general satisfaction with their personal
Women are at least twice as likely as men to be fearful if they are on public
transit alone at night, if they are home alone at night, or if their walking alone
THE GENDER DIFFERENCE cont.
Increased level of fear could be due to fact that women are smaller or weaker
than the average male offender, or they have been socialized into regarding
themselves as weak and vulnerable.
In reality, rate of violent victimization is quite similar for men and women, except
men are more likely to be physically assaulted or robbed, whereas women are
five times as likely to be victim of a sexual assault.
Both genders are less fearful if they frequently use public transportation or walk
alone at night.
Violent victimization rates lowest for people over age of 65, and highest for those
between ages 15 and 24.
Older people continue to express concerns about their personal safety.
Might be caused by tendency to regard themselves as being weaker than the
typical offender, and hence more vulnerable.
AGE DIFFERENCES cont.
Media images of older people being preyed upon by younger, stronger people
(who are seemingly ruthless and eager to take advantage of them) may
contribute to this fear. THE URBAN-RURAL DIVIDE
- people who life un rural areas feel unsafe and people who live in urban areas feel
WHY THE DIFFERENCE?
More likely to encounter strangers from different cultural or social backgrounds.
More likely to encounter physical incivilities (e.g., broken windows, graffiti, run-
down buildings, ect.)
WHY THE DIFFERENCE? cont.
More likely to encounter social incivilities (e.g., drug and alcohol use in public
places, panhandlers and squeegee kids on street corners, etc.)
GSS reports that rates of victimization are indeed higher in urban areas,
especially in those urban areas with a high number of rental units and a high
turnover in population.
LABELLING AND SOCIAL STIGMA
Labelling theory addresses the issue of what happens to offenders if they are
apprehended and punished in the aftermath of the criminal event.
Advances an explanation for why certain individuals engage in ongoing criminal
THE SOCIAL REACTION TO DEVIANT BEHAVIOUR
From perspective of labelling theory, once label – e.g., ―juvenile delinquent‖,
―criminal‖ or ―convict‖ – is affixed, it’s difficult to get rid of.
Offenders might start to view themselves in accordance with label they’ve been
Also known as moral crusaders or claim-makers.
Individuals or groups who have the social power to create and/or enforce social
Includes lobbyists, pressure groups, pressure groups, professionals, specialists,
and even government officials or agencies.
ENTER THE MUGGER
1978 book Policing the Crisis, by Hall et al.
Between Aug 1972-Aug 1973, ―mugging‖ attracted massive attention from the
media, politicians, interest groups and various repres