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Lecture 3

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Candace Kruttschnitt

SOC212: Lecture 3 About first term test: Take major points from Chapter one, but major portion from Chapter 2 ‘Do you need to know who did a specific study’?  Yes. Mention John Hagan and Wall street, got to now what that means First hour will be lecture, second hour will be the test TA office hours on blackboard Indirect Methods:  Official Statistics  official data (crime statistics) most common and most orthodox method of indirect methods  Criminologists are increasingly using (expensive but great) longitudinal data, cohort studies o Can track changes between individuals and in individuals  When you have just police data, you can’t tell if there’s an increase in crime. Because it’s aggregate data. You don’t know if there are more new people becoming offenders, (difference between frequency and participation) So if Joe is frequently committing a crime/week. Or is crime increasing because there are now 5 new kids committing crimes. Aggregated data can’t tell you that  Generally speaking, crime statistics collected by provincial police are just aggregate data on the number of arrests. They’re useful because they’re the most common source (media can use it) o But they only provide a part of the picture o Also, depends on big cities (ie. Crime rate in New York is bound to be higher than a smaller city, will have an overall big effect on the crime rate in the US in general)  There was a study that revealed that there is an intense pressure in lowering crime rate that officials manipulated crime statistics. Researchers believed this was a periodic practice. When crime rates began to fall in New York. Higher officials would then manipulate the stats. But this isn’t in just specific to New York. o They are a lot of things people consider deviant but aren’t arrested for  The wide geographic coverage of police data allows us to see if some provinces in Canada or some regions in a given province that are worse than others.  The data is also interesting because it gives some idea on how deviance changes over time (what people are arrested for changes all the time) o Before, no one cared if a man beats his wife. Now they can both get arrested. o Category of deviance change over time  Disadvantages: 1. Procedure used for gathering the statistics  police are more likely to collect data on more serous deviance.  Why? Because professionally oriented (promotions come if you solve big crime)  Because it’s more interesting (than people who just engage in disorderly conduct)  Political Advantage  tremendous effort by police chief in Toronto about the recent gang shootings  Which means minor types of deviance are going to be just passed over.  Additionally they might not spend time on crime that doesn’t involve a victim i. Ie. Someone dumping toxic waste down the street. May not be in the crime statistics 2. Definitions  Breaking and entering would be a felony  Butt he citizen or the police officer who observes a particular action or comes to know of a particular event, has to see it fitting to the legal definition. There are some cases where it would be blatantly obvious. Where there is no doubt that that you saw a criminal act. (ie. Street robbery, or physical assault on street)  Ie. What if a couple (two 17 year old) was at the mall and you saw the guy hit the girl across her face. Does it constitute as assault?  Arresting officer determines if the event is a criminal event or not.  Police officers decision to define an act as crime depends on their judgment and the discrepancy between what citizens think of a criminal offence and what the police think was shown a long time by Albert Reece was studied. The study showed interactions between police and citizens. They had graduate students riding around in police cars and observe the officers every time they made a report, asked questions. Police can treat some incidents as a non criminal matter when citizens consider it as a crime. Discrepancy could be that police have more experience in determining what’s a crime and not. But it could also be the interaction between police and the complaints of the citizen.  BLACK: Factor’s affecting official recognition and crime incident the police have to decide whether it’s a crime to be written down i. Complainant deference (how nice the person was to the cop) ii. Social Class iii. Severity (the legal seriousness of the complaint) iv. The relational distance between two parties involved (ie. If woman gets beat up by husband vs. woman after lecture gets beat up by someone from the bushes) ; parties who are intimately related are less likely to be written up than strangers v. Complainant preference: If the complainant said ‘I really want you to do something about this’ the police are more likely to do something.  Reactive and proactive policing i. Policing is largely a reactive job. (they are responding to citizen’s request for help ) ii. They found that 87% of police work were reactive (of all patrol and mobilization) because someone requested help iii. An individual’s decision to not call police, it affects crime statistics  Why do victims not report crime? i. Insurance (auto theft) more likely to be reported to police (want the insurance money) ii. The victim of the crime may be stigmatized for it. The relationship with the offender is quite important. What happened is a personal matter. iii. 35% of victims of crime not with strangers did not call the police iv. People are most likely to report a crime when it’s committed against them by a stranger than by someone they know particularly well v. What about an attempted crime (ie. Attempted burglary) do you call the police? You should, but people don’t really. vi. One exception is the victim/offender re
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