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WDW205 Lecture 2

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Woodsworth College Courses
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Jim Davies

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WDW205 Lecture 2 9/17/2012 Measuring Crime and Criminal Justice Criminologists are interested in the bigger picture, the long term trends Facts: - The vast majority of Canadians believe that violent crime has increased significantly over the past decade - Fear of crime is increasing among Canadians - Most Canadians think that their own neighbourhood is relatively safe - Most think that violent crime is not increasing in their own neighbourhood - Most Canadians believe that Toronto is Canada’s most dangerous, violent City - Most Canadians get their information about crime from the media - The power of media and images has a huge impact; most Canadians get their information from the media o Has a major impact on how we perceive crime o Chief Blair “worst shooting in north American history” – a political statement to a tragic event to avoid budget costs Measurement Strategies for Criminologist - Official Crime Date o Uniform Crime data (UCR data) - Survey data o Sampling large population and their experiences - Court Data o What actually transpired in court - Corrections Data o How many people are omitted into provincial correctional facilities, disciplines … etc - Field Work/Observation o Own observations, attending court and documenting observations o Going into disadvantage neighbourhoods, and observing - Historical Analysis o Examination of historic statistics, laws and regulations, how politicians justified - Content Analysis o Documents dealing with a particular issues - Case Studies o Fitting case studies into the broader contexts Official Data - Uniform Crime Reports 95-98% - Interpol statistics o Police statistics - Coroner’s Report o Good insight on one type of report o Most accurate report o Homicide data is the most trustworthy data - World Health Organization Data UCR Data - Compiled by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS). - 100% compliance rate from 1,800 different police agencies across the country. o Quality and accuracy is raised - Represents criminal incidents that have been substantiated by a police investigation. - Criminal incidents are either “reported to” or “discovered by” the police. - Criminal incidents are reported to the CCJS at the end of each month. The CCJS compiles and analyzes these data. National and regional crime reports are released to the public every year - 1984 – revised UCR introduced. More detailed information on offender and victim characteristics, offender-victim relationship, time and location of crime, etc. - Three important terms: 1) crime counts; 2) percentage change; and 3) crime rates. o Crime counts: raw number of crimes that took place o Percentage change: compare the number of crimes that took place in year x and year x, and measure the difference, whether crime is increasing or decreasing o Crime rate: very valuable in comparing crime over time Which City is More Violent? - Smallville: Population = 10,000 citizens; Number of murders in 2004 = 5. - Bigtown: Population = 2 million citizens; Number of Murders in 2004 = 250. The Crime Rate Crime Rate = # of crimes / by population size x 100,000 - Smallville has a homicide rate of 50 per 100,000 population. By contrast, Bigtown has a homicide rate of only 12.5 per 100,000. - Thus, although Bigtown has many more murders (250) than Smallville (5), the actual probability of being killed is four times greater in Smallville. 2011 Canadian Homicide Rates (per 100,000) by province - Nunavut, NWT, Manitoba, Saskatchewan - Canadian Homicide rates are highest in the west and north west provinces 2010 Canadian Homicide Rates (per 100,000) by major Metropolitan area - Winnipeg, Halifax, Edmonton, Thunder Bay, Regina, Saint John - Winnipeg’s homicide rate is roughly x4 higher than Toronto - In Canada homicide rates are most likely to occur in Rural areas o More gun availability o The ratios of male to females are much higher o Demographics can have a impact on crime rates Ontario’s Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000) 1986-2010 - Includes all violent crimes, murder, armed robbery, assault … etc - Dropped from 1992 consistently and boomed in 2008 - The law of crime did not change, in 2007 the crime rate did not include utterly (threats) crimes, hence in 2008 the crime rate spiked o If you change the definition slightly, you can see the drop or rise Canada’s Violent Crime Rate 2000-2011 (excluding threats) - Continued to drop Homicide Rates 1961-2010, United States, Canada and Ontario - United States has a much higher homicide rate year after year - Ontario always has a lower homicide rate - 1970s 3x more likely to be murdered compared to now - Homicide rate last year was lowest in history since 1962 Homicide Rates Ontario and Selected Countries (2006/2007 Statistics) - If you want to live in a big city and escape violent crimes Toronto is the best - Unstable economy and unstable government, with considerably large profit that can be made = recipe for violence - Jamaica and Columbia will have the worst time getting into Canada, although there is not a lot of commercial airplanes that come through Pearson, but because of their high homicide rate, preventions and cautions are taken into consideration Homicide Rates by Selected Ontario and Americ
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