Four General Rules
1. Good statistics are based on more than guessing
2. Based on clear, reasonable definitions
3. Based on clear, reasonable measures
4. Based on good samples
Best would say that statistics are good because they provide information about social
problems, and they are somewhat reliable (pg, 59-60).
• Avoid faulty reasoning
• Avoid faulty data: garbage in, garbage out
• Evidence of the way data is “socially constructed” may be found by applying
these 4 general rules
• OHC, pp. 245-246): note that there has been a virtual data explosion on crime in
the UK, why?
• Public concern—people become worried about protecting their stuff, with the rise
• Rise of managerialism and crime prevention— the idea that good policy is set
according to empirical evidence (positivistic perspective). You can show statistics
for a policy. Best way for crime prevention is to intervene with people from a
young age, like anti-bullying.
• Concerns for “hidden” forms of crime— domestic abuse, corporate crime, child
abuse. Defining the Dark Figure of Crime
• Dark figure is that which does not appear in “official statistics