MONDAY OCTOBER 21ST
CRM 100: MIDTERM EXAM REVIEW
All of the material up to Policing Part 2 SEPTEMBER 30TH 2013
A: 30 MULTIPLE CHOICE
B: 3 OUT OF 4 ESSAYS WORTH 10 MARKS EACH
READINGS (TEXTBOOKS (1,2,4,5,6,7) AND SACCO READING
Repeat the question back in the intro (in this essay I will)
In the conclusion just one sentence to wrap it up
Multiple parts to each question, answer the full part with examples, and definitions
Q. 1. Official crime statistics have been described in the following ways: (a) they give an adequate
measure of crime; (b) they reflect a social response to a wide variety of events and activities in the
community; and (c) they tell us nothing about crime. Discuss each view, pointing out the strengths
and limitations of relying on official statistics to measure ‘crime’.
A: The main method of measuring crime is relying on official statistics such as the UCR (uniform crime
reporting system). These statistics do a good job on measuring crime rates for us but they also have
many limitations. People have described these statistics of having an adequate measure of crime which
is true in a sense, but also false in another. Although the statistics do give us a good general measure of
crime, it is not 100% accurate because a huge percentage of crimes go un reported and therefore are
not part of these statistics. We cannot assume that these statistics are giving us an adequate measure of
crime because the reality is, a huge chunk of crime is not included in these statistics.
These statistics will reflect a social response causing a wide variety of events and activities in the
community because they will cause reactions in society. For example events made to stop drunk driving
through lobby groups such as MADD, are all social responses to these statistics. If a certain crime has
risen greatly in the statistics, there will often be a social response but not always. Sometimes there will
be events raising awareness of certain crimes, but sometimes there will be no response.
The final viewpoint on official statistics is that they tell us nothing about crime. This is true in the sense
that statistics are only numbers and they do not tell us anything about the nature of crime, but it is false
in the sense that these statistics give us a general idea of what crimes are being committed most, and
the changes throughout the years.
Q. 2.Discuss alternative ways of measuring crime which have been developed to address
some of the limitations of ‘official’ statistics generated by the police. In your answer, you should discuss the ways in which these methods improve on official statistics, as well as the
limitations that remain if we really want to understand the ‘true’ nature of criminal activity.
In the final analysis, which method do you think is best, and why?
A: When measuring crime, there are two main methods of doing so; the first being official
statistics which are collected by the police, courts and corrections, and second, research based
stats such as self reports and victimization surveys.
- The Uniform Crime Reporting system is designed to generate crime statistics to be used in all
aspects of law enforcement.
- we cannot rely on the UCR alone to measure crime rates for us because there are
disadvantages like underestimating the impact of police discretion, legal changes, but mainly
the fact that a large amount of crime is not reported to the police, so it doesnt make it to the
^ This problem can be solved through the use of victimization surveys
- Victimization surveys are social surveys asking representatives if they have been a victim, if
the crime was reported, and their fear of crime. Victimization surveys help estimate the
unrecorded crime rate, explain why crimes are unreported, provide info. on the impact of
crime, and identify populations at risk.
-^Limitations: Underreporting in victimization is also a problem; crimes are often forgotten.
The rate of underreporting is also uneven, and it is not possible to ask about every single
offense, which causes a survey bias.
- Self - Report Surveys are similar to victimization surveys but different in the sense that people
are asked directly about any criminal activities they may have been involved with.
-Limitations: most of these surveys focus on youths and drug offenders, under reporting and
honesty is also an issue.
- I think although many crimes go unreported, the UCR method of measuring crime rates is the
most efficient. I believe so because the other two research based methods have very big
limitations, including underreporting. Both of the research based methods depend on the
honesty of the people being interviewed, and whatever their bias is. I believe that the validity/
reliability of those being interviewed is a very large limitation to be put aside, there is no way to
tell if the truth is being told in this surveys, while the reports given by the UCR are proven in
Q. 3. Discuss the view that uniformed, public police in Canada are primarily crime fighters. In
your answer, you should discuss the data that gives us an indication of how the police spend
their time, and the various ways in which police organizations are evaluated. Use specific
examples to support your points.
A: Many people believe that the main and only function of the police is crime control and
prevention. The fact of the matter is that crime control is not the only function of the police,
and is not the main function of the police either. The police have many roles and duties other
than crime control such as order maintenance, and social servicing. Majority of calls to the police are actually not even about crimes, but instead for traffic issues,
internal police business, and public service calls. About 75% of calls to the police don't even
reach a patrol officer. Data shows us that majority of the percentage of calls to the police are
not about crime control and actually have to do with police officers other roles and duties. 25%
of the calls to the police deal with internal police business, about another 25% deal with
accidents and traffic problems. When looking at these numbers, it is pretty clear that the public
police in Canada are not primarily crime fighters. This data gives us an indication that the police
actually spend a lot of their time dealing with other affairs, and that crime control cannot be
their primary duty.
Q.4. Community policing has been described, in part, as “both a philosophy and
organizational strategy that allows the police and community residents to work closely
together in new ways to solve the problems of crime and fear of crime”. Discuss the ways in
which the implementation of community policing reflects this view and how it differs from
the ‘professional model’ of policing. What are some of the limitations to the complete
implementation of community policing? Use specific examples to support your arguments.
A: The community policing model which started around the 1980's reflects this view of residents
working together in new ways to solve problems of crime because it allows the citizens to become
experts and active participants in policing. This model is based around prevention of crime through
community cooperation and consultation. Citizen input is required through identifying the problems
within the community and prioritizing these problems as well. Citizens are also expected to give an input
on how they should solve the problems in their community.
The model of community policing differs from the professional model of policing because it revolves
around "the 3 P's" being prevention, problem solving, and partnership with the community instead of
"the 3 R's" (random patrol, rapid response, and reactive investigation).Community policing also has a
more decentralized decision making procedure while the professional model of policing has a
centralized decision making procedure.
The community policing model is more focused on practicing methods such as restorative justic, zero
tolerance and disorder based policing. This model of policing has benefits for the police through
improving credibility issues, and benefits for the community through bringing residents together. This
ultimately improves the police-community relationship which was quite fragile in the professional
Although there are many benefits, there are also limitations to the community policing model such as
resistance from the police and a lack of resources. Crime displacement also often occurs as criminals will
relocate as a result of police- community efforts. There are also limitations when it comes to community
participation and program stability. These limitations make a complete implementation of community
policing difficult, but still possible.
Q.5. It has been argued that policing as an activity must be distinguished from the police as a
state institution. Provide a detailed analysis of the range of actors/agencies that are currently
engaged in policing, as well as the concerns that are raised by their involvement in policing
activities. A: Policing as an activity refers to the act of maintaining and reproducing social order. Policing is
an organized activity with the aim of promoting a safe and secure environment in which people
can live, work, and recreate free from un wanted interferences. Policing as an activity must be
distinguished from the police as a state institution, because it is an activity that is done by not
only the police.
The police are individuals of an institution that are authorized by the state to use forces. They
are one of the primary institutions given the right to use force by the state against its own
citizens. The police of course do engage in policing, but so do other individuals and
Another institution that engages widely in policing and police activities is private security.
Private security can be contracted for certain individuals, organizations and facilities, and they
can also be in house security. Private security operate under a sort of junior partner image,
engaging themselves as risk management and prevention of crime.
Although security engage in similar work, they are no substitute for the police. Concerns about
this matter are raised as some private security call themselves equal partners and are in direct
competition with the police, calling themselves private police. Many concerns are raised from
the involvement of private security in policing. A big concern raised is the two tiered system of
justice and security which is the idea that people who can afford private security will get a
superior type of justice geared to them. Another issue raised is the impact on public space
which means that since private security is being purchased very often now, public spaces are
not being used as much and not being policed very effectively. There are huge accountability
concerns with private security because these companies are not regulated and governed
through the charter like the police are. Concerns have also been about the exchange of
information between the two policing sectors and about private security sub cultures.
To conclude, the act of policing must be distinguished from the police themselves because the
state are not the only providers of security in our community.
Q.6. Outline how the characteristics of police officers or of the police as a group may
influence their exercise of discretion. How might these characteristics lead to poor police-
community relations? What are the implications for the restructuring of police departments?
A: There are many factors that influence police discretion. A big factor that will influence the
exercise of discretion is the culture of the police. Members of the police all share common
values which include the idea that the police are the only true crime fighters, and that nobody
else understand the true nature of police work. Another big part of police culture is that the
loyalty to their colleagues is above everything else. The police also believe that it is impossible
to win the war against crime without bending the rules, and that members of the public are not
only unsupportive, but also unreasonably demanding as well.
This subculture of the police is a major reason why some police will resist the idea of
community policing. The police do not like to be held accountable and will often support the
misuse of police authority. An emotional barrier is often put up between police and the
community. Through this police sub culture, the police have developed a set of personality traits that may
lead to more arrests and use of force, influencing their exercise of discretion. These traits
include cynicism, and hostility. Police cynicism is when officers lose respect of the law and
replace it with other rules that are essentially defined by police subculture. This police cynicism
leads to mistrust and fear of the police, causing poor police- community relations.
Q.7. While there is a tendency to treat police discretion as inherently problematic, it has been
argued that the “day-to-day operation of law enforc