SOCA02 Textbook NotesChapters 7,14,16,22 3
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police)
Drawbacks on Relying on Official Crime Statistics
•Much crime is not reported to the police -> Victimless Crimes such as illegal gambling, the
use of illegal drugs, and communicating for the purposes of prostitution.
•Many common or "level 1" assualts go unreported -> Rape victims are afraid to be
humiliated, or stigmatized.
•Authorities decide which criminal acts to report and which to ignore.
•Self-Report Surveys are very useful, respondents are asked to report their involvement in
criminal activities, either as perpetrators or as victims.
Generate around the same rate of serious crimes but TWO or THREE times more "level
1" or common crimes.
Shows that a majority of Canadians, young and ld, have engaged in some type of
"criminal" activity. Thus, committing an act in violation does not always result in being
labelled a criminal.
•To be officially labelled as a criminal, an individual's must first be observed and felt to
justify action, then police warrants for further investigation, file a report, and make an arrest.
Then trial, and the person must plead guilty.
Only 11% incidents are charged, and 5% convicted and 2% sentenced to custody.
•Victimization Surveys, people are asked whether they have been victims of crime.
55% victimzation incidents are reported to police, with property crime more likely to be
reported tan crimes against persons.
Provide less reliable data about offenders
What Official Crime Rates Show
•2006 -> 43% criminal code incidents involved property time
12% violent crime
45% other criminal offences including mischief and disturbing the peace.
Only Violent crime are the most newsworthy
•American Crime rates are 3 times higher than Canadian crime rates.
•Robbery, sexual assualt, drug arrests, and property crime are falling in Canada.
Explanations for Declining Crime Rates
•"War against crime" is increasingly being fought by large numbers of well-trained soldiers.