Sources Of Crime Statistics

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In writing the essay which critically discusses the official and unofficial crime statistics, it will firstly go to the extent of explaining crime trends in different areas, secondly, determine what are the source of crime statistics, thirdly, discuss the challenge’s that are within the Criminal Justice System, lastly differentiate vividly between the official and unofficial crime statistics, thus make relevant examples to differentiate these crime statistics. Throughout the years there has been a variety of definitions of crime, from the definition that crime is an act that is foolish and wrong, to a more currently used and specific definition that crime is the illegal, wilful, human action that constitutes a transgression of the law, to…show more content…
Three bodies of the government are responsible for statistic collection, which is the police, court and correctional centres, though these are only sources of official crime statistics. The unofficial sources of crime statistics include self-reported studies or survey’s, biographies and other. Dividing collection of crime statistics data makes it easy to analyse and collect. A most common question is asked, is the crime statistics reliable? This is due to corruption within the CJS and thousands of unreported cases, though provision has been made to asses this situation. There are other independent data sources available. Trends in business-related crime are collected by private bodies such as the SABRIC and the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa. Another useful source is the annual Grant Thornton International Business Report (Van Dijk,…show more content…
When a crime is reported, it is recorded to contribute to police statistics. These records will answer questions who, when, and how the crime was committed. This means that the unreported crimes will not contribute to the statistics (Bezuidenhout, 2010:106). Researcher Antony Altbeker pointed out in a paper that means to compare crime across different country are problematic as they often fail to state or take into account differences between legal definitions of crimes such as reporting rates of crime and the accuracy of recording reported crimes. Furthermore, Altbeker indicated that without careful patience, reporting of crime can mislead. As an example, in 2009 there were 15,241 murders reported in the United States. In approximately the same period South Africa reported 16,834 murders. In terms of pure numbers, the two countries murder rates appear similar. However, America’s population at the time was 307-million while South Africa’s was a little over 49 million. Though, the statistics yield a completely different picture: a murder rate of 4,96 per 100 000 (US) compared to 34,1 (SA) per 100 000. Therefore, the chance of being murdered in SA was 6,9 times higher than in the USA

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