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Criminology One of The Most Prominent

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One of the most prominent and unfortunate components of modern society is crime. Various factors influence and individual’s criminal tendencies, including childhood background factors, socialization, the economy, and a myriad other factors. In addition, there are about as many types of crimes as there are individuals to commit them. Hence, the study of crime and collection of crime data are somewhat challenging, especially in terms of unreported crimes. The fact that many crimes go unreported creates an element known as the “dark figure of crime,” referring to unrecorded crime statistics. The two main methods of recording crime statistics in the United States that also address the dark figure of crime include National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and the National Crime Victimization Surveys (NCVS). These methods attempt to address the challenge of collecting accurate crime statistics across the country (Cole and Smith, 2008, p. 42).

The dark figure of crime is of importance in terms of criminal justice, as it creates a challenge to the accurate detection and deterring practices for crime. Without knowing the exact statistics related to crime in the country, there is no way to determine whether deterring strategies are in fact effective. According to Attewell (2011), underreporting by both the public and the police, as well as a lack of crime detection, is responsible for much of the dark figure of crime as it occurs today. It is therefore important to attempt to address this challenge. Hence, investigating the effectiveness of data collecting strategies is also important in this regard.

The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) has been created by the FBI as a response to the basic shortcomings of the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), in that the latter does not provide an accurate picture of crime statistics in the country. The reason for this is that crime reporting is voluntary, and the UCR offers only statistics on reported crime. Another major factor leading to inaccurate reporting is underreporting by officials for reasons such as department budgets, which are often dependent on positive crime deterrent outcomes.

Whereas the UCR offers uniform data for 29 types of crimes and eight major crimes. The NIBRS, on the other hand, provides for police officers to report all crimes committed during an accident rather than only those that are most serious (Cole and Smith, 2008, p. 43). The system also requires complete data on offenders, victims, and the locations of their interactions. The NIBRS provides detailed incident data on 46 offences within 22 crime categories. It also distinguishes between attempted and actually committed crimes. A major advantage of this system is therefore that it addresses the dark figure of crime with greater accuracy than the UCR.

The National Crime Victimization Surveys (NCVS) has the same advantage (Cole and Smith, 2008, p. 43), in that it addresses the dark figure of crime by means of interviews with a probability sample of citizens. The Census Bureau has done such surveys since 1972. It includes a sample of 76,000 individuals in 43,000 households, who are interviewed twice per year for three years to determine whether, and to what extent, they have been affected by crime. This method of determining the crime rate creates an even closer focus on unreported crimes, since victims or potential victims themselves are interviewed. Hence, it is a closer approximation of the actual crime rate than even that provided by the NIBRS.

In conclusion, the importance of addressing the dark figure of crime cannot be underestimated. Indeed, authors like Attewell (2011) mention how this very lack of crime detection and reporting is a potential factor in the allure of crime. More accurate reporting can lead to greater arrest, incarceration and rehabilitation rates. Ultimately, specifically addressing the dark figure of crime can lead to a safer and more secure society and a greater deterrent for criminals faced with the choice between crime and being productive citizens themselves.

References

Attewell, R.G. (2011). Dealing with Uncertainties in Policing Serious Crime: Can Statistics Help? Australian National University. Retrieved from: http://epress.anu.edu.au/apps/bookworm/view/Dealing+with+Uncertainties+in+Policing+Serious+Crime/4581/ch03.xhtml

Cole, G.F. And Smith, C.E. (2008). Criminal Justice in America. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

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Essay, Bookmy. (August 2018). Criminology One of The Most Prominent. Retrieved from https://www.samples.bookmyessay.com/criminology-one-of-the-most-prominent/

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Essays, BookMy. (November 2018). Criminology One of The Most Prominent. Retrieved from https://www.samples.bookmyessay.com/criminology-one-of-the-most-prominent/

Bookmyessay. November 2018. Criminology One of The Most Prominent. [online]. Available from: https://www.samples.bookmyessay.com/criminology-one-of-the-most-prominent/ [ Accessed Wednesday 3rd March 2021].

Essays, BookMy. (November 2018). Criminology One of The Most Prominent. Retrieved from https://www.samples.bookmyessay.com/criminology-one-of-the-most-prominent/

Essays, Bookmy. (November 2018). Criminology One of The Most Prominent. Retrieved from https://www.samples.bookmyessay.com/criminology-one-of-the-most-prominent/

All Answers ltd, 'Criminology One of The Most Prominent' (Bookmyessays.com, September 2019) https://www.samples.bookmyessay.com/criminology-one-of-the-most-prominent/ accessed Wednesday 3rd March 2021

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