There is no perfect methodology that can be employed in the collection of data. A number of tactics and methodologies that have been employed are either considered to be extremely tough if not impossible at all. In addition to this, knowing and being able to tell the exact number of criminal acts that are taking place in a specific jurisdiction is difficult especially at any specific time (Dantzer, 2008). There are numerous accuracies that are unknown the same as to the most of the crime taking place without being noticed. Those many crimes that take place without being detected and consequently being reported often end up not being recorded. Apart from this, there are a number of crime reports that he police themselves may not want to report neither record or if reported, it may be reported inaccurately. All in all, crimes must be recorded so as the right and correct information is provided to the end users may require these information and statistics to make their decisions. There are two major methods that are currently being applied to collect crime data these are crime reports (UCR, NIBRS), self report crime surveys and crime observation.
Crime observation as a method of collecting crime data involves gathering data that relates to criminal activities. Observation refers to seeing or viewing. We are supposed to observe an action that is taking place by seeing and making note of the various details that are being portrayed. Observation may be considered as casual viewing, but the type of observation that involves collecting data can not be categorized to as casual viewing, it is the type of observation that that involves systematic seeing and viewing of a phenomenon that is specific in its setting with the core objective of collecting data that is essential for a study (Sutherland, Cressey & Luckerbill, 2002). Observation as a technique employed in crime data collection encompasses both hearing and seeing, perceiving accompanies these two. Observation as a technique for data collection plays an essential role in testing the already formulated hypothesis. Observation is further classified into sub classes such as participant observation, non participant observation, direct observation, indirect observation, controlled observation and uncontrolled observation.
Crime reports are the other methods that can be employed to collect crime data. One of the commonly resource used to collect data is the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR). This program was started in 1929 through the attorney general’s order and the FBI was made responsible for the administration of this program. There are more than 17,000 agencies owed to enforcing the law which report to the FBI every month the number of crimes that have taken place within their areas of jurisdictions. The hierarchy rule is employed in the UCR program, this means that a multiple crime offender will only be listed depending on the seriousness of the crime, minor offences will be ignored. However, this rule has been considered as a limitation to the UCR. In addition to this, another limitation is on the limited data on victims and arrestees and the total absence of data depicting the relationship between the offender and the victim. In 1985, a new technique National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) was introduced by the FBI to collect crime data. Around 4,300 agencies involved with the enforcement of law were supposed to report to the crime data every year. The hierarchy rule was gotten rid of in this new system.
Self reporting crime survey is the other technique employed in collecting crime data. In this method, one is expected to prepare his own survey or questionnaire and this is the most common method employed by researchers and academicians. Most of those people on whom this technique is administered on are high school students and in other occasions, it may involve college students. Subjects are free to answer questions without the fear of victimization. The method has been also administered on prisoners who are incarcerated with the attempts of trying to catch those on the loose. Regardless of the people in the sample, the method requires that the subjects read and mark wherever they think appropriate. For instance the number of times they have committed serious crimes and they have gotten away with them. The results from this crime data collecting method are very devastating and from it can be estimated that around 90% of the population have been in the wrong side of the law and often got away with it. However, the shortcomings of the survey have been in the accuracy of the statistics, people are questioning the validity and how reliable this information can be.
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Deviance has been defined as any form of behavior that tends to violate and go against the norms of the society. Deviance has been classified into two. The first form of deviance is termed to as crime; a crime is when one violates the laws that have formally been enacted. This form of deviance is often referred to as formal deviance. Various examples of formal deviance include robbery, rape, murder, assault and burglary. The other form of deviance implies to the violation of social norms that have been enacted informally and they are not codified to the laws of the society (Dantzer, 2008). The form of deviance that violates the social enacted norms is known as informal deviance. Forms of informal deviance may be loud belching, picking one’s nose or standing very close to anot6her person without necessarily having to do so.
It should be noted that deviance behavior varies from culture to culture. There is relativity in cultural norms this is the reason as to why deviant behavior is considered relative. Taking an example of the US, it is very uncommon for people to restrict their talking to certain periods of the day, however, in the Desert Monastery, there were rules that were enacted specifically which governed when and when not to speak and a complete ban of speaking was enacted between 7:30pm- 4:00 am (Franklin et al. 2010). This rule in the Desert Monastery is a clear indication of how norms may be relative to the cultures. This variance thus means that talking within the hours that talking and speaking was completely banned was illegal and strict measures would be taken against the person who broke the rule.
The illustration indicated here forth clearly stipulates that not all deviance behaviors are crimes. Judging deviance and terming to all deviance behaviors to as deviant depends on the standpoint of the one judging and the norms of the specific society. Societies and groups of individuals often come up with deviance through the rules they have enacted. The enacted rules are applied on a number of people and they are used to labeling them to as outsiders especially when they go against the set rules (Sutherland, Cressey & Luckerbill, 2002). The contrast in the questions is that all behaviors are not considered to as deviance. The laws that have been set by the state are applicable to call a behavior a crime and they are very formal, the laws are applicable to all people irrespective of their cultures or beliefs. However, the informal deviance is within the society setting, the laws are not written anywhere but each person living within the society is expected to stick to them fully.
The presence of an opportunity is itself is one of the core reasons as to why a crime will have to take place. It is argued that if a person of the place in question was able to present room for a crime or misbehavior to take place, then the crime will have to take place and the enacted or laws in force shall be broken.
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The opportunities are often very specific. There must be a reason as to why an individual will be engaged in crime. For instance when one steals a car just to enjoy riding it is very different from the other person who steals the vehicle for its spare parts. The two people in question will have stolen the vehicles due to their varying specific opportunities.
The opportunities that may make one to be involved in a crime are often strongly related to time and space. If a place is well lit and the security in the area is beefed up, then the chances for people breaking into the houses and committing crimes shall be lower compared to places that are dimly lit and there is not security. According to Franklin et al. (2010) thieves often see an opportunity of breaking and stealing in dark areas.Each single day comes up with its opportunity for crimes to increase. Dantzer (2008) asserts that if a teenager is attacked, revenge motivation shall arise among his teenage friends and more damage may end up resulting because of the eagerness by the teenage to avenge.
Valuable goods and products enhance opportunities. People are more tempting to commit crimes so as to earn and posses the valuable goods and products that are within the society.Changes in technology and societal changes have provided more opportunities for deviance behaviors. For instance, when mobile phones first came into the market, the risk of them being stolen was much high. However, when more of these devices were supplied into the market and they became saturated heir risk of being stolen went done because they became less attractive. The focus of crime shifted to the new arrivals in the market and thus new opportunities for theft are created (Sutherland, Cressey & Luckerbill, 2002).
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Crime can only be reduced if the opportunities can be reduced. Locking car doors and avoiding leaving purses and any other valuable products in them can reduce the rates of theft and crimes. The ninth principle states that when opportunities for crimes are reduced, it does not imply that the crimes have gone down. Crime shall be reduced by a bigger rate if focus is paid on the opportunities. Enacting crime prevention techniques in a given region reduces crime rates within the areas around that proximity.
The crime pattern theory pays attention to potential criminals and watches their daily movements every day from their homes, to work, friends, schools and the activities they are involved in. this is geared towards the creation of an activity region within which it is assumed that the offenders would be searching for their victims or targets (Abell, 2007). The theory tends to attune to the various authorities on how the patterns that have been created by the potential offenders may increase or reduce their likelihood of engaging in a crime. The location of criminals is one of the core roles of investigators and detectives. The geographic clues that eh potential offenders provide to them can be very valuable to them in carrying out their investigations and solving a lot of queries that may have arisen in the past. According to Franklin et al. (2010) the compilation of geographic data, together with various information that has been identified and collected can strengthen the analysis of crimes.
To many people, economics seems to be the most successful among the social sciences. There has been a common assumption that majority of the people are motivated by money and the urge to make profits; it is through this that a number of constructive formal theories have been constructed. The rational choice theory is based on the assumption that compact and complex phenomena in the society can receive an explanation that is based on the elementary actions of an individual that constitutes the person. In the theory, individuals tend to be motivated by the goals and wants that express their tastes and preferences. It is within these specifics that one will act on given that the constraints are present and the utilizing the information in their presence about the conditions they are acting on.
Rational choice theories are based and theories hold their argument that individuals are eagerly anticipating for the outcomes of the various courses of their actions and from this be able to calculate those that affect them most. It is from this ground that the principles of rational choice and exchange were portrayed to be simply expressions of the basic principles of behavior. The various attempts that have been employed to try and explain the various social phenomenon in relation to how self motivated persons arrive at their choices under the influence of preferences is defined by the rational choice theories.
The theories treat the exchanges within the society as similar as those of the economy in which the involved parties are striving to maximize their gain while reducing their losses. The basis of the theories are that human beings use rational calculations to base their arguments they are led by rationality in the choice making and they are geared towards optimizing their pleasure. Despite this concept explaining a lot in a number of disciplines, in criminology, the concept of rational choice theory can not explain a number of social phenomena like altruism, trust, reciprocity and why people willingly join groups and associations where the goals of the group are given the fore front and not those of a single individual.
The classical school of criminology is a broad perspective in reference to a thinkers group in relation to punishment and crime during the 18th and 19th centuries. The various prominent members of this school of thought included Jeremy Bentham and Beccaria Cesare. The two shared the ideology which stated that crimes and criminal behavior could be comprehended and controlled since it was a human’s outcome that we all share.
The school of thought categorizes human beings as hedonistic who act in relation to their self interests. On the rational perspective, the humans are capable of considering the better option and the best action that would satisfy their own self interests (Abell, 2007). The school of thought believes that a well structured state was capable of coming up with a framework that was well constructed in relation to punishments. This would help people understand that peaceful actions and avoiding deviant behaviors was for their own good. The system which was considered to work best was deterrence.
Cesare and his colleagues believed that criminal acts could be curbed by the use of human nature basics. Hedonism which was the school’s based system argued that human beings will often act in terms of self interest. From the arguments they raised, they believed that as long as people could benefit from any action, they will be for the opinion. Believing that non violence activities and a peaceful community is for their self benefit.