Crime Measuring & Mapping: Crime, Ethnicity and Offending

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    • 00:05

      [Crime Measuring and Mapping:Crime, Ethnicity,and Offending]

    • 00:11

      DR. JAMES HUNTER: Hello, I'm James Hunter,principal lecturer in public policyfrom Nottingham Trent University.[Dr. James Hunter, Principal Lecturer in Public Policy]My research interests center around the geography of crimeand the geography of health, and why place and neighborhoodsshape our opportunities and outcomes as individuals.In this case study, I'm going to illustratehow quantitative analysis can helpus answer a key question in criminology-- who

    • 00:32

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: commits crime.But I'm also going to show the dangers of rushing too quicklyreach certain conclusions based upon the statistical resultsthat are in front of us.[Who Commits Crime?]Who commits crime?Many of us will have several characteristics,which we instantly reach for whenwe start to think about the usual suspects in terms

    • 00:53

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: of people committing crime in our local neighborhoodsand where we live.The media certainly helps fuel these stereotypes,and one of the characteristics that often appears in the mediais in relation to the ethnicity of offenders.The media is quick to push the ideathat the vast majority of crimes are committedby certain ethnic groups.

    • 01:14

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: But is this really the case?In this case study, we'll explore some of the problemsaround looking at ethnicity in relation to offending, but alsohow we can use statistics to see whether there is any evidenceto support the media stereotypes that exist.[Crime and Ethnicity]Our starting point for looking at the issue of crimeand ethnicity is to undertake some analysis

    • 01:36

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: of the official recorded crime statistics,but these statistics have a number of problems.The most commonly identified are, firstly,that many crimes are not reported to the police.But secondly, that there are serious concernsabout the procedures used by different policeforces in their approach to recording crime.In our research, we've identified a third problem,

    • 01:59

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: and that is to do with the ethnic classificationof offenders.When an individual is charged with an offense by the police,one of the characteristics they have to note downis the ethnicity of the offender.At the point of arrest, the offenderis asked to volunteer their ethnic identity.

    • 02:19

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: And this can provide us with a rich amount of informationabout the ethnicity of offenders,which will enable us to explore the issue of the relationshipbetween crime and ethnicity.Unfortunately, in some instances,the offender will not reveal or volunteertheir ethnic identity.And in this situation, the arresting officerhas to make a judgment.

    • 02:40

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: But if we look at the categories of ethnicity thatare based upon the ethnic identity of the offenderbased upon the visible judgment of the police officer,these are much smaller than the much larger range of categoriesproduced by ethnicity when it is volunteered by the offender.When we analyze the crime statistics,

    • 03:02

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: in a number of cases, the informationon the visible ethnicity and the volunteered ethnicityis recorded.But rather worryingly, in around 10% of the cases,these appeared to lead to completely differentconclusions.In other words, the ethnic identityof the offender based upon the information they have providedthe arresting officer with does not

    • 03:24

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: chime with the ethnic identity recorded by the arrestingofficer.[The Study]So now I'm going to talk about the researchthat we actually conducted to explore the issue of crimeand ethnicity.We were provided with access to police-recorded crimestatistics from 2003 to 2013 for three cities in England.

    • 03:46

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: For the purposes of identifying the ethnicity of the offender,we drew upon the information thatwas based upon the ethnicity thatwas volunteered by the offender at the point of arrest.This was used because it gave us a richerpicture of the ethnic mix of the offender populationwithin each of the three cities.On the basis of the analysis we've undertaken,

    • 04:07

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: we can look at offenses committedin each of our three cities, broken downby the ethnic identity of offenders.In this first table, we can see the evidenceof patterns of offending by different ethnic groupsbetween 2003 and 2013 in each of our three cities.We can see that the ethnic group the commits the largestproportion of crimes are white British.

    • 04:29

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: But over and above this, there are slightly different resultsfor each of the three cities.If we look at the results for the individual cities,in City A, apart from white British,we can see that other ethnic groups that feature stronglywithin the offender profile are peopleof mixed race, particularly white and black Caribbean,black Caribbean, and Pakistani.

    • 04:52

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: In City B, the results are exactly the same, the onlydifference being that now the Indian community alsoappears to commit a high level of offending in the city.Finally, if we look at City C, the results,again, are similar, but now a further ethnic grouphas joined the picture, namely black Africans.

    • 05:12

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: On face value, this evidence seemsto suggest that there is a relationship between ethnicityand patterns of offending.But of course, it would be misleading and wrongto automatically reach conclusions about the ideathat crime is committed by certain ethnic groups simplybased upon these figures.

    • 05:33

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: This is because in order to really knowwhether there is a relationship between ethnicity and patternsof offending, we need to take accountof who's actually living in each of these three cities.The way we can best answer this questionis to examine the probability of someonefrom a certain ethnic group ending upin the offender profile.

    • 05:53

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: We can find the answer to this questionby comparing, for each ethnic group, their presencein the offender population when compared to their presencein the overall population.In the second table, we now have the evidencegenerated from a probability analysisin the form of odds ratio.The odds ratio shows the likelihood of someone

    • 06:16

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: from a particular ethnic group ending upin the offender population.These odds ratios are simple to interpret.If the odds ratio has a score of 1,it means that that ethnic group is represented in the offenderprofile in exactly the same proportionas they appear in the population.If the odds ratio is greater than 1,

    • 06:37

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: this means that this ethnic group is overrepresentedin the offender population.Whereas if the odds ratio is below this value of 1,it means this ethnic group is underrepresented.Now, if we interpret this odds ratio evidence, and bearingin mind what we saw in the previous table,we can see that, in fact, our initial conclusions

    • 06:59

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: that we might have reached on the basis of simply examiningthe ethnic identity of offenders can be brought into question.In City A, the odds ratio scores tell usthat members of the white British population,the mixed white, black, and Caribbean, the black Caribbeanare overrepresented.

    • 07:20

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: In other words, there's a greater probabilityof people from these ethnic groups ending upin the offender population comparedto their presence in the overall population.In contrast, the Pakistani communityis significantly underrepresentedwhen compared to their overall presence in the population.In City B, the results are exactly the sameas City A. The same groups are overrepresented

    • 07:43

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: and underrepresented.The additional information we can identify,however, is that the Indian ethnic community are alsosignificantly underrepresented in the offender population.Finally, this pattern is also evidencedby the data in relation to City C.It is the evidence in relation to odds ratiosthat provides us with the action empirical evidence we should

    • 08:04

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: be using to explore the relationship between crimeand ethnicity.[Pitfalls of Using Statistical Analysis]The statistical evidence here doesshow that crime is disproportionatelycommitted in our three cities by certain ethnic groups,whilst there other ethnic groups that are significantlyunderrepresented.The results of our research, however,

    • 08:24

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: illustrate the danger of wanting to reachtoo quickly to some conclusions about the relationshipbetween ethnicity and offenders.At the start of the case study, Italked about media stereotypes, and about the ideathat certain ethnic groups disproportionatelycommit most of the crime.One can imagine certain newspaper editorslooking at this evidence and instantly rising often

    • 08:46

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: editorial about why we need to tacklethe problem of immigration, or other issuesto do with certain ethnic groups,based upon this evidence.But our research has merely shownthat there is a relationship in terms of certain ethnic groupsbeing more likely to commit crime,and other ethnic groups being lesslikely to commit crime in terms of the presence

    • 09:06

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: in the population.It has not looked at other circumstances.It has not taken account of the type of neighborhoodsthat individuals live in, or their personal circumstancesin terms of employment, educational background,level of income.For example, we know that, in many cities,it is in the poorest neighborhoods, the areas which

    • 09:27

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: suffer the highest deprivation, that certain ethnic minoritygroups are disproportionately concentrated.We also know that these neighborhoods a crime hotspots, but it doesn't automaticallyfollow but they are crime hot spots becauseof the overwhelming makeup of the local populationby ethnic minorities.

    • 09:47

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: It may actually be the deprivation,the lack of educational opportunity,employment, and levels of household incomewhich make these areas a crime hot spot.And actually, the ethnicity of the individuals and householdswho live there has nothing to do with why this locality isa crime hot spot.[Conclusion]

    • 10:08

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: Hopefully this case study has illustratedhow we can use quantitative analysisof police-recorded crime data to answerthe question in a robust fashion about whether thereis a relationship between crime and the ethnicity of offenders.Hopefully this has also illustrated the problemsof interpreting evidence, even whenwe've undertaken a robust form of empirical analysis.

    • 10:29

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: If you are a student of criminology,the obvious questions arising from this case studyare why are certain ethnic groups disproportionatelyoverrepresented, both in the offending profile,and also in the prison population?Is it personal circumstances?Is a lack of opportunity?Is it lack of role models?Is it in some way to do with institutional racism?

    • 10:51

      DR. JAMES HUNTER [continued]: About how these groups are viewed by crime reductionagencies, public service organizations, and membersof the local community?

Crime Measuring & Mapping: Crime, Ethnicity and Offending

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Abstract

Dr. James Hunter discusses using quantitative analysis of crime data to answer the question, "Who commits crime?" In his research, Hunter looked at the crime statistics of different areas and compared them with the reported ethnicity of the offenders.

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Crime Measuring & Mapping: Crime, Ethnicity and Offending

Dr. James Hunter discusses using quantitative analysis of crime data to answer the question, "Who commits crime?" In his research, Hunter looked at the crime statistics of different areas and compared them with the reported ethnicity of the offenders.

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