Crime statistics—numerical data on crime and the judicial reactions to it, calculated at regular intervals—constitute an essential counterbalance to normative approaches to criminal justice issues. There is no single measure of crime, but several different ones, each with its advantages and shortcomings. Measurement of crime depends entirely on the sources utilized. Results depend on the viewpoint upon which these measurements are predicated, that is, looking at data on victims, offenders, or the public or private agencies possibly involved once an offense has been discovered.


Crime statistics originated from counts of a criminal justice agency's activity. Historically, European governments introduced them at the beginning of the 19th century and they first covered criminal courts. Statistics on prosecutorial entities followed, meaning the public prosecutor for civil law countries ...

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