A unique look at the problems in measuring crime both historically and internationally

Filled with real world examples derived from media reports on crime trends and other sources, this fully updated Second Edition analyzes the specific errors that can occur in the three most common methods used to report crime—official crime data, self report, and victimization studies. For each method, the authors examine strengths and weaknesses, the fundamental issues surrounding accuracy, and the method's application to theoretical and policy research. Throughout the book, the authors demonstrate the factors that underlie crime data and illustrate the fundamental links between theory, policy, and data measurement.

Victimization Surveys
Victimization surveys

Homicide victims are notoriously poor respondents to Census Bureau interviewers.

—Benjamin Renshaw (1990, p. 226)

Another method of studying crime that arose in response to concerns about the limitations of official data was the victim survey. Instead of asking criminal justice system officials or offenders about criminal behavior, this approach ...

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