Taking crime seriously: Playing the weighting game

Dainis Ignatans, Ken Pease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The advantages and problems of weighting crime counts by harm inflicted are detailed. To obtain a better understanding of crime trends and distributions, victim judgements of the seriousness of offences committed against them derived from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) were analysed and used as weights of crime counts. The data were used to check whether there was a seriousness drop paralleling the crime drop of recent decades. There was, albeit somewhat less precipitous. Series crimes (i.e. repeated crimes against the same targets and presumed to be by the same perpetrators) account for an astonishing 39% of all crime and around 42% of crime weighted by seriousness. The article focuses on distributions across households. In line with our earlier work on crime events per se, the most victimized households have benefited most from the seriousness 'drop' in absolute terms, but still account for a similar proportion of total harm over time. A case is made for the use of CSEW victim seriousness judgement for a variety of analytic and practical purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberpav029
Pages (from-to)184-193
Number of pages10
JournalPolicing (Oxford)
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

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