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NCJ Number: 182029 Find in a Library
Title: Crime Statistics as Constructs: The Case of Swedish Rape Statistics
Journal: European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research  Volume:8  Issue:1  Dated:March 2000  Pages:77-89
Author(s): Hanns von Hofer
Date Published: March 2000
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This article attempts to empirically describe the way in which different factors affect official crime statistics produced at the national level.
Abstract: Using Swedish rape statistics as a focus, the article claims that cross-national comparisons of crime levels are extremely hazardous when based on official crime statistics, since the construction rules vary widely. International comparisons of crime levels should as a rule be confined to findings of international victim surveys. The example of rape statistics in Sweden--about three times higher when compared to other countries in the European Sourcebook--is used to explain what factors can influence statistics. The article shows that changes in statistical routines, the legal definition of rape and changes over time all influence the statistics in a substantive way. The article also indicates the great extent to which crime statistics are a construct whose appearance is very sensitive to the rules applied in the process of construction. Using statistics appropriately requires a thorough knowledge of the principles guiding that process. Tables, notes, figures, references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Comparative criminology; Foreign crime statistics; Rape; Rape statistics; Research; Statistical analysis; Statistics; Sweden
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