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NCJ Number: 228610 
Title: Victimisations Surveys in Comparative Perspective (From Victimisation Surveys in Comparative Perspective: Papers From the Stockholm Criminology Symposium 2007, P 60-69, 2008, Kauko Aromaa and Markku Heiskanen, eds. - See NCJ-228606)
Author(s): Richard Blath
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Criminal Justice Press/Willow Tree Press
Sale Source: Criminal Justice Press/Willow Tree Press
United States of America
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: Finland
Annotation: This paper discusses the significance of crime victimization surveys for crime-control and criminal justice policies in Germany, based on the results of two colloquia.
Abstract: Germany has not had a leading role in national or international crime victimization surveys. In order to address this circumstance, the Federal Ministry of Interior and the Federal Ministry of Justice organized two colloquia on victimization surveys in 1999 and 2001. On the basis of these two meetings and following the suggestions of the First Periodical Report on Crime and Crime Control for Germany, both ministries commissioned a working group of criminologists and methodologists to develop a draft for crime victimization surveys in Germany, which would be conducted regularly. The working group presented its report in the fall of 2002. The report includes proposals for forthcoming crime victimization surveys. It proposes variables and items, the structure of the questionnaire, time intervals, proposals for sampling and interview methods, and cost estimates. In reflecting on the working group’s report, this paper notes that the proposed questionnaire solicits information on the amount, types, and trends of crime; crimes reported to police; feelings of safety/fear of crime; attitudes on crime and criminal justice policy; and attitudes toward police and other criminal justice agencies. This is important information for the development of crime-control and criminal justice policies; however, there are potential side effects that should be considered. Victimization questionnaires cannot provide all of the details essential for describing what constitutes various types of offenses under various statutes; therefore, respondents are left to make a subjective decision about whether or not they have experienced a particular type of criminal victimization. This not only compromises the accuracy of victimization crime statistics, but also the determination of whether or not what happened to a respondent should or should not have been reported to police.
Main Term(s): Victimization
Index Term(s): Germany; Questionnaires; Victimization surveys; Victims in foreign countries
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