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NCJ Number: 99413 Find in a Library
Title: Public and Police Perceptions of Crime Seriousness in England and Wales
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:25  Issue:3  Dated:(July 1985)  Pages:234-250
Author(s): M Levi; S Jones
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: After reviewing problems in the methodologies and uses of crime seriousness surveys, this study examines the congruence between the crime seriousness ratings of representative samples of the police and the public from the same jurisdictions of England and Wales.
Abstract: One problem in the methodology of crime seriousness surveys is distinguishing complex factors in the relationship between views of sentencing severity and crime severity. Another problem pertains to how crime seriousness data should be used in policy decisions. This 1980 study conducted a crime seriousness survey among representative samples of the police and the public in two police jurisdictions of England and Wales. Successful interviews were conducted with 960 citizens randomly selected by area household methods from a variety of semiurban to inner city areas, chosen to give a diverse but regionally comparable range of socioeconomic and policing characteristics. A total of 368 police officers were surveyed, representative except for a disproportionate weighting of officers over the rank of chief inspector. The response rate was 69.9 percent for the public and 98 percent for the police. The questionnaire asked respondents to rank the severity of 14 described offenses. Responses showed high congruity in views of crime severity among the public and between the public and police on violent offenses and theft by a police officer. More disagreement existed on the ratings of frauds, burglary, and 'victimless' crimes. Tabular data and 48 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Crime seriousness measures; England; Police attitudes; Public Opinion of Crime; Research methods; Wales
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