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Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Complexities of Recorded Crime continued

I have just had a re-read of my previous post and apart from correcting the numerous typos I notice that I did not mention one of the main facets of my argument. One of dangers of writing a post whilst supervising a 20 month old grand-daughter!

This is of course is the fact that we are comparing recorded crime here. One of the differences between those living in high and low deprivation areas is the level of insurance cover. The more affluent, one assumes, will have insurance for household goods and the less affluent will not, a good area for research. Insurance can skew the figures in the same direction by two means. Firstly, as it is necessary to report a crime to police before gaining an insurance pay out, those who are insured a more likely to do so than those who are not. When I carried research into vehicle thefts about 18 years ago I presented evidence that at least 20% of all reported vehicle thefts were in fact insurance frauds. It is only those who are insured who can commit such frauds.

This means that there probably is an under-reporting of burglary in deprived areas and an possibly an over-reporting in affluent ones.

There is still much more I could write on this subject including why I treat police crime data as recording the public's demand and police activity rather being a measure of actual crime.

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