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An Analysis of Data On Rape Crimes


I will touch upon the value of data and highlight benefits and drawbacks of the data and lastly and produce appropriate business actions that may be taken and permit Russex constabulary to help prioritise their work.

Methods of data collection

Official statistics are those published by the central Government. This source of statistical information informs the general public about the extent of 'notifiable offences'. Official statistics are easy and cheap to access as you can view them on the Home Office web page. The second way to obtain statistical information comes from the British Crime Survey (BCS). These statistics are 'unofficial' and the procedures used to gather information are very different to the first, as the statistical data originates from surveys carried out by the general public themselves. The statistics given are based on a huge representative sample of everyone about their encounters as victims of household and personal crime. The BCS endeavours to give a count of crime that consists of episodes not reported to the authorities, therefore examining the "dark figure" of crime which is not recorded in official statistics.

The British Crime Survey (BCS) is a huge random survey of private households, made to give a count of crime that includes incidents not reported to the police, or those reported to them but not recorded. The main BCS interview occurs face-to-face, without gender matching of interviewer and respondent. This context is not conducive to accurately measuring levels of highly personal victimisation. Estimates of the amount of sexual victimisation obtained by the main BCS are acknowledged to be underestimates

Consequently, the survey now makes use of Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing (CASI), whereby respondents keyed their responses into a laptop computer themselves. This method provides respondents with an elevated sense of confidentiality and minimises 'interviewer effects'. Respondents who answered the self-completion modules were routed through a series of three 'screener' questions, designed to identify whether they have been a victim of a sexual offence. If they responded positively to 1 or more of these, then they answered some follow-up questions, designed to elicit the exact nature of the 'last incident' experienced.

Data as a management tool

Data collection is sensible because you can not manage what you don't measure. Statistics from data allows a police department to make smart judgments and assists them in possibly identifying department and procedural problems. Data collection is also a great gesture to the community, showing police gets the willingness to take an inward turn to prevent discrimination. It also displays a true commitment by law enforcement to handle community concerns and needs. Data collection gives everyone something to utilize though it might be simply a partial solution. With mandatory data collection, officers will be required to think about what happens during an face and what they do and say and perhaps what parts should be regarded closer. Data collection provide a basis for important policy changes.

Statistical techniques

Line Graph

A line graph is most useful in displaying data or information that changes continuously as time passes. The example below shows the Rape of a lady from 1993-2005/06

Some of the strengths of line graphs are that:

They are good at showing specific values of data, and therefore given one variable the other can simply be determined.

They show trends in data clearly, meaning that they visibly show how one variable is influenced by the other as it increases or decreases.

They enable the viewer to make predictions about the results of data not yet recorded.

Unfortunately, it is possible to alter just how a line graph appears to make data look a certain way. This is done by either not using regular scales on the axes, meaning that the value in between each point across the axis might not be the same, or when you compare two graphs using different scales for each. It's important that we all be familiar with how graphs can be made to look a certain way, when that may not be what sort of data really is.

'Rape of your female' - Long-term national recorded crime trend

he rate of rapes on females during this period has drastically increased (see above). Leah Williams from the Women's Resource Centre stated that 'there were 1, 842 rapes reported in 1985, in comparison to 14, 449 in 2005. There could be a good explanation for this trend. Research by feminist scholars Hanmer and Saunders (1984) cited in Goodey (2005) found that 'everyday' reality of women's encounters of violence by men weren't revealed in the BCS because the BCS is not made to reveal such information. Which means range of rapes on females might not exactly have increased during this period, but the variety of reports to the police has increased. This suggests that rapes which may have occurred prior 1995 are only being reported to the police within the last decade. This can be because of the social construction of the police changing. There are more female officers now than previously which makes rape victims more willing to talk to female officers than male officers. Society in addition has changed to be able to provide more victim support for rape victims by establishing rape centres for victims. However, Hough (2004) mentioned in the Guardian newspaper that the BCS demonstrates the major types of crime have fallen drastically since 1995, however, recorded crime has increased. This increase is because of the change in the manner where police count crime. In 1998 it was decided that victim reports of crimes will be recorded even if they are doubted. This may be an alternative solution reason to why there is an increase in rape crimes, as rape is hard to record without sufficient evidence.

Reservations over data

How accurate will be the estimates?

Unreported rape - may feel that the federal government cannot do anything about it

There are the key reason why the BCS self-completion modules will probably underestimate the real degree of sexual victimisation in England and Wales for women

general survey errors associated with response, sampling and coverage - in particular, the BCS does cover institutions, the homeless or women under age 16, which excludes some 'high risk' women

the 'crime context' of the BCS may lead to some women not reporting incidents they don't view as criminal, particularly where the perpetrator is known

the 'screener question' format will exclude women who do not identify with the particular terminology used in the questions

the BCS interview is not necessarily conducted in private and the occurrence of other people in the area may inhibit disclosure, particularly if this includes the perpetrator of any attack.

Conclusion actions and recommendations

Sexual offence statistics could be improved by improved police procedures, and by having better facilities to encourage a greater willingness of victims to come forward. The sexual crime reduction team are committed to tackling sexual offences and to providing the right support for victims. Better facilities have been introduced through the introduction of 13 sexual assault referral centre across the country. The Government 'want to make these multi agency services for victims available on a national basis, along with a rape help line'.

Low reporting rates to the authorities particularly occur in the region of rape, where the respondent might find it embarrassing or difficult to discuss the attack. However, this issue is trying to be countered out. 'Computer - assisted self-interview forms have been introduced for issues such as sexual attacks'. However a lot of this area of offences continues to be missed as victims should stay static in denial, and keep the fact that they have been a victim of a bad sexual assault of their sub-conscious, due to finding it to painful to take into account.

Further specialist training for sexual offence cases should be undertaken by officers. As a result of these services, victims should feel more confident from the outset that their case is treated with professionalism and empathy. In turn, it'll improve theirs among others confidence in the criminal justice system. Ultimately, this increased approach should lead to more reporting, recording and subsequently more realistic statistics.

Offer tricks for rape prevention.

Wider use of rape clinics, and awareness of these.

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