A Victim survey:
A Victim survey:
A victim survey is a survey that asks a sample of people who have had crimes committed against them, This survey provides information on crime and the people who have been victimised from crime, through a questionnaire. This questionnaire is sent out randomly to people asking them whether they have been victimised, whether they have reported it to the police or not etc…
Using Victim surveys has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of it are that it shows the amount of crimes that have been committed and the number of people that have actually reported it to the police and the number of people that haven’t so their fore they tend to be more accurate than the official statistics as it shows hidden crime that has not been reported.
A third advantage of using crime surveys is that they play a big part in policy-making and in criminology it also helps authorities get an more accurate picture of the crime level that occurs.
Finally another advantage of using crime surveys is that it indicate which areas and social groups are most likely to be victims and perpetuators of crime in society.
Victimisation surveys can also have disadvantages to them.
As they are questionnaires and a type of self report method, they tend to rely on the individuals responses so they tend to be biased as for an individual who is filling out the victim survey it would require them to recall back their memory of when they were a victim of crime, this could make it unreliable and incorrect it the event was long time ago.
Another major criticism of this type of self – report study is the validity and the representativeness of the data that has been obtained from it as it all relies on peoples responds and whether they have told the truth or not some participants may forget, may answer questions in a social desirable way as they are scared that the interviewee would judge them on the events that has happened to them, or they may just exaggerate events in favour of them so that the interviewee feels sympathy towards them.
Another disadvantage of this is that it as it is a sensitive topic it requires people to go into detail about what has happened to them, some may not feel comfortable and may experience emotional breakdowns so therefore after the questionnaires all participants should be debriefed.
Finally another criticism of this method is that as it requires a quite large sample it can be very expensive to give out questionnaires and do interviews.
Overall, victim surveys are a good way of obtaining accurate data on crime statistics and they tend to be more accurate than official statistics and gives authorities a more clear view of the number of crimes that occur and the most common age group that tend to commit these crimes. However they could be very expensive and biased as the data obtained tends to rely on peoples answers however it has been found out that generally 80% of those who do reply back to crime surveys tend to tell the truth about their experiences.