Most sociologists recognize that the criminal statistics are the product of a complex process. Society must first define a behaviour as criminal, but the definition of a criminal act can change over time, and between jurisdictions. To enter the statistics a crime must be reported and recorded, but the public do not report all offences, while changes in police procedure, or simple human error, can mean no record is made. The outcome of a court case, and hence the statistical recording of a conviction or otherwise, also depends upon a complex mix of ingredients. Some would argue, therefore, that criminal statistics are less a picture of the incidence of crime than an indicator of what the authorities regard as the most important offences, what the police actually find it manageable to police, and what kind of offence the court system tends to process with convictions resulting. Nevertheless, after a period of criticism and distrust, use of criminal statistics has been regaining broad acceptance. See also CRIME-RATE; ETHNOSTATISTICS.
"criminal statistics." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 22, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/criminal-statistics
"criminal statistics." A Dictionary of Sociology. . Retrieved March 22, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/criminal-statistics