Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

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Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

Post  DaveTart on Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:57 pm

Obviously, we need to be aware of the potential of crime/violence towards ourselves. But we shouldn't mistake heightened awareness of crime for heightened levels of crime itself. From the latest crime figures:

"The BCS [british crime survey] shows violent crime has fallen by 43 per cent, with common assault falling by 49 per cent since 1995 (Table 2.01 and Figure 2.7)"

"The number of violent crimes experienced by adults remained stable between 2004/05 and 2005/06 BCS interviews. Overall police recorded violent crime increased by two per cent between 2004/05 and 2005/06."

source:
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs06/hosb1206chap456.pdf

From the same source I thought I'd share a few titbits about the PERCEPTION of crime:

• Despite the number of crimes estimated by the BCS falling in recent years, comparatively high proportions of people still believe the crime rate to have risen. People have more positive perceptions of crime in their own area than nationally; 63 per cent of people thought that crime in the country as a whole had increased compared with 42 per cent who thought crime in their local area had increased.
• Readers of national ‘tabloids’ were around twice as likely as those who read national ‘broadsheets’ to think the national crime rate has increased ‘a lot’ in the previous two years (39% and 19% respectively).

So what do we think? Is the media making us paranoid? Every day it seems there is an article about how bad things are getting, how terrible it is; But this doesn't seem to bear up with the stats available. It'll be interesting to see how this years (2006/2007) stats look considering the (according to the media) massive leaps in Gun Crime.

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Re: Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

Post  Nick Hughes on Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:37 pm

Never believe the stats mate...they can be manipulated anyway you want to bolster whatever stance you've taken.

What does your personal experience tell you?

N
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Re: Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

Post  Lee Morrison on Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:09 am

Hi Dave
got to say that I'm inclined to agree with Nick, like most topics presented to the media, stats simply cannot be relied upon. Bottom line is what we are told or presented as factial statistics probably only scratches the surface of the problem. Just take a look at modern events as they unfold around you, starting with the town you live in, then apply that to every town/City along with the frequency that reports of violent crime hits the local news and media news the UK is fast becoming worse not better my friend.

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Re: Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

Post  Ian S on Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:38 am

Does it matter that much either way? Personally I'm an optimist at heart and like to believe that humans are getting more civilized and less violent, overall; I'm pretty sure that the per capita rate of violent incidents in the UK is lower today than it was 150 years ago, and that it was higher still 500 years ago. That's just my opinion though. The important factor for me is that we've still not quite reached a point in human evolution where street violence is a thing of the past, nor does it look like we will do any time soon; so we still need to be training. Being capable of defending oneself against violence is a fundamental component of being a responsible adult -- like being able to swim, or change a plug.
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Re: Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

Post  Chris on Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:45 am

Being capable of defending oneself against violence is a fundamental component of being a responsible adult -- like being able to swim, or change a plug.

Ian, I am in total agreement with your comments and your summation. I can live with the consequences of my own failures but when my failure puts those I love at risk then I simply cannot live with that. I think you have touched on an aspect of personal responsibility that far too few take onboard.
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Re: Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

Post  DaveTart on Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:06 pm

My personnal experience tells me that I've only once got near being in a fight in the last 10years, and that was because I choose to respond to noise.

The "stats can be manipulated" is an interesting point for, but completely unhelpful. We aren't talking about manipulating the finer points here - this is number of crimes in total. Plus the BCS is regarded as one of the most helpful and accurate bank of statistics in the world. To dismiss it along the lines of "oh well stats can prove anything" is quite ignorant if you ask me. Firstly you have to say WHY these stats are flawed beyond "oh well, they obviously are" and then you have show what method would be more realistic/helpful.
I'm not saying these stats are 100% accurate - I'm saying they are much more accurate than counting the news stories/going on what your mate says down the pub.

Just because something is more reported in the media, doesn't mean it is more common - it just means it is more reported. I think the most interesting point above is about the perception of violence, and how people who read tabliods are more likley to view it as getting worse than those who read broadsheets.

However, I think Ian's point is the most useful here - and I agree (I think I said similar in my first paragraph of my original post). While the chance of being involved in violence is now lower than 1995 - doesn't mean it doesn't happen, and we should be protected against that.

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Re: Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

Post  pmatt on Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:30 pm

I heard violent crime is going down and that its just because its more broadcasted now. I dont mean to discriminate or offend here but Im guessing it's more likely to be set on by a group of chavs than it was a while ago.

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hi

Post  theodore on Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:40 am

I agree with Nick

I dont take anyones word for it.

There are more crimes like muggings and burlaries in my area now than there ever was.

We never heard of them when I was a kid yet they are commonplace now.

As is obvious the proliferation of drugs has caused a rise in these sorts of crimes.

T

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Re: Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

Post  spacecadet on Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:12 am

i suppose the crime stats only say how many crimes have been identified and / or how many people have been convicted of these crimes. however, the definition of a crime might change, the police might getter better at discovering them, the public at reporting them, the cps at putting together a case and so on. does this mean that the crime has gone up or that we've just noticed the crime more?

people often talk about "reported crime", but then talk about the percentage of crimes that go unreported, but how do they know the percentage if they haven't been reported?
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Re: Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

Post  theodore on Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:10 am

HI,

Those in power use fear of threat of fear to control and manipulate us.

And if they want to win votes they claim to be controlling the baddies and lessening the fear.

As i said in my 40 odd years on the planet it has got more violent and more crime ridden I dont care what the media or those in power say.

Drugs are far more prevelant these days and as any copper will tell you are the root cause of most crime these days.

tc


T

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Re: Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

Post  Guest on Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:37 am

Here's a report from the Guardian from Oct 2006 which has some interesting points in relation to actual crime and media reports.
This may be too factual/political for moderators, etc so delete as required, but it is, arguably, on topic for this thread.

You can dispute the figures all you want, but the interesting and relevant point is to compare this to media reporting of such violence.
Afterall, someone somewhere makes a human decision on what is news, what to produce, what to put on the 'front page' and what isn't news...and they are not called news 'stories' for nothing ... Laughing
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Racial murders: nearly half the victims are white
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1928559,00.html


Home Office release official figures as police claim that political correctness is stifling the debate

Antony Barnett, investigations editor
Sunday October 22, 2006
The Observer


Nearly half of all victims of racially motivated murders in the last decade have been white, according to official figures released by the Home Office.
The data, released under Freedom of Information legislation, shows that between 1995 and 2004 there have been 58 murders where the police consider a racial element played a key part. Out of these, 24 have been where the murder victim was white.

The disclosure will add to the intense debate over multiculturalism in British society. The figures also overturn the assumption that almost all racial murders are committed against ethnic minority victims.

Senior police officers have admitted that 'political correctness' and the fear of discussing the issue have meant that race crime against white people goes under-reported. One chief constable has claimed that white, working-class men are more alienated than the Muslim community.
Peter Fahy, the Chief Constable of Cheshire and a spokesman on race issues for the Association of Chief Police Officers, said it was a fact that it was harder to get the media interested where murder victims were young white men.

'The political correctness and reluctance to discuss these things absolutely does play a factor', he said. 'A lot of police officers and other professions feel almost the best thing to do is try and avoid it for fear of being criticised. We probably have all got ourselves into a bit of state about this.

'The difficulty in the police service is that the whole thing is being closed down because we are all afraid of discussing any of it in case we say the wrong thing - and that is not healthy.'

Racial violence in Britain has become the subject of intense scrutiny since the public inquiry in 1999 into the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence. Most of the high-profile cases of hate crime have been focused on young blacks, including Damilola Taylor and more recently Anthony Walker, who was murdered with an axe at a Liverpool bus stop by white youths.

Yet these latest official figures give the most complete picture of racially motivated murders in the UK, revealing the situation to be much more complex. In March 2004 a white Scottish teenager, Kriss Donald, was bundled into a car while walking in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow. He was later beaten, stabbed 13 times, and set on fire. British Pakistani Daanish Zahid was found guilty by unanimous verdict of the charges of racially aggravated murder.

In the same year Christopher Yates, 30, a white man, was beaten to death in an assault by a group of drunken Asian youths as he walked home in Barking, east London.

Politicians and the authorities often face difficulty in raising the issue of racial attacks on white victims for fear that far-right extremists will try to exploit such events to stir up racial tensions.

Fahy also warned of caution in over-interpreting the figures. He said that the 24 white victims also included those who were Jewish, 'dark-skinned' Europeans or gypsies. In addition, seven of those were killed by white attackers, four by black, six by Asian, with seven whose racial background was not identified.

Police have suggested that some white-on-white killings may be a result of attacks between Scots, English, Irish and Welsh people.

Overall, there have been 10 black victims and 16 Asian victims. Of the 58 race murders, 18 have been where a white attacker has killed a black or Asian individual and another 14 where one member of a minority group has murdered another for racial reasons.
'This shows the complex society we are policing,' said Fahy.

'I will be honest with some of this discussion about the alienation of Muslim people. Police officers would tell you there are a lot of young people out there who feel alienated.

'There are a lot of young white working-class lads, particularly on the more difficult estates, who are hugely alienated. Yet very little attention is given to that.

'Sometimes we forget that ethnic minorities actually make up quite a small percentage of the population.'

Three years ago Phil Woolas, MP for the Oldham East and Saddleworth constituency, who is now Minister for Community Cohesion, said 'political correctness' was stopping racism against white people from being condemned. As a result, he said, attacks on whites by black and Asian people are not criticised by politicians and could harm race relations in Britain.

This weekend Woolas refused to comment, but a spokesman for the Department for Local Communities and Government said: 'Racially motivated crime is wholly abhorrent, whatever the background of the victim.

'This government has worked hard to improve the investigation and prosecution of these crimes across all ethnic groups.'

In 1999 the Commission for Racial Equality published a report that concluded that most racial crimes were committed against white people, although it pointed out that at the time white people made up 94 per cent of the population and that, proportionally, black and Asian people were still far more likely to be victims of race attacks.

The report suggested that white people might also be more likely to report a crime such as a street robbery carried out by a black person as a racial incident.

A spokeswoman for the CRE said the Home Office figures raised some interesting issues but she did not want to comment further until the data could be properly analysed.

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Re: Perceptions of crime/violence in the media

Post  spacecadet on Tue Jul 17, 2007 7:52 am

i personally think that people get too hung up on whether an assualt is rascist or not. to my mind if someone attacks someone because they're black, white, gay, straight, christan, muslim, "square", were in the wrong place at the wrong time (or whatever) that's all bad. there's no difference in my eyes. it was still an unjustified assault.
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