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cjb153.pdfcjb153 
 AuthorDon Weatherburn 
 PublishedNovember 2011 
 Report typeCrime and Justice Bulletin No. 153 
 SubjectCourt processes and delay, Crime statistics, Victims 
 Keywordscrime statistics, media, crime victim surveys, headlines, courts 
  
 

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Summary

Aim

Aim
To promote a better understanding of the uses and abuses of crime statistics amongst students, journalists and the interested public.

Method

Method
Description of the main uses of crime statistics, coupled with analysis and examples of common abuses.

Results

Results
Crime statistics have a wide variety of valid uses; including the measurement of crime trends and the evaluation of crime control initiatives. They are, however, frequently misinterpreted by the media and misrepresented by politicians.

Conclusion

Conclusion
The increase in media access to information about crime has not been matched by an increase in the quality of media reporting on crime. The misuse of crime statistics by the media has impeded rational debate about law and order.

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