Keeping abreast of the various statistical sources and data on crime can be both time-consuming and somewhat confusing for teachers and students – both in terms of the volume of data and the reliability and validity of different data sources.

For these reasons the Office for National Statistics statistical bulletin is a brilliant resource for a-level sociologists in terms of both crime statistics and the research methodologies underpinning their production (so it’s good for information covering both Crime and Deviance and Crime and Methods in Context).

More specifically, the ONS web site provides a wide range of accessible information on the major sources of crime statistics (such as police recorded crime, the British Crime Survey and Victimisation surveys) in terms of:

• how crime data is collected (including detailed methodologies)

• the accuracy, reliability and validity of the sources

• the strengths and limitations of each source

• detailed statistics on different types of offence

• suggested explanations for changes in crime trends.


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