Crime, perceptions, attitudes and victimization
Crime is clearly on the public agenda and has been increasingly so in Western industrialized democracies. Crime is currently also on the increase in a growing number of Eastern bloc countries which are undergoing a form of social disorganization accompanying their transition from repressive regimes to new forms of sociopolitical arrangements leaning towards democracy. This transition is understandably characterized by periods of loss of social and political control. Crimes against the person and against property — known as ‘street crimes’ — are those the public is most concerned about, even if there is a growing recognition that victimless crimes do have victims and that white-collar crime can be violent, harmful and touches much more than merely someone’s pocket money. The visibility of violent and property crimes, the daily reporting of individual incidents, the seasonal statistical summaries, the personalized stories of victims and the political attention that various types of crime — and punishment — receive, guarantee that the topic cannot simply be wished away. The constant attempts at controlling, reducing, fighting, or coping with crime are more successful in rhetoric than in results and depending on the type of crime, they mostly have no clear relationship to a genuine ability of the police directly or indirectly to influence or control the variation, extent and severity of crime.
KeywordsPolice Officer Criminal Justice System Police Performance Crime Statistic Social Disorganization
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