Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Victims and the Police

  • Rob I. Mawby
  • J. Monckton-Smith
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_674


The way the police respond to reported crime is a delicate balancing act. While it is almost universally accepted, and a key component of police culture, that they should prioritize apprehending the offender, complainants and victims often have broader expectations of what services the police should be offering them, and a successful detection and prosecution may not be their priority.

This entry considers police support for crime victims in different countries. However, because variations in the ways in which the police handle victims of different offense types are arguably just as notable, four contrasting offense types are considered: burglary, where the victim is generally considered “deserving” but where detection rates are low; homicide cases, where indirect victims may also be perceived to be suspects; and domestic violence and rape, both examples of where the police have traditionally been criticized for victim blaming.

Police Support for Victims

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South WalesNewportUK
  2. 2.Department of Natural SciencesUniversity of GloucestershireCheltenhamUK
  3. 3.University of GloucestershireCheltenhamUK