Ignatans, Dainis and Pease, Ken (2016) Taking Crime Seriously: Playing the Weighting Game. Policing: a Journal of Policy and Practice, 10 (3). pp. 184-193. ISSN 1752-4520

The advantages and problems of weighting crime counts by harm inflicted are detailed. To obtain a better understanding of crime trends and distributions, victim judgements of the seriousness of offences committed against them derived from the Crime Survey for England and Wales were analysed and used as weights of crime counts to yield estimates of harm. The data were used to check whether there was a harm drop paralleling the crime drop of recent decades. There was, albeit somewhat less precipitous. Series crimes (ie repeated crimes against the same targets and presumed to be by the same perpetrators) account for an astonishing 39% of all crime and around 42% of crime harm. The paper focuses on the distribution of harm across households. In line with our earlier work, the most victimised households have benefited most from the harm drop in absolute terms, but still account for a similar proportion of total harm across time. A case is made for the use of CSEW victim seriousness judgement for a variety of analytic purposes.

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