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Crime Rate

The crime rate is data taken from official police statistics which reveal the number of crimes committed per every 1,000 individuals from the population. Crime rates tend to be broken down into rates for each category of crime (e.g. violent crime). In 2017, for example, it was found that the murder rate increased by 26% and knife crime increased by 20%, meaning more of these crimes were present in society than in the previous years. This followed significant increases from the year before. The overall crime rate has also increased for the third year in a row following many years of a falling crime rate. However, interpretivist sociologists would question all these statistics as they really only measure what the police record and do not present an accurate picture of real crime: they are a social construct. They can present fantasy crime waves (for example, if the police chose to crack down on knife crime their increased activity would give the illusion of an increase in the crime itself) and it misses out the dark figure of crime.

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