The nature and measurement of offending
The scientific study of offenders and offending requires some agreement between practitioners about which people and which acts should be studied. This chapter begins with a discussion of different definitions of ‘criminal’ and goes on to assess different ways of measuring the extent of crime within a given society. Some consideration is given to factors that appear to influence an individual’s chances of becoming either a criminal or a victim of crime. Finally, there is a discussion of why people tend to have a fear of crime that is disproportionate to their chances of being victimised.