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Relationship Between Criminological Theory and Statistical Data - Essay Sample

4 pages
961 words
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
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Criminological theory refers to a scientific theory that provides a comprehensive and multidimensional look at theories of crime and therefore should test by repeatable evidence and objectives. Statistical data, on the other hand, provides empirical evidence and goals for criminological theory and indeed perform a vital role in the criminological theory. This information is essential for research purposes of the theory and also plays a critical role for discovering crime trends so that preventive measures may be taken after identification of different criminal behaviour and activity in people (Walker, 2013).

In criminology, the statistical data may present the type and the frequency of offences committed by people of different genders, ages and race. Also, it also shows how many criminals are arrested and the crime rates in different years. Arrest data are official statistics that are gathered by the police departments against the offenders and hence are vital for future crimes that might be committed by the same criminal (Walker, 2013). Criminology has been part of the criminal justice system for many years, and criminological theories have had many critics throughout its history but have managed to survive, if not thrive within the criminal justice system.

Criminological theories had come a long way since their beginning when many arguments were based on ludicrous factors to how these approaches are formed today. In todays criminological field, statistical data plays a significant role aiding criminologist in supporting or refuting a particular criminological theory (Vito, 2002). Data obtained from statistics are vital as a way of promoting criminological theories. By using statistical data, it guarantees that the theory will not be based exclusively on individual biased view or opinion. In order to execute an approach to be efficient and effective, it must be drawn from facts and not fictions thus criminological theories are the bridge of understanding crime, why crime exists in the society and which group of individuals may become criminals.

Without statistical data, our knowledge about the kind of crime that is occurring, the frequency of occurrence and who is being victimized would be little more than just guesses. Statistical reports act as a vital indicator of the safety of the society in that, an increasing crime rate signals that the community is not safe and attention is needed, and conversely, a reduction in crime conveyed by the statistical data indicates improved quality of life, and hence the society is safe. Statistical data also supports criminology in that it assists researchers in the testing and development of different crimes and victimization theories (Vito, 2002). Additionally, statistical data aids the work of policymakers. After reviewing the current criminal data, future policies can be designed to reduce crime rates in the future and to deal efficiently with the wrongdoers. In the absence of statistical data and reliable information, measures put in place to curb all crime and victimisation would be both ineffective and a representation of wasted resources (Vito, 2002).

Pros and Cos

There exist disadvantages and disadvantages when statistical is at the centre to be used to facilitate criminological theories. Statistical data that support criminological theory maybe hard to come by hence, making many researchers to have no otherwise but to dismiss the argument as being unacceptable. In the absence of adequate statistical data to support a theory does guarantee that the theory itself is irrelevant. It may be just a concept that is not familiar or a new concept with very minimal research to support it. It could imply that some tremendously relevant and potentially useful theories are ignored preventing a good understanding of crime. However, the limitation of using statistical data when supporting a criminology theories are many than the disadvantages. It ensures that the theory has relative information and basis and this will enable funding and support where necessary. Moreover, it permits officers to focus on the areas that will make a difference (Walker & Maddan, 2013).

Statistical data provides data for investigation of different crimes so as prove as empirical evidence. It identifies the cause and effect of distinct crimes that have been committed by various individuals. It is worth noting that the process by which the data gathered provide a high level of description of the relative information of the general public involves the study of offence. It presents an analysis of multiple variables for the investigation process. The data that has been gathered by statistical method proves to be economical as well, and the result provides the statistics have a high standard for the study. However, sometimes the statistical data becomes irrelevant for the criminological theory. It is because statistics in criminological theory do not include some of the crimes that are related to drugs which are common in the society today. The figures only concentrate and investigate federal crimes which should not be the case. In addition to this, the other limitation of statistical data is that most of the citizens of a particular country do not report criminal incidents to the police department and statistics do not provide any information on this these offences.


Statistical data have proven to support criminology than refuting it. It has enabled the police department to strategise on the appropriate means of reducing crime by analysing the current data and statistics and coming up with new policies to reduce the crime rates in the society. Moreover, it has enabled the prediction of future crimes that might be committed, and the appropriate preventive measure was undertaken. However, the statistical reports may not be inclusive and comprehensive enough as it ignores other types of crime.


Vito, G. F., & Blankenship, M. B. (2002). Statistical analysis in criminal justice and criminology: A user's guide. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Walker, J. T., & Maddan, S. (2013). Statistics in criminology and criminal justice: Analysis and interpretation. Burlington, Mass: Jones & Bartlett Learning.


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