Forum on Crime and Society

Special Issue - Improving Knowledge on Crime: Towards Better Data

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Proceedings of the meeting of the open-ended expert group on ways and means of improving crime data collection, research and analysis with a view to enhancing the work of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other relevant international bodies, Vienna, 8-10 February 2006

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The curent data collection exercise: An assessment

International data collection initiatives in the area of crime and criminal justice include the United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems and regional initiatives such as the European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics. While such cross-national data collection efforts offer a unique insight into reported crime at the international and regional levels, they suffer from considerable challenges, including the need to maintain response levels, to ensure full questionnaire completion and to control for differences in national interpretation. This article contains suggestions from a number of experts in crime statistics on how to improve current cross-national data collection exercises. Issues of questionnaire design, survey periodicity, timeliness of data, quality control and the needs of data users are addressed.

English French, Spanish

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