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Word Count: 2,042
To review these remarks printed in the papers and to consider taking media and statistical representations of crime at face value it may be wise to start by examining the definition of crime and building up a picture to be able to contemplate the processes associated with how crimes are reported and recorded and to whom The structures in place for understanding statistics and the problems related in correlating these administrative methods One of the fundamental problems with the ideology of crime is its definition and how it constitutes an infringement against the norms and rules of the community or a breach of the criminal law Tappan 1947 p100 suggests that crime is a deliberate act in contravention of the criminal law This is referred to as the black letter law approach due to the fact that before a misdemeanour can be a criminal act the process must go through the courts and be judged as a crime Often represented in the bounds of sectional interests both within the legislature where it is drafted and in society generally Interestingly up until the early 1800s there were few offences on the statute book in England Muncie and McLaughlin 2002 although many of them concerning property offences such as stealing or poaching was a clear reflection of the particular interests of those who held and operated political power Resulting in questions of who composed the necessary standards and which norms or rules are governed and where decisions about what is legal and what is illegal are made consciously by people in authority in the legal profession and the government Examples include moral as well as legal judgements with regard to an individuals behaviour Similarly for example the history of most criminal justice systems of the twentieth century has been that law has gradually relaxed controls on matters of morality such as divorce homosexuality contraception abortion not least because of the difficulty of finding shared aims in increasingly
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