Crime and the criminal justice system: an investigation into young people's attitudes and perceptions

Bailey, Claire (2007) Crime and the criminal justice system: an investigation into young people's attitudes and perceptions. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (322kB)

    Abstract

    The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate young people's attitudes and perceptions of crime and the criminal justice system, with a view to informing school-based youth crime prevention initiatives. The study reviews the relevant and existing literature on young people's attitudes and perceptions, and the extent to which they are included in crime surveys. The study also sets out to identify the role of education against crime and the extent to which schools can prevent crime, thus illustrating the importance of understanding these attitudes and perceptions for informing opportunities for crime prevention. It is a worthwhile task to research this specific area as much of the academic literature available purports to show young people as the main perpetrators of crime, overshadowing the limited literature and research that exists on their attitudes and perceptions. The research was conducted by combining a literature review with primary research, which used a questionnaire survey of 124 school pupils attending a mixed sex city comprehensive school, to collect data for analysis and comparison with existing research. The questionnaire survey focused on six main themes within the topic of crime and the criminal justice system: crime and crime prevention, reporting a crime, the police, risk of victimisation, crime trends and learning about crime and the criminal justice system. Selected findings from the primary research were compared with the MORI (2004) national survey. The main findings from the study revealed that the most common reason pupils think people commit crime is for personal gain and that fear of being caught and worry about how parents or carers will react are the biggest reasons that stop young people from committing a crime themselves. Pupils are most likely to do nothing if they see a crime taking place and over half had had contact with the police in the past year. Girls were found to be more worried than boys about crimes happening to them despite boys being more at risk. School and the media are the biggest sources where young people learn about issues surrounding crime and the majority of pupils were not bothered about receiving further education about crime. The importance of gaining young people's attitudes and perceptions of crime and the CJS was found to correspond with providing effective schoolbased youth crime prevention initiatives. The thesis advocates the active participation of young people in decision-making regarding youth crime policy.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/478

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...