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A measure of change in recorded crime, over a given period of time, based upon official statistics for offences or offender rates. It enables comparison of variations across offences or areas, and can be produced for selected offences (such as car theft), or as a general measure. Recorded rates are open to criticism as unreliable, reflecting personal and institutional biases, changes in law and police practice, and distortion caused by moral panics about (for example) mugging (see S. Hall et al., Policing the Crisis, 1978). See also criminal statistics; index crime.

Subjects: Law.

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