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Graphic showing some of the broad questions criminologists might ask.

The questions are:

  • Are some crimes more likely to happen at particular times or in particular places?
  • Do the ways in which society responds to crime help to reduce it?
  • Who is most likely to become a victim of crime?
  • Who in society is most likely to commit a crime?
  • Are criminal justice approaches the best way to respond to crime?
  • Are there other dangers in society as serious as crime which are not covered by criminal law?
  • Why are some ‘nuisance’ behaviours illegal and some not?
  • Why are some harmful and dangerous behaviours illegal, while others are not?
  • Are all perpetrators (and all victims) always treated in ways that will ensure a safer society for all?
  • Whose interests are served by the law?
  • Who has the power to make laws?
  • Does punishment and imprisonment really ‘work’ in the way society thinks they do?

 3.1 What kinds of questions do criminologists seek to answer?