The Law and Criminology? It’s more linked than we think. In law we look at legislations and apply them to cases, but we do not focus so much on why the perpetrator committed the act.
In criminology, we examine the factors as to why and what has led the individual to break the law. It is extremely fundamental to look at these factors, as they will inevitably impact the judge’s decision in court. If it were just the law and prison, our criminal justice system would be in pieces. Even though it can be argued that our criminal justice system is flawed, criminologists look into this and find ways to improve it to make it have more of a long-lasting effect on our nation.
Biological and Sociological factors play an important role and depict whether someone is more prone to criminality than others. Whether that be a nature vs nurture debate, brain chemistry, imbalances, the environment they have been brought up in, their social/economic status, you name it, we look into all of this as these are the factors that impact the individual. For example, statistics have shown it is more likely for lower classes to commit crimes than middle classes (trust for London 2020). Those who are deprived in more ways than one, have more of a tendency to achieve those things to fill in the void missing from their life therefore breaking the law.
Race is a massive topic to talk about. Those who are of a black minority or Asian are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police than any other ethnic group. This causes a lot of problems within the communities as it creates very negative stereotypes towards our police service. Looking through the biological perspective, we all have something called schemas. These schemas are under the subconscious and they are pieces of information that are ‘clumped’ together almost about everything in our lives and what we think of those things. Whether that is looking at a table or animals, teachers, friends, we all have this information stored where we are not actively thinking about it. These are all formed from our upbringings and what we have seen in our younger years. In the police’s defence, it can be said that they are following their own schemas and they act on impulse by following protocol. Some situations have turned out worse than others however the police are humans just like the rest of us therefore they also have schemas. Even though they should put their biases aside for the safety of our nation, it isn’t like that unfortunately.
As criminologists, we aim to minimise these statistics for all and focus on changing this. Also, as criminologists, we look into something called the dark figure of crime. The dark figure of crime is the acts that aren’t shown on statistics however being fully aware that it is higher than what statistics are showing. Huge questions are raised when looking at official statistics, for instance, domestic abuse. We as bystanders are fully aware that DA happens more often we would like however in most cases it doesn’t get reported and some police officers do not have sufficient evidence to file it as a case. So, as a result, it doesn’t come up on official statistics and makes us question the role of the police and whether or not these cases are either getting dismissed or simply just not reported.
In conclusion, the law is closely linked to criminology. If anything, criminology is the foundation of our law as legislations are passed with criminology factors in mind. The criminal justice act was passed because of criminology factors. You’d think that criminology would be very different from law but after studying both you see the patterns and correlations and most importantly the cross over is uncanny.