Know who collected and who published the statistics and what their motives are.
Austin, TX (PRWEB) November 21, 2011
HomeSecurityGuru.com, the web's largest and most comprehensive home security website, has released expert guidelines on how to interpret crime statistics in an effort to help readers better understand what goes into crime statistics and how these factors can affect reporting.
"Know who collected and who published the statistics and what their motives are," says Pablo Solomon, an accomplished artist who also holds advanced degrees in social psychology and criminal justice, and still occasionally works with law enforcement to solve art theft crimes. Solomon shared his expert insight on how to best interpret crime statistics with HomeSecurityGuru.com.
Guidelines to Interpreting Crime Statistics
1. Learn how statistics are gathered and what might be misleading. For example, deaths due to shootings are often lumped together when usually over half of gun related deaths are suicides. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention states that 83% of gun-related deaths that occur in the home of a gun owner are a result of suicide. In addition, Wikipedia sources also state that the majority of all gun-related deaths in 2007 (55.6%) were due to suicide.
2. Know who collected and who published the statistics and what their motives are. Various political and philosophical groups either want to paint a rosy picture or a catastrophic one and stack the numbers accordingly.
3. Be careful of what correlations are drawn -- again who has what axe to grind or what program to praise. For example rises in crime are often linked with this or that. However, a simple example of a crazy correlation is that ice cream sales and crime both go up in the summer--would selling less ice cream reduce crime? Probably not. However we are led to believe that pouring more money into this or that will reduce crime. Be careful of who is trying to sell you what.
4. Be careful of what news organization is giving out statistics. Unfortunately there is no such thing as unbiased news reporting and most media outlets have their agendas.
5. Learn about the mathematics of statistics. Numbers can be reported as either the cup half full or half empty depending on what the agenda is.
6. Explore more than one study or source. You might be surprised to find great variations in "findings".
7. Keep in mind that crime like most of human behavior is more complicated than some would paint it to be.
HomeSecurityGuru.com, the web's largest and most comprehensive home security website, provides users with a wide variety of information pertaining to personal protection and home security. Information provided by HomeSecurityGuru.com includes geographic crime statistics, home security equipment reviews and home security tips and guides featuring the writing of home security expert and writer Joe Timbers, surveillance camera expert Robert Moskal, city planner Michael E. Bregman and Dr. Craig Mixon an educational psychologist and expert in behavior modifications who specializes in canine behavior.