Bastian Lamers & Kai Seidensticker

Kriminalistisch-Kriminologische Forschungsstelle im Landeskriminalamt NRW

Perceived Reality – The difficulty of the representation of criminality and its impact on social perception

This article focusses on the well-known debate of the difference in crime rates of different population groups, especially in context of the migration challenge. It shows the field of ten-sion between the real crime situation and the felt reality and marks the opportunities and in particular the limitations of the Police Crime Statistics of Germany, which are often used for the comparison of foreigners with Germans in regard to their criminality burden. The shown limitations make clear that such a comparison should be avoided. Finally, possible alternatives for the representation of criminality are discussed.

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