The definition of crime is an offence punishable by law. Geography is important when studying crime because when a crime happens it always has a location, a time and a reason. Understanding the patterns behind this helps:
Crime can happen on an international scale as well as national or local. Heroin trafficking and piracy are two examples of international crime.
In order to understand the patterns of crime, the different types of crime need to be known.
Crime figures are collected from the number of crime incidents reported to the police and from the British Crime Survey results. These systems of recording crimes are not completely reliable, though. Firstly, not every crime is reported to the police, so the figures given do not always show the complete picture. Secondly, the British Crime Survey interviews 50,000 people every year but interviewees could be as young as ten, so their accounts may lack detail.
When a crime is recorded, it is classified as one of the following: