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Questions tagged [criminology]

The study of criminal behavior in both the individual and within a given society.

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Will a warming climate cause more crime?

The Register reports, somewhat skeptically, that an american consultant has produced an analysis claiming that climate change will lead to an increase in crime. The paper, published in the Journal ...
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2k views

Does Islam lead to higher crime rates? [closed]

I live in a mostly atheistic country. I have often heard the claim that Muslim people commit more crimes than others, especially that they are thieves due to their religion. Is there is any truth to ...
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Does lengthening prison sentences reduce crime rates?

I have heard time and again that increasing the length of prison sentences produces little or no improvements in crime rates. It is said that increasing the probability of arrest after a crime has ...
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1answer
337 views

Has hypnotism been used to enhance memory?

Has hypnotism been used to enhance memory? For example if I go to my friend's house, I may forget it's details like how many steps does there have or what color was it's door! This is my conscious ...
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Did violent gun crime rates rise in Australia after the 1996 gun control laws?

In 1996 Australia passed the National Firearms Agreement (NFA) which greatly restricted the option to legally own some types of guns by private citizens. The activist site, World Public Union claims ...
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In the USA, are there more African American men in prison than in college?

I read in a book that "as the next millennium begins, there are more young black men in prison than in college." Jury Nullification by Clay S Conrad (Kindle edition, Dec 2013 loc: 343). (First ...
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1answer
488 views

Are the innocents in US prison a single digit percentage?

There is controversy on whether there are a few percents of innocent people in US jails or much less. For example according to the Innocent project Q. How many innocent people are there in prison? ...
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1k views

Have Iceland's police only ever shot one person dead?

Is it true that Iceland's police force(s) have only shot and killed one person ever? Bloomberg reports (December 3, 2013): Icelandic police shot dead a man who refused to stop firing at them with ...
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775 views

Does the extent of illiteracy in children correlate with future criminality?

Neil Gaiman recently made what has been hailed as one of the best commencement speeches ever at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts (reported here, available as a book here). In it he talks about ...
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Does being abused make someone more likely to be an abuser?

Does being the victim of abuse make someone more likely to commit abuse? This is sometimes called the "Vampire theory", with the analogy that being bitten turns you into a vampire. As an example, ...
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825 views

Has New York City's Stop and Frisk program resulted in a reduction in crime?

On August 12, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg said: Our crime strategies and tools – including Stop-Question-Frisk – have made New York City the safest big city in America. [...] As a result, today ...
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Did the victim of neo-Nazi violence as reported in Pink News die?

From Pink News: The gay teenager who was kidnapped and tortured by Russian neo-Nazis has died from his injuries it has been claimed [by Spectrum Human Rights]. ... PinkNews is unable to verify ...
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Do men with no prior exposure to child pornography go on to harm children once exposed?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22726004 UK government advisor John Carr, of the Council on Child Internet Safety, claims in a radio interview: Mr Carr said there was "no question" that some men who ...
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Was the NAACP slow in acting for the rights of Sherman Ware?

In What the NAACP can learn from George Zimmerman, George Zimmerman's brother Robert Zimmerman Jr. claimed that the organization was slow to act on the beating of homeless African-American Sherman ...
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2answers
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Can a body be dissolved by a few liters or gallons of Hydrofluoric acid?

In the "Cat's in the Bag..." episode of Season 1 of "Breaking Bad," characters are shown with 4 gallon-jugs of Hydrofluoric Acid that they use to dissolve 2 adult corpses. Chemistry is a major plot ...
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Do removable faceplates on car stereos deter theft?

Everyone has probably seen a car stereo head unit with a removable face plate; the idea being you can take the faceplate with you to deter theft. The claim is specifically made in this product ...
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3answers
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Is the bible the most shoplifted book?

Looking at several 'fun facts' pages, the claim of bible being the most shoplifted book appears on several of them. Example 1, Example 2, Example 3 Example 4 The Bible, the world's best-selling ...
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336 views

Does prison work reduce recidivism?

I'm having difficulty finding statistics comparing the recidivism rates of regular prisoners and the ones that worked while serving the sentence. I can't remember where but I've read that "specialists ...
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1answer
2k views

Does the 'Mafia' still exist in Italy?

Here is a claim that says the mafia still exist in Italy: Yes, sadly it does, and will ever does. I'm Italian. and it's not called mob.. or whatever. there are many clans, in several Italian ...
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Is the immigrant/crime correlation simply explained by lower wealth?

I am often confronted with statistics that show immigrants are much more involved in crime than the native citizens. This seems to be common in Western countries. Here are some examples, however, ...
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2answers
2k views

Was the USA colonized by criminals?

There are some places on the Internet that claim that The American were (at least at the start) colonized by criminals and unwanted populations: Answerbag.com: North America was first colonized ...
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697 views

Can a Bitcoin Exchange manipulate the exchange rate in a way that defrauds its users without consequence? [closed]

Bitcoin is an Internet currency with no centralized bank or agency underpinning it. I only recently heard about it and I've been trying to understand how it works and if it is safe, however this is a ...
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3answers
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Did Hugo Chávez have a net worth of 2 billion dollars at the time of his death?

I've seen this now numerious times, Analysts say Leftist leader had 'amassed private fortune of $2 billion' - Dailymail.co.uk And, that's a pretty sly way to say that "someone said". But, is it ...
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Has a mass murder ever been prevented by a good guy with a firearm? [duplicate]

While the statistical relationship between gun ownership and mass homicides has been discussed on Skeptics.SE, I have not seen any questions or answers on the following claim. The policy of the ...
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1answer
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Is kidney theft happening in real life?

From time to time, we heard about spine-chilling stories of kidney theft in various forms. There's some competing views out there, but I don't know which one to believe. One negative point of view is ...
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2answers
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Has a programmer ever embezzled money by shaving fractions of a cent from many bank transactions?

There's a popular story that describes a programmer having altered a program at a bank so it diverted fractions of a cent from every transaction to another account (or some variation like multiple ...
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316 views

Was there a recent spate of violence against Indians in Australia?

I recently came across a journal entry, written in December 2012, about racial violence in Australia. The entry mentioned an incident against a woman targeted for singing in French. I assume this ...
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1answer
11k views

Do murderers tend to return to the scene of the crime?

It is commonly heard that murderers (or other criminals) "always return to the scene of the crime". Well, that's certainly false for all murderers. However, it is suggested that murderers do have a ...
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Are there 10 time more home invasions in the UK than the USA?

In this interview (0:35 mark) Ann Coulter argues that: ... home invasions are 10 times higher in Britain than they are in this country [US] Are there any evidence to support this claim?
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During the decade of the Clinton ban on semiautomatic rifles and high-capacity magazines, did crime not go down?

Source: USA Today, Opposing view: Eliminate 'gun-free zone' regulations Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, made a claim: During the decade of the Clinton ban on ...
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Does increased gun ownership in the US correlate with a reduction in violent crime rates?

This is somewhat of the converse of the question Is Gun Control Effective: A quote of famous musician and gun advocate Ted Nugent has been making the rounds on the Internet again lately: Where you ...
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1answer
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Are 1 million people a year date raped?

This article claims: Every year, an estimated 1 million people are date raped, and many of them are victims of date-rape drugs, potent mixtures that disrupt the central nervous system. I ...
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Can handcuffs be picked with a single hand while handcuffed?

Many movies and series show people wearing handcuffs picking them using a small hidden piece of metal, like a bobby pin, paperclip, broken glasses, tweezers and more. Can this be done in real life, ...
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1answer
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Can a trained human eye catch microexpressions?

Microexpressions were validated in this question: Do involuntary "microexpressions" betray liars? But can a human eye (as opposed to a frame by frame analysis of a high-speed video) detect ...
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2answers
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Does a dog provide a reasonable deterrent against house theft?

Is there any evidence to suggest that owning a dog or that evidence of a dog (barking alarm, beware of dog sign) reduce the likelihood of your home being broken into? Example 1: Most burglars do ...
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1answer
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Have more people been killed in Chicago than U.S. troops in Afghanistan?

A tweet from @LeftSentThis stated that 2,000 US troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in Chicago during that time. There are at ...
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Does locking your car doors reduce theft?

Almost everyone I know locks their car doors when they leave their vehicle for an extended time. However, I come from a country town and most people in that country town don't lock their car doors and ...
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Correlation between MAO-A gene and murderers / sex offenders

The MAO-A gene, also known as the "Warrior gene", is thought to cause increased antisocial and violent behavior patterns in people who have experienced an abusive childhood. [ref] Caspi et. al. found ...
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Does a suspect's psychological state after arrest correlate to guilt or innocence? e.g. do only the guilty sleep in jail?

A common cop procedural trope suggests only the guilty sleep in jail. It shows up in Law and Order: SVU (S6E04), award winning movies, and even articles about poker tells. The guilty, or so the ...
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Do fast jury verdicts favor either the prosecution or the defendant?

Trial watchers occasionally assert fast verdicts are more likely to be guilty ones. The idea has been expressed by small town newspapers and even sports reporters. At the same time, other news ...
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Are there between 100,000-300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today?

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore state this as part of the "Real Men Don't Buy Girls" campaign. CNN - There's between 100,000 and 300,000 child sex slaves in the United States today," Ashton Kutcher ...
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Were members of the yakuza amongst the Fukushima 50?

Tomohiko Suzuki, author of the book The Yakuza and the Nuclear Industry, claims that several members of the Fukushima 50, workers who stayed behind to work on the Fukushima dai-ichi nuclear reactor ...
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1answer
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Is it safer to NOT light your house at night?

At some point, I read a news report that investigators found out it is actually safer not to light your house when you are not there or when asleep. It mentioned that thieves found very dark places '...
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2answers
3k views

Are heavy metal music listeners more likely to commit crimes?

It has been suggested (particularly in the 1980s) that individuals that listen to heavy metal are more likely to be commit a crime, as shown here and here. Have any studies statistically shown so?
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2answers
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Have one in ten women suffered rape in the UK?

A recent survey in the UK claims that about 10% of women have been raped but that most do not report the incident even to friends. In the words of one news report: One in 10 women has been raped, ...
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1answer
899 views

Do home alarm systems reduce burglaries?

Does installing an alarm system in your home have an effect on the number or results of burglaries? I am about to buy a house with an alarm system installed, with a siren/flash light on the front ...
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1answer
1k views

Do “scare kids straight” programmes reduce criminal activity?

It seems obvious to many people that if the consequences of an activity are sufficiently scary people will naturally avoid the activity. If the consequences of criminal activity are frequent death, ...
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Can acts of IP piracy be more beneficial than harmful?

There are several claims that piracy of Intellectual Property (IP) can help sales more than it hurts them. For example, Edmund McMillan of Team Meat states in an interview at IGN: McMillen ...
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Has anyone innocent ever been arrested because of contraband that was planted in their luggage?

There is a question on travel.SE asking what to do if some culprit planted contraband in your luggage. There are some links provided to cases where this is suspected to have happened. Being able to ...
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2answers
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Do rapists think rape is normal?

I have found the following statement on an article of feminism: Do you know who think all men are rapists? Rapists do. They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes ...