1. (a) Domestic violence is under-represented in official statistics and it is difficult to estimate to what extent this is so; (b) Unstructured interviews may become very intimate and personal – an interviewer will need to be very well prepared to cope with the participant’s vulnerability.
  2. Lack of cooperation, leading to results being unrepresentative; need for anonymity; literacy and cognitive skills of offenders; lying by respondents; reliance on memory.
  3. Suggestions might include: to develop a historical perspective on crime; to investigate criminals’ motivations and experiences; to analyse the role of media reports in the development of moral panics.
  4. Research usually has to be overt; low literacy levels of prisoners; the researcher may be seen as a ‘spy’ or authority figure; prisoners may reveal ‘guilty knowledge’ or disturbing information.
  5. Researchers will often be seen as ‘outsiders’ and potentially critical of the police; ‘canteen culture’ of group solidarity may limit access; difficulties of observing many aspects of police work; importance of confidentiality; need to ‘get behind’ the official police image portrayed; researcher may be seen as a ‘spy’ for the authorities.