Before moving on, a few brief comments need to be offered about appreciative research with offenders and victims. Zedner (2002) argues that victims now attract an unprecedented level of interest as a subject of criminology enquiry, and as a result, they are now a central focus of academic research.This is undoubtedly true but quantitative research on victims has been strongest, although some important qualitative work has been undertaken.This form of research has been largely done by feminists concerned with domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse. Alongside the growing interest with victims, research on offenders continues. However, as Maguire (2002: 369) contends, too little recent research has focused on what he terms the ‘reality’ of criminal behaviour. This refers to ‘knowledge about offending behaviour itself, about how offenders understand and exploit criminal opportunities, about the inter- actions between offenders and how they perceive and respond to risk’ (2002: 369)Qualitative research can complement quantitative research in a number of ways. Firstly, using qualitative approaches can help to inform the design of research instruments for the collection of quantitative data. King (2000) has used this strategy to conduct research in prisons. He suggests beginning with observation and records, then moving on to interviews and ending with questionnaires.The latter can be used to test the generality of the findings in the wider population. By administering questionnaires at the end of the fieldwork the response rate is also boosted as the researcher has established rapport with the research participants.
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