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Evaluate And Explain The Limitations Of A Range Of Sources Of Information Both Primary And Secondary, For Small Scale Public Services Projects

1491 words - 6 pages

Evaluate and explain the limitations of a range of sources of information both primary and secondary, for small scale public services projects.

The source's used in the collection of data for a research project or investigation are of vital importance. Characterised as primary and secondary, a good range will provide more information needed to aid decision making. However it is important to note that it can some time's be difficult to distinguish whether the information is primary or secondary. In this essay point's will be made regarding the advantage's and disadvantage's of a number of sources both primary and secondary. Their limitations will be addressed, and an explanation of how ...view middle of the document...

A secondary source could be a police report, television documentory or an article in a magazine. Secondary source's are great for research due to their ease of access, low cost's and availability. The data collected can be an exact derivative of the primary source making this method of reseach more wide spread. However the information provided by a secondary source is sometime's considered to have less importance over primary as the information put simply is second hand. ''This is secondary research and it involves the collection of information from studies that other researcher's have made of a subject.'' Dawson, (2009,41).
As a primary source Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is used for surveillance. These camera's are often found in banks, retail outlets, public uniformed service organisations and now have widespread presence in public places. The camera's provide community safety, aid crime prevention and help protect national security. Any criminal behaviour caught on CCTV will contain vital evidence of the perpetrators and will aid investigations in court. However, CCTV cameras have a number of disadvantages. Shadow's, sun glare, the different weather condition's, limited vision at night, these can all limit the effectiveness of footage. Cost also need's to be considered. An article in the Guardian explained that some studies have shown CCTV to be ineffective in detering people from committing crimes, the riots in London is a good example. Cory Doctorow from the Guardian said ''The real story for me is about surveillance, and not the mere use of CCTV footage to apprehend rioters after the fact. It's about the total failure of CCTV to deter people from committing crimes in the first place.''
The limitations of a primary witness to a crime must be considered during a police investigation. The individual may have forgotten important event's that took place during the crime due to shock. They will often have their own interpretation and exagerate what they may have seen. If the individual is of a young age the police may need to get consent from the parents. The interview process can cause alot of mental stress and put alot of pressure on a young person's shoulder's. The nature of the crime is also important, if the witness feel's their safety is at risk then the police may have to offer them protection and ensure their identity is safeguarded. ''When witnesses go to court, they may be able to give evidence behind screen's''.
Questionaire's can be great as primary source's of information, they allow researcher's to use quantitative method's to gain a great deal of information from a potentially large group of people in short period of time. Having large amounts of data to analyse can greatly increase the accuracy of the questionaire and help reach the desired goal. Everyone will have the same question's thus reducing any bias. If done anonymously one can increase the chance's of recieving...

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