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People in 19th century Britain were aware
that their country was changing around them, but by how much?
And in what ways? They began to collect statistics. Governments
particularly reacted to popular feeling in the first part
of this period that crime was increasing by systematically
collecting crime figures.
Whatever was happening in the early part of this period, the
second half of the 19th century seemed to show a fall in crime
and again we have the statistics to show whether this impression
can be supported by statistics.
However, statistics need interpreting. Crime statistics are
notoriously hard to use and 19th century statisticians began
to realise how cautious you have to be when working with them.