RESPONSE TO SONYA
The principles of survey research noted in Chapter 1 of The Mismeasure of Crime textbook explores the reliability, validity, and sources of error in the measurement of social phenomena (Mosher, Miethe, & Hart, 2010). It is vivid that Adriaenssens and Hendrickx (2011) investigate a policy problem that is marred with assumptions and less scholarly evidence. The very nature of the hypotheses used in this study shows that a lot remains to be known and understood about the yield of begging in Brussels. To their credit, the researchers identify many of the influences behind assumptions that people make about beggars. For instance, beggars are criminalized and considered illegitimate occupants because of the rising rate of immigration facing many countries in Europe. I believe that this is a research article that acts as a pointer as to where future research on the subject should focus on. Its main strength is the lack of an established research framework that would help the researchers narrow down their study to have a greater impact. Instead, they choose to pursue a larger scope that is characterized by assumptions. This feature equally affects the reliability of the article.
While I believe that it provides valuable information regarding street-level economic activities, it is not structured in a manner that it can inform policy. My conclusion to this regard therefore, is that I would not base public policy with respect to beggars off this article. My recommendation would be that greater effort must be made through research to improve knowledge about the activities of beggars and organize this information through a research review. The review will provide a well-founded fact-sheet on this subject and probably offer sufficient evidence to promote and inform policy interventions. While I understand the good intent that the researchers have in studying this topic, my suggestion would be that they need to refine their focus to put their effort on constructs that have the greatest impact (Busch-Geertsema, Edgar, O’Sullivan, & Pleace, 2010). As Christians, we must be mindful of our brothers, a viewpoint that is held by these researchers. This will reduce the number of hypotheses and assumptions articulated in the study.