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Unformatted text preview: MEASURING CRIME 3 major methods of measuring crime: 1) Uniform crime reports (ucr) 2) Self-report data (srd) 3) National crime victimization survey (ncvs) Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) • UCR = official or arrest data • >16,000 police departments in US send data on arrests and complaints to FBI annually • How do the police collect these data? o Most crimes reported by victims (ex: call 911): very few crimes discovered by police (only 3-4%) o Unfortunately, victims report only 42.1% of serious violent and property crimes to police-Even if victim reports, police may not count it and report it to the FBI • Some claim that police record only 65% of all 911 calls-Despite this slippage the FBI gets a lot of data on crime. How does it report on all this crime? • FBI reports out RAW DATA (ex: 11.8 million crimes reported to police in 2006) • FBI reports out PERCENT CHANGES OVER TIME • FBI reports out RATES PER 100,000 NUMBER OF CRIMES x 100,000 Example: 30,000 murders/ 300,000,000 x 100,000 = 10 murders/100,000 FBI files UCR into 2 parts of crimes. Part 1 index crimes: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft Part 2 crimes = all others except traffic violations (see pg.57) : simple assault, forgery, embezzlement, fraud, buying, receiving, or having stolen property, vandalism, weapons violation, prostitution, sex offenses (indecent exposure, statutory rape), drug abuse, illegal gambling, offenses against family, dui, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, loitering. CRIME TRENDS • 1930-1960: gradual increase in crime • 1960-1980: major increase in crime ( a.k.a. crime wave) • 1980: total crime rate/ 100,000 peaks for all part 1 index crimes • Rate=5,950/100,000 • 13 million index crimes • 1981-1984: crime drops WHY THIS DECLINE? 1) Baby boom explanation 2) More people locked up (deterrence or incapacitation) 3) Police altered the rates AFTER 1984, THERE WAS AN INCREASE IN CRIME, ESPECIALLY VIOLENT CRIME, FOLLOWED BY SIGNIFICANT DECLINES IN CRIME IN THE 1990S. • Violent crime rate rose 40% from 1981-1991 and then fell dramatically from 1992-1999. • Murder, in particular, rose from 1985-1992 and then declined from 1993-1999 • Property crime rate also fell in the 1990s although burglary had started falling in the 1980s. Possible reasons for crime fall: deterrence: crime, swift, and severe. Incapacitation: locking up more criminals making these people incapable of committing more crimes. However, the rates for larceny, rape, and aggravated assault are problematic because they are untrustworthy. That leaves only trends for murder, motor vehicle theft, robbery, and burglary as “trustworthy.”-Because they have the most reliable trends, what are the trends for murder, motor vehicle theft, robbery, and burglary in the 1950s?...
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- Fall '06
- The American