7 Uniform Crime Reports2) Number and characteristics (age, gender, and race/ethnicity) of those arrested for all other crimesKnown as non-index or Part II crimesOn average, 20% of all reported index crimes are cleared by arrest, lower for many non-index crimes.
10 Uniform Crime Reports Problems with the UCR 1) On average approximately 50% of all index crimes are reported to the police26% of thefts50% of burglaries45% of rapes57% of robberies
11 Uniform Crime Reports2) On average, 20% of all reported index crimes are cleared by arrest3) State law definitions may be different than UCR definitions4) Systematic errors in reporting5) Deliberate alteration
12 Uniform Crime Reports 6) Only the most serious crime is an “episode” 7) Weak on “white collar” crime
13 The Future of the Uniform Crime Reports National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)Maintained by the F.B.I.Twenty-two crime categoriesMore information on each crime in each categoryData compiled based on incidents, not arrests.
14 Victimization surveys National Crime Victimization Survey-NCVSUS CensusStarted in 197260,000 households120,000 people over 12 years oldInterviewed 2 times a year for 3 years
15 NCVS Ask about theft, burglary, robbery, assault, rape, and auto theft Used to estimate the national frequency of index crimes
16 Data provided by NCVS Victimizations Victims, offenders, crime event Reported loss & injuryWhether crimes were reported
17 NCVS Number of Offenses *Includes 357,000 “personal crimes” of purse snatching & pocket picking.Number of Offenses20,106,0007,359,0004,635,0001,433,000944,000311,000Theft*AssaultBurglaryMotor vehicle theftRobberyRape/ Sexual assaultTotal = 35,145,000Source: National Crime Victimization Survey. Criminal Victimization, Adapted from U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 1998), p. 3.
18 Advantages & Limitations of NCVS 1) Best victimization data2) “larger picture of crime”DISADVANTAGES1) Victim misinterpretation2) Memories fade3) Lying to interviewer4) Telescoping – problems with recall5) Expensive
19 Self-Report SurveysParticipants reveal information about their violations of the lawHelps to get at “Dark Figure of Crime”Supplement and expand official dataCan find out about the personality, attitudes, and behavior of criminalsAccuracy for chronic offenders and drug abusers may be limited
20 Self Report Studies Interviews mainly with juveniles Most youth engaged in delinquency (crime is universalHigher crime patterns than UCR and NCVS
21 Self-Report SurveysStrength of self-reports surveys is get more detailed informationWeaknesses includeInaccuracy – are they telling the truth?Focus on trivial acts frequently
22 Current Crime Trends Current data from the Uniform Crime Reports and the NationalCrime Victim Surveys reveal asteady decrease in crime. Self-reported data reveals nodiscernable change in the rate.
23 Current Crime Trends Caution in interpreting UCR and other data Time frame is importantOverall rate hides increases and decreases within crime categoriesWant disaggregated dataBy offense, state/region, etc.
24 Explaining Crime Trends Some of the importantcritical factors that havebeen used to explain thepuzzle of crime rate trends.AgeThe economyGunsGangsDrugsJustice Policy
26 Correlates of Crime – Social Class Higher crime rates in lower class areasRely on official statisticsConcern over whether function of police practices or actual behavior patternsCrime is not just street crimeSelf-report studies indicate class-crime relationship doesn’t existFocus on trivial offenses
27 Correlates of Crime – Social Class Why important?1) If class-crime relationship then poverty and neighborhood deterioration related to crime2) If not then factors experienced by all classes (poor family environment, peer pressure, school failure, free will) related to crime
28 Correlates of Crime – Age Some argue that age structure of society is the single most powerful influence on the crime rate13-17 year olds make up 6% of the population but 30% of index crime arrests
29 Correlates of Crime – Age Property crime arrests peak at age 16Violent crime arrests peak at age 18
30 Correlates of Crime – Age Why does aging out occur?Cognitive changes in late teensNo longer need for immediate gratificationFear of punishmentAdulthood brings powerful ties to conventional society
31 Correlates of Crime – Gender Male crime rate higher than femaleMales commit more serious crimesRecent view of female criminalitySocialization of females (supervised closely)Changing social and economic role of women
32 Correlates of Crime – Gender Crime more a function of economic inequality instead of female rightsEnd of “chivalry hypothesis”
33 Correlates of Crime – Race/Ethnicity Minorities involved in disproportionate % of crimesBlacks 12% of population, 44% of index violent crime arrestsReflection of police practices or true criminal participation?
34 Correlates of Crime – Race/Ethnicity Causes of racial disparity in crimeDifferential treatment by policeSubculture of violenceRacism and discrimination affect personality and behaviorPoverty/Urban problemsEtc.
35 Knowledge drawn from UCR, NCVS, and Self Report Studies Crime TrendsCharacteristics of CrimesCharacteristics of offenders & victimsCorrelates of Crime
36 The “Chronic 6%” After following a birth cohort of 9,945 boys born in Philadelphia in 1945, Wolfgang andhis associates found that 6% of the total samplewere responsible for 51.9% of all offenses.
37 The “Chronic 6%” Wolfgang findings 1) Small number of offenders commit a disproportionate amount of crime2) Chronic offenders continue into adulthood3) More violent as generations progress