Crime statistics

There are several methods for the measuring of crime. Public surveys are occasionally conducted to estimate the amount of crime that has not been reported to police. Such surveys are usually more reliable for assessing trends. However, they also have their limitations and generally don't procure statistics useful for local crime prevention, often ignore offenses against children and do not count offenders brought before the criminal justice system.

Law enforcement agencies in some countries offer compilations of statistics for various types of crime.

Two major methods for collecting crime data are law enforcement reports, which only reflect crimes that are reported, recorded, and not subsequently canceled; and victim study (victimization statistical surveys), which rely on individual memory and honesty. For less frequent crimes such as intentional homicide and armed robbery, reported incidences are generally more reliable, but suffer from under-recording; for example, no criming in the United Kingdom sees over one third of reported violent crimes being not recorded by the police.[1] Because laws and practices vary between jurisdictions, comparing crime statistics between and even within countries can be difficult: typically only violent deaths (homicide or manslaughter) can reliably be compared, due to consistent and high reporting and relative clear definition.

The U.S. has two major data collection programs, the Uniform Crime Reports from the FBI and the National Crime Victimization Survey from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. However, the U.S. has no comprehensive infrastructure to monitor crime trends and report the information to related parties such as law enforcement.[2]

Research using a series of victim surveys in 18 countries of the European Union, funded by the European Commission, has reported (2005) that the level of crime in Europe has fallen back to the levels of 1990, and notes that levels of common crime have shown declining trends in the U.S., Canada, Australia and other industrialized countries as well. The European researchers say a general consensus identifies demographic change as the leading cause for this international trend. Although homicide and robbery rates rose in the U.S. in the 1980s, by the end of the century they had declined by 40%.[2]

However, the European research suggests that "increased use of crime prevention measures may indeed be the common factor behind the near universal decrease in overall levels of crime in the Western world", since decreases have been most pronounced in property crime and less so, if at all, in contact crimes.[3][4][5]

Counting rules

Relatively few standards exist and none that permit international comparability beyond a very limited range of offences. However, many jurisdictions accept the following:

  • There must be a prima facie case that an offence has been committed before it is recorded. That is either police find evidence of an offence or receive a believable allegation of an offense being committed. Some jurisdictions count offending only when certain processes happen, such as an arrest is made, ticket issued, charges laid in Court or only upon securing a conviction.
  • Multiple reports of the same offence usually count as one offence. Some jurisdictions count each report separately, others count each victim of offending separately.
  • Where several offences are committed at the same time, in one act of offending, only the most serious offense is counted. Some jurisdictions record and count each and every offense separately, others count cases, or offenders, that can be prosecuted.
  • Where multiple offenders are involved in the same act of offending only one act is counted when counting offenses but each offender is counted when apprehended.
  • Offending is counted at the time it comes to the attention of a law enforcement officer. Some jurisdictions record and count offending at the time it occurs.
  • As "only causing pain" is counted as assault in some countries, it let higher assault rates except in Austria, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. But there are exceptions, like Czech Republic and Latvia. France was the contrasting exception having a high assault ration without counting minor assaults.[6]

Offending that is a breach of the law but for which no punishment exists is often not counted. For example: Suicide, which is technically illegal in most countries, may not be counted as a crime, although attempted suicide and assisting suicide are.

Also traffic offending and other minor offending that might be dealt with by using fines, rather than imprisonment, is often not counted as crime. However separate statistics may be kept for this sort of offending.

Surveys

Because of the difficulties in quantifying how much crime actually occurs, researchers generally take two approaches to gathering statistics about crime.

However, as officers can only record crime that comes to their attention and might not record a matter as a crime if the matter is considered minor and is not perceived as a crime by the officer concerned.

For example, when faced with a domestic violence dispute between a couple, a law enforcement officer may decide it is far less trouble to arrest the male party to the dispute, because the female may have children to care for, despite both parties being equally culpable for the dispute. This sort of pragmatic decisionmaking asked if they are victims of crime, without needing to provide any supporting evidence. In these surveys it is the participant's perception, or opinion, that a crime occurred, or even their understanding about what constitutes a crime that is being measured.

As a consequence differing methodologies may make comparisons with other surveys difficult.

One way in which, while other types of crime are under reported. These surveys also give insights as to why crime is reported, or not. The surveys show that the need to make an insurance claim, seek medical assistance, and the seriousness of an offence tend to increase the level of reporting, while the inconvenience of reporting, the involvement of intimate partners and the nature of the offending tend to decrease reporting.

This allows degrees of confidence to be assigned to various crime statistics. For example: Motor vehicle thefts are generally well reported because the victim may need to make the report for an insurance claim, while domestic violence, domestic child abuse and sexual offences are frequently significantly under-reported because of the intimate relationships involved, embarrassment and other factors that make it difficult for the victim to make a report.

Attempts to use victimisation surveys from different countries for international comparison had failed in the past. A standardised survey project called the International Crime Victims Survey[7] Results from this project have been briefly discussed earlier in this article.

Classification

While most jurisdictions could probably agree about what constitutes a murder, what constitutes a homicide may be more problematic, while a crime against the person could vary widely. Legislation differences often means the ingredients of offences vary between jurisdictions.

The International Crime victims Survey has been done in over 70 countries to date and has become the 'de facto' standard for defining common crimes. Complete list of countries[8] participating and the 11 defined crimes[9] can be found at the project web site.[10]

Measures

More complex measures involve measuring the numbers of discrete victims and offenders as well as repeat victimisation rates and recidivism. Repeat victimisation involves measuring how often the same victim is subjected to a repeat occurrence of an offence, often by the same offender. Repetition rate measures are often used to assess the effectiveness of interventions.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Victims let down by poor crime-recording Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "Understanding Crime Trends: Workshop Report". Committee on Understanding Crime Trends, U.S. National Research Council. National Academies Press. 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-02-19.
  3. ^ Van Dijk, J. J. M., van Kesteren, J. N. & Smit, P. (2008). Criminal Victimisation in International Perspective, Key findings from the 2004-2005 ICVS and EU ICS (PDF). The Hague: Boom Legal Publishers. pp. 99–104. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved June 27, 2013.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Van Dijk, J. J. M.; Manchin, R.; Van Kesteren, J.; Nevala, S.; Hideg, G. (2005). The Burden of Crime in the EU. Research Report: A Comparative Analysis of the European Crime and Safety Survey (EU ICS) 2005 (PDF). pp. 21–23. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 21, 2007. Retrieved May 5, 2008.
  5. ^ Kesteren, J. n. van; Mayhew, P.; Nieuwbeerta, P. (2000). "Criminal victimization in seventeen industrialized countries: key findings from the 2000 International Crime Victims Survey". pp. 98–99. Retrieved April 12, 2007.
  6. ^ European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics – 2010 Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, fourth edition, p30.
  7. ^ "The 5th round of International Crime Victims Surveys". rechten.uvt.nl. Archived from the original on 2013-02-01.
  8. ^ UNCRI ICVS participating countries Archived April 18, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ UNCRI ICVS overview Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "ICVS website". Archived from the original on 2016-03-14.

Further reading

  • Van Dijk, J. J. M. (2008). The World of crime; breaking the silence on problems of crime, justice and development. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  • Catalano, S. M. (2006). The Measurement of Crime: Victim Reporting and Police Recording. New York: LFB Scholarly Pub. ISBN 1-59332-155-4.
  • Jupp, V. (1989). Methods of Criminological Research. Contemporary Social Research Series. London: Unwin Hyman. ISBN 0-04-445066-4.
  • Van der Westhuizen, J. (1981). Measurement of crime. Pretoria: University of South Africa. ISBN 0-86981-197-5.
  • Van Dijk, J. J. M.; van Kesteren, J. N.; Smit, P. (2008). Criminal Victimisation in International Perspective, Key findings from the 2004-2005 ICVS and EU ICS (PDF). The Hague: Boom Legal Publishers. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-06-25.

External links

Bureau of Justice Statistics

The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is a federal government agency belonging to the U.S. Department of Justice and a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System. Established on 27 December 1979, the bureau collects, analyzes and publishes data relating to crime in the United States. The agency publishes data regarding statistics gathered from the roughly fifty-thousand agencies that comprise the U.S. justice system on its Web site.

To collect, analyze, publish, and disseminate information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government. These data are critical to Federal, State, and local policymakers in combating crime and ensuring that justice is both efficient and evenhanded.

BJS, along with the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), and other program offices, comprise the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) branch of the Department of Justice.

Clery Act

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act, signed in 1990, is a federal statute codified at 20 U.S.C. § 1092(f), with implementing regulations in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. 668.46.

The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. Compliance is monitored by the United States Department of Education, which can impose civil penalties, up to $54,789 per violation, against institutions for each infraction and can suspend institutions from participating in federal student financial aid programs.

The law is named after Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old Lehigh University student whom Josoph Henry raped and murdered in her campus hall of residence in 1986. Henry's murder of Ms. Clery triggered a backlash against unreported crime on campuses across the country.

Corruption Perceptions Index

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is an index published annually by Transparency International since 1995 which ranks countries "by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys." The CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private benefit".The CPI currently ranks 176 countries "on a scale from 100 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt)". Denmark and New Zealand are perceived as the least corrupt countries in the world, ranking consistently high among international financial transparency, while the most perceived corrupt country in the world is Somalia, ranking at 9 out of 100 since 2017.

Crime in Australia

Crime in Australia is managed by various law enforcement bodies (federal and state-based police forces and local councils), the federal and state-based criminal justice systems and state-based correctional services.

The Department of Home Affairs oversees federal law enforcement, national security (including cyber security, transport security, criminal justice, emergency management, multicultural affairs, immigration and border-related functions). It comprises the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre and the Australian Institute of Criminology as of February 2019. Each state and territory runs its own police service.

The national justice system is overseen by the Attorney-General's Department (Australia), with each state and territory having its own equivalent.

Prison services are run independently by correctional services department in each state and territory.

Crime statistics are collected on a state basis and then collated and further analysed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Between 2008–09 and 2017–18 the national victimisation rate decreased for personal crime in all categories except sexual assault (which remained steady), and also all household crimes selected in the national statistics. Approximately 5.0% (966,600) of Australians aged 15 years and over experienced personal crime.

Crime in Canada

Under the Canadian constitution, the power to establish criminal law and rules of investigation is vested in the federal Parliament. The provinces share responsibility for law enforcement (although provincial policing in many jurisdictions is contracted to the federal Royal Canadian Mounted Police), and while the power to prosecute criminal offences is assigned to the federal government, responsibility for prosecutions is delegated to the provinces for most types of criminal offences. Laws and sentencing guidelines are uniform throughout the country, but provinces vary in their level of enforcement.

Crime in New South Wales

Criminal activity in New South Wales, Australia is combated by the New South Wales Police Force and the New South Wales court system, while statistics about crime are managed by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research. Modern Australian states and cities, including New South Wales, have some of the lowest crime rates recorded globally with Australia ranked the 13th safest nation and Sydney ranked the 5th safest city globally. As of September 2018 the City of Sydney had the highest rate of violent crime per 100,000 people (1445.1), followed by City of Penrith (475.7) and City of Blacktown (495.1). Rural areas have comparatively high crime rates per 100,000 with rural shires such as Walgett Shire (1350.3) and Moree Plains Shire (1236.2) having some of the highest violent crime rates in the state. The overall NSW crime rate has been in steady decline for many years. New South Wales was founded as a British penal colony. The founding members of the colony included a significant number of criminals, known as convicts, there were 778 convicts (192 women and 586 men) on the First Fleet. The majority of convicts were transported for petty crimes. More serious crimes, such as rape and murder, became transportable offences in the 1830s, but since they were also punishable by death, comparatively few convicts were transported for such crimes. Common Crimes in the colony were drunkenness, assault, and disorderly prostitution. bushranging and absconding were also common, while the murder rate was low. The rate of conviction for less serious offenses gradually declined. Execution was used as punishment, though the rate of execution was low.

Crime in Queensland

Queensland Police is responsible for providing policing services to Queensland, Australia and crime statistics for the state are provided on their website.

Crime in South Australia

Crime in South Australia is managed by the South Australia Police (SAPOL), various state and federal courts in the criminal justice system and the state Department of Correctional Services, which administers the prisons.

Crime statistics for all categories of offence in the state are provided on the SAPOL website, in the form of rolling 12-month totals. Crime statistics from the 2017–18 national ABS Crime Victimisation Survey show that between the years 2008–09 and 2017–18, the rate of victimisation in South Australia declined for assault and most household crime types.In 2013 Adelaide was ranked as the safest capital city in the country.

Crime in Spain

Crime in spain

is combated by Spain's law enforcement agencies.

Crime in Victoria

Criminal activity in Victoria, Australia is combated by the Victoria Police and the Victorian court system, while statistics about crime are managed by the Crime Statistics Agency. Modern Australian states and cities, including Victoria, have some of the lowest crime rates recorded globally with Australia ranked the 13th safest nation and Melbourne ranked the 5th safest city globally. As of September 2018 the CBD of Melbourne had the highest rate of overall criminal incidents in the state (15,949.9), followed by Latrobe (12,896.1) and Yarra (11,119.2). Rural areas have comparatively high crime rates, with towns such as Mildura (9,222.0) and Greater Shepparton (9,111.8) having some of the highest crime rates in the state..

Victoria has had a comparatively low crime rate throughout its history, particularly in relation to the homicide rate which has been and remains notably lower than that of comparable nations. During the colonial period (1851 -1901) drunkenness was the most widely reported crime, in 1907 About 40% of all convictions nationwide were for drunkenness. Fraud was also common in the Victorian colony due to a shortage of currency and the common use of promissory notes. Victorian crime data and reporting prior to Australian Federation is generally seen as unreliable or inconsistent, with the exception of homicide rates.

Crime in Western Australia

Crime in Western Australia is tackled by the Western Australia Police and the Western Australian legal system.

Crime in the United States

Crime in the United States has been recorded since colonization. Crime rates have varied over time, with a sharp rise after 1963, reaching a broad peak between the 1970s and early 1990s. Since then, crime has declined significantly in the United States, and current crime rates are approximately the same as those of the 1960s.Statistics on specific crimes are indexed in the annual Uniform Crime Reports by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and by annual National Crime Victimization Surveys by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In addition to the primary Uniform Crime Report known as Crime in the United States, the FBI publishes annual reports on the status of law enforcement in the United States. The report's definitions of specific crimes are considered standard by many American law enforcement agencies. According to the FBI, index crime in the United States includes violent crime and property crime. Violent crime consists of four criminal offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault; property crime consists of burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

Crime mapping

Crime mapping is used by analysts in law enforcement agencies to map, visualize, and analyze crime incident patterns. It is a key component of crime analysis and the CompStat policing strategy. Mapping crime, using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), allows crime analysts to identify crime hot spots, along with other trends and patterns.

Criminal Reduction Utilising Statistical History

Criminal Reduction Utilizing Statistical History is an IBM predictive analytics system that attempts to predict the location of future crimes. It was developed as part of the Blue CRUSH program in conjunction with Memphis Police Department and the University of Memphis Criminology and Research department.As of July 2010, it was being trialed by two British police forces.

Hate crime

A hate crime (also known as a bias-motivated crime or bias crime) is a prejudice-motivated crime which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of his or her membership (or perceived membership) in a certain social group or race.

Examples of such groups can include, and are almost exclusively limited to: sex, ethnicity, disability, language, nationality, physical appearance, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. Non-criminal actions that are motivated by these reasons are often called "bias incidents".

"Hate crime" generally refers to criminal acts which are seen to have been motivated by bias against one or more of the social groups listed above, or by bias against their derivatives. Incidents may involve physical assault, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, mate crime or offensive graffiti or letters (hate mail).A hate crime law is a law intended to deter bias-motivated violence. Hate crime laws are distinct from laws against hate speech: hate crime laws enhance the penalties associated with conduct which is already criminal under other laws, while hate speech laws criminalize a category of speech. Hate speech laws exist in many countries. In the United States, hate crime laws have been upheld by both the Supreme Court and lower courts, especially in the case of 'fighting' words and other violent speech, but they are thought by some people to be in conflict with the First Amendment right to freedom of speech, but hate crimes are only regulated through threats of injury or death.

Hate crime laws in the United States

Hate crime laws in the United States are state and federal laws intended to protect against hate crimes (also known as bias crimes) motivated by enmity or animus against a protected class of persons. Although state laws vary, current statutes permit federal prosecution of hate crimes committed on the basis of a person's protected characteristics of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)/FBI, as well as campus security authorities, are required to collect and publish hate crime statistics.

Uniform Crime Reports

The Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) compiles official data on crime in the United States, published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). UCR is "a nationwide, cooperative statistical effort of nearly 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily reporting data on crimes brought to their attention".Crime statistics are compiled from UCR data and published annually by the FBI in the Crime in the United States series.

The FBI does not collect the data itself. Rather, law enforcement agencies across the United States provide the data to the FBI, which then compiles the Reports.

The Uniform Crime Reports program began in 1929, and since then has become an important source of crime information for law enforcement, policymakers, scholars, and the media. The UCR Program consists of four parts:

Traditional Summary Reporting System (SRS) and the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) – Offense and arrest data

Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program

Hate Crime Statistics Program – hate crimes

Cargo Theft Reporting Program – cargo theftThe FBI publishes annual data from these collections in Crime in the United States, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, and Hate Crime Statistics.

Violent crime

A violent crime or crime of violence is a crime in which an offender or perpetrator uses or threatens to use force upon a victim. This entails both crimes in which the violent act is the objective, such as murder or rape, as well as crimes in which violence is the means to an end. Violent crimes may, or may not, be committed with weapons. Depending on the jurisdiction, violent crimes may vary from homicide to harassment. Typically, violent criminals includes aircraft hijackers, bank robbers, muggers, burglars, terrorists, carjackers, rapists, kidnappers, torturers, active shooters, murderers, gangsters, drug cartels, and others.

Westwood (subdivision), Houston

Westwood is a residential subdivision in Southwest Houston, Texas. The subdivision is bounded by the 610 Loop, the Union Pacific railroad tracks, Stella Link Road, and Willowbend Boulevard. It has about 800 houses.Sergeant J. W. Collins of the Houston Police Department (HPD) Southwest Patrol Division and the head of the Beechnut Police Station's Tactical Response Team, stated that according to an HPD study of the crime statistics comparing those of January to May 1989 to January to May 1988, after the Link Valley complexes closed, Class 1 and Class 2 crime decreased in several neighborhoods.In Westwood, Class 1 crime decreased by 3 percent and Class 2 crime decreased by 23%.In 2009 the civic club founded a Citizens on Patrol program.

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