CHAPTER 2 • The Crime Picture
The • Criminal • Justice • Funnel
The Value of Data • Data are valuable and can be used to • Shape public policy • Analyze and evaluate existing programs • Create new programs • Plan new laws • Develop funding requests
Sources of Data • Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) • National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) • Offender self-reports • Other regular publications
Uniform Crime Reports
Uniform Crime Reports • The reports began in 1930. • Data are collected by F.B.I. • Approximately 16,000 police agencies provide data. • Only crimes known to the police are included. • Law enforcement agencies submit reports voluntarily. • The UCR contains the Crime Index.
UCR: Crime Index • The Index is made up of Part I • offenses. • Violent crime • Murder, rape, robbery, assault • Property crime • Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, arson
UCR: Crime Index • major crimes 100,000 population CrimeIndex=
UCR: Crime Rates • number of crimes 100,000 population CrimeRate= Rates allow for comparison across areas and times.
UCR: Clearance Rates • number of crimes solved • number of crimes committed ClearanceRate= Clearances are based on arrests, not judicial dispositions.
Major Crimes UCR Classifications of Part I Offenses
Murder • …the unlawful killing of a human being by another. • Includes: • All willful and unlawful homicides • Nonnegligent manslaughter • Excludes: • Suicides • Deaths caused by accidents or negligence • Attempted murders
Data on Murder • Least likely Part I offense to occur • High clearance rate • Rates peak during warmer months • Most common in southern states • People age 20–24 are most at risk • Most perpetrators are age 20–24 • Weapon most often used: firearms • Most often, victim and offender were “acquaintances”
Murder: Multiple Killings • Spree—two or more people, killed on more than one occasion, over an extended period of time. • Mass—three or more people, killed in a single event, by an offender who typically does not seek concealment of the crime. • Serial—several victims killed in three or more separate events and over time.
Forcible Rape • …the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. • Includes: • Assault or attempt to commit rape by force or threat of force • Excludes: • Assault if victim is male • Statutory rape (without force) • Same-sex rapes • Other sex offenses
Forcible Rape: One of the most underreported violent crimes • Many victims do NOT report because they: • Think the police won’t be able to catch the suspect. • Believe that the police will be unsympathetic. • Want to avoid the embarrassment of publicity. • Fear reprisal by the rapist. • Fear additional “victimization” by court proceedings. • Want to keep family/friends from knowing.
Forcible Rape • Most rapes are committed by acquaintances of victim, as in the case of date rape. • Most rapists appear to be motivated by the need to feel powerful. • Use of the “date rape drug” Rohypnol is rising.
Robbery • …the unlawful taking or attempted taking of property that is in the immediate possession of another by force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear. • Excludes: • Pick pocketing • Purse snatching
Robbery • Characteristics of robberies (2004): • Highway (42.8%) • Strong arm (39%) • Gun involved (42%) • Knife involved (8.7%) • Gun discharged (20%) • Robbery rates in 2004 (per 100,000): • Large cities–426.7 • Rural areas–16.7
Robbery • Most of those arrested are: • Male (90%) • Under age 25 (62%) • Minorities (56%) • Targets (2004): • Most are individuals • Banks, gas stations, convenience stores, and other businesses • Residential
Aggravated Assault • …unlawful inflicting of serious injury upon the person of another. • Includes: • Attempted assaults, especially when a deadly weapon is used • The possible use of a gun, knife, or other weapon that could result in serious injury • Excludes: • Simple assaults
Aggravated Assault • 56% clearance rate • Summer months highest number reported • February, November, and December lowest number reported • Most were committed with: • Blunt object 36% • Hands and feet 27.9% • Guns 18.3% • Knives 17.8%
Burglary • …unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft. • Types of burglaries: • Forcible entry • Unlawful entry without force • Attempted forcible entry
Burglary • 2 million reported burglaries in 2004: • 63.3% forcible entries • 30.2% unlawful entries without force • 6.5% are attempted forcible entries • $3.3 billion in losses (average: $1,545) • victim home 10% of the time • most during the day • The clearance rate in 2004 was only 12.7%.
Larceny–theft …unlawful taking or attempted taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession of another. Motor vehicles thefts are excluded.
Larceny–theft • Includes (in declining order of frequency): • Theft from motor vehicles • Shoplifting • Theft from buildings • Theft of motor vehicle parts and accessories • Bicycle thefts • Theft from coin-operated machines • Purse snatching • Pocket picking
Larceny–theft • Great variance in types and value of items stolen. • Is the most frequently reported crime (yet still greatly underreported). • Total value of property stolen is around $5.2 billion.
Identity Theft–A Special Kind of Larceny … a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of information, such as Social Security and driver’s license numbers, to obtain credit, merchandise, and services in the name of the victim.
Motor Vehicle Theft …the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. A “motor vehicle” is a self-propelled vehicle that runs on land and not on rails.
Includes automobiles motorcycles motor scooters trucks buses snowmobiles Excludes trains airplanes bulldozers most farm equipment ships boats spacecraft Motor Vehicle Theft
Motor Vehicle Theft Carjacking...the taking of a motor vehicle directly from the owner by force • Legally, carjacking is a type of robbery, not a motor vehicle theft. • It accounts for just over 1% of all car thefts.
Characteristics of Motor Vehicle Theft • Over 1.2 million reported in 2004: • High report rate • 13.8% clearance rate • Clearance rates are higher in rural areas • $8.2 billion in losses (average: $6,646) • Typical offender: young male • 60% under 25 • 83.5% male
Arson …the burning or attempted burning of property, with or without the intent to defraud. …does not include fires of unknown or suspicious origins …became a Part I offense in 1979
Characteristics of Arson • Most common type of arson is the burning of structures, followed by the burning of vehicles • Low clearance rate—16% • $1 billion in losses (average: $11,098)
Part II Offenses • Part II offenses are less serious than Part I • offenses and include many social order • offenses, such as: • Simple assault • Driving under the influence • Prostitution • Vandalism • Receiving stolen property • Fraud • Embezzlement
NIBRS: The New UCR • National Incident Based • Reporting System • Incident driven, rather than summary based • FBI started this program in 1989. • Goals: to enhance and improve crime data collection, analysis, and publication.
NIBRS • National Incident Based • Reporting System • Includes nature of the disposition of the complaint • Replaces the old Part I and Part II offenses with 22 general offenses
NIBRS 22 offenses include:
NIBRS Also collects data on:
NCVS • National Crime Victimization Survey • Began operation in 1972 • Based on victim self-reports • Designed to measure the “dark figure” of crime • Uses data collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics • More than 50,000 households are surveyed twice per year
crimes known to the police all crime Dark Figure of Crime
NCVS • Includes data on: • Robbery • Assault • Burglary • Personal and household larceny • Motor vehicle theft • Rape
NCVS Statistics Reveal • 2004—crime rates at lowest level in years. • 15% of all households are touched by crime. • 24 million victimizations each year. • About 1/2 of all violent crime is reported. • Slightly more than 1/3 of all property crime is reported. • Victims are more likely: • Men • Younger people • African American • Lower income (for violent victimization)
NCVS • Household crime rates are highest for households: • Headed by younger people • Headed by African-Americans • With six or more members • Headed by renters • Located in central cities
UCR Not everyone reports Some crimes are rarely reported Victims inaccuracies Bureaucratic influences Hierarchical counting system Contains only data that FBI thinks is appropriate NCVS There is potential for false or exaggerated reports False reports may be generated by overzealous interviewers Some people won’t respond Respondents may suffer from faulty memories Respondents may misinterpret events Hierarchical counting system Contains only data that BJS thinks is appropriate Problems with the UCR and the NCVS
Special Categories of Crime: Crime Typologies