Added: October 4, 2014 – Last updated: October 3, 2015

TITLE INFORMATION


Author: Erik P. Baumer and Janet L. Lauritsen

Title: Reporting Crime to the Police, 1973-2005

Subtitle: A Multivariate Analysis of Long-Term Trends in the National Crime Survey (NCS) and National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

Journal: Criminology

Volume: 48

Issue: 1

Year: February 2010 (Published online: February 26, 2010)

Pages: 131-185

ISSN: 0011-1384 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1745-9125 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century, 21st Century | American History: U.S. History | Prosecution: Police, Reporting



FULL TEXT


Link: Wiley Online Library (Restricted Access)



ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


Authors:

Eric P. Baumer, Department of Sociology and Criminology, Pennsylvania State UniversityResearchGate

Janet L. Lauritsen, Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Missouri at St. Louis

Abstracts:

»Although many efforts have been made during the past several decades to increase the reporting of crime to the police, we know little about the nature of long-term crime-reporting trends. Most research in this area has been limited to specific crime types (e.g., sexual assault), or it has not taken into account possible changes in the characteristics of incidents associated with police notification. In this article, we advance knowledge about long-term trends in the reporting of crime to the police by using data from the National Crime Survey (NCS) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and methods that take into account possible changes in the factors that affect reporting at the individual and incident level as well as changes in survey methodology. Using data from 1973 to 2005, our findings show that significant increases have occurred in the likelihood of police notification for sexual assault crimes as well as for other forms of assault and that these increases were observed for violence against women and violence against men, stranger and nonstranger violence, as well as crimes experienced by members of different racial and ethnic groups. The reporting of property victimization (i.e., motor vehicle theft, burglary, and larceny) also increased across time. Overall, observed increases in crime reporting account for about half of the divergence between the NCVS and the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) in the estimated magnitude of the 1990s crime decline—a result that highlights the need to corroborate findings about crime trends from multiple data sources.« (Source: Criminology)

»The findings show that significant increases occurred in the likelihood that police would be notified of alleged sexual-assault crime and other forms of assault. These increases were observed for both violence against women and violence against men, for stranger and nonstranger violence, and for crimes committed against members of various racial/ethnic groups. Reports to police of property crimes (i.e., motor vehicle theft, burglary, and larceny) also increased across the study period. The observed increase in crime reporting accounted for approximately half of the divergence between data from the NCVS and the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) in the estimated magnitude of the 1990s crime decline. The finding emphasizes to need to corroborate findings about crime trends from multiple data sources. The study integrated data from the NCS for 1973 to 1993 and for the NCVS from 1992 to 2005. These data were derived from surveys of persons ages 12 years old and older from a representative sample of U.S. households. The surveys focused on respondents' experiences with and reactions to criminal victimizations during the previous 6 months. Among the questions asked in the interviews were whether victimization incidents were reported to the police. The NCS and the NCVS are the only national-level data sources in the United States that contain information about crimes that did not come to the attention of the police. Crime incidents were the units of analysis for the study.« (Source: NCJRS Abstracts Database)

Contents:

  Background (p. 134)
    Prior Research on the Correlates of Crime Reporting (p. 134)
    Temporal Changes in Crime Reporting (p. 135)
    Social Changes and Crime Reporting (p. 136)
  Data and Methods (p. 141)
    Data and Sample (p. 141)
    Measures (p. 143)
      Dependent Variable (p. 143)
      Independent Variables (p. 143)
      Control Variables (p. 143)
    Analytical Strategy (p. 148)
  Results (p. 153)
    Nonlethal Violence (p. 155)
    Property Crimes (p. 168)
  Discussion and Conclusion (p. 172)
  References (p. 176)
  Appendix A. The Influence of the NCVS Survey Redesign on the Likelihood of Police Notification With and Without Weight for Redesign Adjustment (p. 182)
  Appendix B. Assessing Changes in Police Notification for Sexual Violence Using Different Estimation Strategies, NCS and NCVS, 1973-2005 (p. 185)

Wikipedia: National Crime Victimization Survey