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NCJ Number: 136259 Find in a Library
Title: Residual Gains, Reliability, and the UCR-NCS Relationship: A Comment on Blumstein, Cohen, and Rosenfeld (1991)
Journal: Criminology  Volume:30  Issue:1  Dated:(February 1992)  Pages:105-113
Author(s): S Menard
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 9
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Blumstein, Cohen, and Rosenfeld examined trends and deviations in Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and National Crime Survey (NCS) statistics on robbery and burglary, and they concluded that the two data series tell virtually the same story about variations in crime rates.
Abstract: They found that rates of victimization, as measured by NCS data, are systematically related to residual gain scores in UCR data on crimes known to the police and that rates of crimes known to the police, as measured by UCR data, are systematically related to residual gain scores in NCS victimization rates. They cautioned, however, that their results may not be generalizable to other crime types. The critique of their conclusions questions how reliably Blumstein, Cohen, and Rosenfeld measured the crime phenomenon. To state that the two data series tell the same story ignores past research on differences between victimization and official statistics and concentrates only on the results of residual gain scores. The critique does not argue that UCR and NCS crime rates should be completely unrelated to each other. Both should be affected by true rates of illegal behavior. There are sufficient differences in the construction of the two measures, however, to suggest that even if what they measure includes the true rate of crime for both, each also measures conceptual variables not measured by the other. Further, the two data series do not measure the true rate of crime equally well. Which is the better measure varies by crime type and the purpose for which crime is being measured. 17 references
Main Term(s): Crime Rate
Index Term(s): National crime surveys; Research methods; Uniform crime reporting; Victimization surveys
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