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NCJ Number: 148867 Find in a Library
Title: Decision To Call the Police: A Comparative Study of the United States and Venezuela
Journal: International Criminal Justice Review  Volume:3  Dated:(1993)  Pages:25-43
Author(s): C Birkbeck; L G Gabaldon; G LaFree
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: New Mexico Criminal Justice Dept
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In this study, data from household surveys conducted in the United States and Venezuela are used to test the relative importance of attitudes toward the police and crime seriousness as determinants of citizens' calling the police.
Abstract: The U.S. data were obtained from a survey of citizens' attitudes toward crime and the police in New Mexico. A random sample of 533 adult respondents (18 years old and older) was contacted in June 1989 through random-digit dialing procedures. The Venezuelan data were drawn from face-to-face interviews with 655 adult respondents randomly selected from six neighborhoods in the city of Merida in September 1986. In both surveys respondents were presented with 11 vignettes that described five problem situations, such as troublemaking kids and vandals. For each vignette, respondents were asked to rate the seriousness of the situation on a five-point scale. Attitudes toward the police were measured by a standard question that involved rating police performance in respondents' neighborhood and by a set of questions on relations between police and citizens. Results show that crime seriousness is a better predictor of the decision to call the police than attitudes toward the police, although it does not account for all cross-national differences in reporting patterns. Further research on attitudes toward the police would be useful. 5 tables and 40 references
Main Term(s): Police statistics
Index Term(s): Citizen crime reporting; Comparative analysis; Cross-cultural comparisons; Foreign police; United States of America; Venezuela
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