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NCJ Number: 221800 Find in a Library
Title: Using Cross-National Studies to Illuminate the Crime Problem: One Less Data Source Left Standing
Journal: Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice  Volume:24  Issue:1  Dated:February 2008  Pages:50-68
Author(s): Marilyn Marks Rubin; Richard Culp; Peter Mameli; Michael Walker
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 19
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using the United Nations (U.N.) and Interpol crime data surveys from 2002, this article assesses the U.N. survey data and suggests ways to improve the quality of the responses to the survey in response to Interpol’s 2005 decision to stop collecting and disseminating police crime data.
Abstract: Three standards were used to asses the quality of the U.N. and Interpol survey data: unit response rates; item nonresponse rates; and anomalies in survey responses over time. For the U.N. survey data, the study found that the response rates ranged from a high of 62 percent in 1986 and 1990 to a low of 35 percent covering 2001 and 2002. For the Interpol survey data, the response rate varied from a high of 87 percent in the 1985-1986 survey to a low of 34 percent in the 2004 survey; the 2002 survey had a response rate of 36 percent. For both surveys, there was in inverse and statistically significant relationship between a country’s level of economic development and its survey participation. For the second standard, item nonresponse rates, the analysis found that countries were more likely to provide data for individual survey items when they responded to the Interpol survey than when they responded to the U.N. survey. For the third standard, anomalies in survey responses over time, the analysis found fewer anomalies in data provided for the Interpol survey (1 percent of items) than data provided for the U.N. survey (27 percent of items). Three possible explanations exist for the more complete information submitted to Interpol: 1) Interpol’s survey is coordinated through its National Central Bureaus, which are staffed by a country’s own police; 2) the U.N. survey is more complex and requires more information from several different components of the criminal justice system; and 3) the U.N. survey includes specific definitions of individual crimes, whereas Interpol permits respondents to use their own definitions. Based on these findings, recommendations are given for ways in which the response rate to the U.N. survey could be increased. Possible areas for future research are discussed. Tables, notes, and references
Main Term(s): Crime surveys
Index Term(s): Country-by-country surveys; Crime in foreign countries; Data collections; Foreign crime statistics; International Criminal Police Organization; Statistics; United Nations standards
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