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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 32673 Find in a Library
Title: HOW CRIME STATISTICS CAN LIE
Journal: SKEPTIC  Issue:4  Dated:(NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 1974)  Pages:5-6 AND 8-9
Author(s): K WEIS; M E MILAKOVICH
Corporate Author: Forum for Contemporary History
United States of America
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Forum for Contemporary History
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE WAYS THAT POLICE, POLITICIANS, AND THE PRESS MISUSE UNRELIABLE FIGURES TO SUPPORT UNSUPPORTABLE CONCLUSIONS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE FOLLOWING POINTS ARE DISCUSSED: CITIZENS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT CRIME, BUT THEY MAY BE RESPONDING AS MUCH TO THE POLITICAL ISSUE AS TO THE ACTUAL PROBLEM OF CRIME; POLITICIANS AND REPRESENTATIVES OF PROFESSIONAL CRIMEFIGHTING AGENCIES, ESPECIALLY THE POLICE, ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE PROBLEM AND THE ISSUE OF CRIME; ASSESSMENT OF POLICE CRIME STATISTICS IS THE PRIMARY TECHNIQUE USED TO EVALUATE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF FEDERAL ANTICRIME PROGRAMS; THESE STATISTICS ARE ALSO SELF-SERVING MEASURES OF ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS AND A POOR INDEX OF THE TRUE INCIDENCE OF CRIME; IF AN IMPROVEMENT IN THE CRIMEFIGHTING SYSTEM IS NOT COUNTER-BALANCED BY A CHANGE IN THE CRIME-REPORTING SYSTEM, THEN AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPORTED CRIMES SHOULD RESULT; THIS PARADOXICAL OUTCOME, HOWEVER, UNDERMINES THE IMAGE OF POLICE AS SUCCESSFUL CRIME FIGHTERS, THREATENS THEIR RESOURCES AND INTENSIFIES PUBLIC FEAR OF CRIME. ALL THESE UNWELCOME CONSEQUENCES CAN BE AVOIDED SIMPLY BY A MANIPULATION OF CRIME STATISTICS. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT)
Index Term(s): Crime Rate; Crime Statistics; FBI Uniform Crime Reports; Fear of crime; Police statistics; Political influences; Press relations; Uniform crime reporting
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=32673

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