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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51702 Find in a Library
Title: CRIME RATE DROPS - MAYBE
Journal: POLICE MAGAZINE  Volume:1  Issue:5  Dated:(NOVEMBER 1978)  Pages:30-35
Author(s): J BLACKMORE
Corporate Author: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
New York, NY 10017
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE APPARENT DECLINE IN NATIONAL CRIME RATES INDICATED BY STATISTICS FROM BOTH THE NATIONAL CRIME SURVEY AND THE UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS IS DISCUSSED, WITH SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE REACTIONS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS.
Abstract: LEAA'S VICTIMIZATION SURVEYS SHOW SMALL DECREASES IN MOST CRIME CATEGORIES IN 1975 AND 1976; PRELIMINARY DATA FOR 1977 TEND TO CONFIRM THE TREND. THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION'S UNIFORM CRIME REPORTS SHOW A DECLINE IN THE NATIONAL RATE OF REPORTED CRIME IN 1976, 1977, AND THE FIRST QUARTER OF 1978--THE MOST PERSISTENT DECLINE SINCE THE 1950'S. CRIME RATE EXPERTS CANNOT BE CERTAIN THAT THE DECLINES MARK THE BEGINNING OF A LONG-RANGE TREND. (A 5-PERCENT DROP IN THE RATE OF REPORTED CRIME IN 1972 WAS FOLLOWED BY A RECORD 16.8-PERCENT INCREASE IN 1974.) MOST POLICE OFFICIALS ARE AT A LOSS TO EXPLAIN THE DECLINING CRIME RATES IN THEIR CITIES, ALTHOUGH SOME CITE CRIME PREVENTION PROGRAMS AND EFFORTS TO IMPROVE POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS AS FACTORS. MANY OF THE CITIES IN WHICH CRIME RATES EITHER INCREASED OR REMAINED STABLE IN THE MIDST OF THE NATIONAL DECLINE ARE IN SOUTHERN OR WESTERN STATES, AN INDICATION THAT CLIMATE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, AFFECTS THE INCIDENCE OF CRIME. COMMENTS BY POLICE OFFICIALS FROM A NUMBER OF CITIES LEAD TO THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATION: WHEN CRIME IS DOWN, THE COMMUNITY AND ITS ANTICRIME EFFORTS ARE GIVEN THE CREDIT; WHEN CRIME IS UP, THE BLAME IS PLACED ON STRANGERS, TRANSIENTS, AND ALIENS. A 1978 HARRIS POLL FOUND A DECREASE IN PUBLIC CONCERN ABOUT CRIME AND FEAR OF CRIME. SOME CRIMINOLOGISTS POINT TO THE DEMOGRAPHIC EFFECT--THE CHANGING AGE COMPOSITION OF THE POPULATION--AS THE MAJOR FACTOR BEHIND FLUCTUATIONS IN THE CRIME RATE. GRAPHS SHOWING NATIONAL RATES OF REPORTED CRIME FORM 1960 TO 1978 AND CHANGES IN NATIONAL VICTIMIZATION RATES FOR SPECIFIC OFFENSES FROM 1975 TO 1976 ARE PROVIDED, TOGETHER WITH A MAP INDICATING THE 25 CITIES WITH THE HIGHEST RATES OF REPORTED CRIME IN 1976. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Crime Rate; Crime surveys; FBI Uniform Crime Reports; National crime statistics; Trend analysis; Victimization
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51702

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