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NCJ Number: 52291 Find in a Library
Title: UTILIZATION OF OFFICIAL CRIME DATA
Author(s): A OOSTHOEK
Corporate Author: Canada Solicitor General
Canada
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 135
Sponsoring Agency: Canada Solicitor General
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P8, Canada
Sale Source: Canada Solicitor General
340 Laurier Avenue, West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0P8,
Canada
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: ALTHOUGH STABLE STATISTICAL REGULARITIES CAN BE FOUND IN UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING (UCR) DATA, THEIR UTILIZATION IN RESEARCH IS INAPPROPRIATE. THIS PAPER EXAMINES THE ADEQUACY OF THE UCR LANGUAGE AND DATA COLLECTION SYSTEM.
Abstract: UCR DATA ARE EXAMINED IN TERMS OF LANGUAGE, COLLECTION PROBLEMS, PECULIARITIES IN DEFINITION, ANALYTICAL PROBLEMS THEY PRESENT, AND SYSTEMATIC BIASES. IT IS ARGUED THAT UCR DATA ARE MEANINGFUL ONLY WHEN THEY ARE PART OF AN ELABORATE SET OF INTERRELATED TENDENCY STATEMENTS OR LAWS (FACTOR THEORY). THIS TYPE OF LAW DOES NOT CURRENTLY EXIST AT THE LEVEL OF CRIMINAL OR DEVIANT BEHAVIOR. THE EXTENT TO WHICH UCR DATA COULD BE USED AS VARIABLES IN A DEVELOPING FACTOR THEORY AND THE ADEQUACY OF THE STATUTORY LANGUAGE FOR USE IN THEORY CONSTRUCTION ARE EXAMINED. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT UP UNTIL THE 1974 REVISION OF UCR CATEGORIES, UCR LANGUAGE WAS INADEQUATE FOR ANY SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IN CRIME AND DEVIANCE. IT IS ARGUED THAT THERE ARE LOGICAL AND EMPIRICAL GROUNDS FOR BELIEVING THAT POLICE PROCEDURES LEAD TO THE CREATION OF SPURIOUS PATTERNS OF OFFENSE RELATIONSHIPS; THE SAME STRUCTURAL EFFECTS INFLUENCE POLICE AND THE REPORTING PUBLIC AND MAKE DATA UNRELIABLE; AND CONTEXTUAL DIFFERENCES IN THE SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AND DEMOGRAPHIC MAKEUP OF COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL POLICING STYLES WILL PRODUCE REGIONAL DIFFERENCES IN CORRELATIONS BETWEEN SOCIOLOGICAL VARIABLES AND UCR DATA. THE RESIDUAL PROBLEMS OF UCR ANALYSIS AND USE, SUCH AS AGGREGATION BIAS AND COMPOSITIONAL EFFECTS, ARE CONSIDERED. INITIAL STEPS FOR IMPROVING THE RATIONAL USE OF UCR DATA ARE PROPOSED AND REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--DAG)
Index Term(s): Data analysis; Data collections; Data integrity; FBI Uniform Crime Reports; Research
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52291

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