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NCJ Number: 67279 Find in a Library
Title: PREPARED STATEMENT OF GLEN D KING (FROM ARSON-FOR-PROFIT - ITS IMPACT ON STATES AND LOCALITIES, P 236-241, 1977 SEE NCJ-67274)
Author(s): G D KING
Corporate Author: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police
Alexandria, VA 22314
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TESTIMONY IS OFFERED BY A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHIEFS OF POLICE (IACP) AGAINST THE CLASSIFICATION OF ARSON AS AN INDEX CRIME UNDER THE UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING SYSTEM.
Abstract: THE IACP INITIATED A VOLUNTARY NATIONAL PROGRAM IN 1930 FOR COLLECTING CRIME STATISTICS. THE IACP COMMITTEE ON UNIFORM CRIME RECORDS CONTINUES TO SERVE IN AN ADVISORY CAPACITY TO THE FBI CONCERNING THE OPERATION OF THE UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING (UCR) PROGRAM. BECAUSE OF THE VAST NUMBERS OF CRIMES REPORTED IN ALL CATEGORIES, INDEX CRIMES WERE SELECTED TO PROVIDE A MEANINGFUL OVERVIEW OR BAROMETER OF TOTAL CRIME: MURDER, FORCIBLE RAPE, ROBBERY, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, BURGLARY, LARCENY/THEFT, AND MOTOR VEHICLE THEFT. THESE CRIMES REPRESENT A FAIR MEASURE OF TOTAL CRIME BY THEIR SERIOUSNESS, FREQUENCY OF OCCURRENCE, AND LIKELIHOOD OF BEING REPORTED TO THE POLICE. THE UCR COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY AGREED NOT TO DESIGNATE ARSON AS AN INDEX CRIME IN 1978 BECAUSE ARSON DOES NOT ALWAYS READILY APPEAR AT THE TIME OF OCCURRENCE, IT INFREQUENTLY COMES TO THE ATTENTION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AT THE OFFENSE STAGE, AND MOST POLICE AGENCIES ARE INDEQUATELY TRAINED IN THE AREA OF FIRE SCIENCE. FURTHER, ARSON IS USUALLY REPORTED TO FIRE AUTHORITIES, THERE IS NO UNIFORM SYSTEM OF REPORTING AND ANALYZING FIRE STATISTICS, REPORTING AND INVESTIGATION IS SUBSTANDARD BECAUSE IT IS OFTEN PERFORMED BY VOLUNTEERS, AND LOCAL LEGISLATION DESIGNATING AUTHORITY TO INVESTIGATE FIRES IS NOT UNIFORM. IN ADDITION, INCLUDING ARSON AS AN INDEX CRIME WOULD REQUIRE THE DEVELOPMENT OF UCR PROGRAMS IN SOME 25,000 FIRE DEPARTMENTS AND COUNTLESS STATE AND LOCAL FIRE MARSHAL OFFICES NATIONWIDE. FINALLY, THE PROBLEMS RESULTING FROM ARSON CRIMES WOULD NOT BE SIGNIFICANTLY ALLEVIATED BY CLASSIFYING ARSON AS AN INDEX OFFENSE. THE IACP CONCURS THAT ARSON IS A SERIOUS CRIME, BUT ALSO AGREES THAT THE REASONING AGAINST CLASSIFYING ARSON AS AN INDEX CRIME IS PERSUASIVE. (MHP)
Index Term(s): Arson; International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP); Offense classification; Uniform crime reporting
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