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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78828 Find in a Library
Title: Rural Crime in Missouri - A Case Study of Four Missouri Counties With Suggestions for Crime Prevention Measures
Author(s): J F Galliher; G M Matoesian; J S Holik; B Phifer
Corporate Author: University of Missouri
Dept of Sociology
United States of America

University of Missouri
Dept of Rural Sociology
United States of America

University of Missouri
Dept of Community Development
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A 1980 victimization survey of four rural Missouri counties found that rates of victimization were similar to those in urban areas, even though annual FBI reports indicate lower amounts of rural crime.
Abstract: The survey covered businesses, houses in the open country, and households in small towns. In the total sample of 411 households contacted by trained interviewers, 23 percent had experienced some crime victimization over the past year. However, only 38 percent of these crimes had been reported to the police. Victimization rates were slightly higher for households in the open country than those in small towns. The major crimes reported were theft and vandalism, although only 8 percent had experienced any vandalism. Combined data on the amount of crime victimization in small towns and open country areas for each county suggested little significant variation in total criminal victimization among the various regions. A comparison of the survey's findings with FBI reports attributes differences to massive underreporting by rural crime victims. Of the 40 businesses in small towns interviewed, 50 percent were victims of some crime during the past year and most had been reported to the police. Precautions against crime taken by small town and open country residents were similar, although open country households attached greater importance to gun ownership. Open country residents who had been victims of crime were not more likely to adopt preventive measures than residents who had not been victimized. This pattern, coupled with underreporting, demonstrates the need for citizen education programs. A concluding discussion of rural crime prevention tactics considers neighborhood crime watches, programs to encourage reporting of any suspicious activity, and permanently marking property for ready identification. Security steps for rural residents are outlined, and eight references are provided.
Index Term(s): Community crime prevention programs; Crime prevention measures; Missouri; Rural area studies; Rural crime; Unreported crimes; Victimization surveys
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