skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 78883 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Factors Associated With Police Apprehension Productivity - A Study of York, Pennsylvania
Author(s): J M Stevens; B Stipak
Corporate Author: Pennsylvania State University
Institute of Public Admin
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings are reported from a study that examined the factors that influence police apprehension productivity, based on data obtained from the York Police Department (Pennsylvania).
Abstract: Relevant data were collected from the York Bureau of Police Incident Reports for September through December 1976. About 8,788 calls for service were received during that period; however, the 1,284 cases analyzed in this study involved only the 'serious' calls or crimes that warranted a detailed report and investigation. Burglary, theft, automobile theft, vandalism, robbery assault, and aggravated assault were the most frequent major offenses for the study period. Bivariate relationships of clearance rate to crime, suspect, and operational variables were examined, and discriminant function analysis was conducted to help ascertain what independent relationships the examined variables have to crime clearance. The findings clearly show that witness presence and suspect description are the most critical variables in producing apprehension. Less than 1 percent of the cases for which a suspect is not described are cleared, and 25 percent of the cases with a witness present are cleared, compared to only 9 percent clearance of the cases with no witness present. Although the police have no control over whether or not a crime was committed in the presence of a witness, the police can increase apprehension by ferreting out witnesses who are reluctant to come forward and by developing styles of interaction with witnesses that will encourage their effective cooperation. In addition, the assignment of investigatory reponsibility for major incidents to the officer responding to the call may enhance citizen cooperation. Rather than merely completing a report, the officer on the scene would obtain witnesses and witness information, do followup investigations, and receive formal recognition for fulfilling these important responsibilities. Tabular data and 17 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Clearance rates; Criminal investigation; Pennsylvania; Police effectiveness; Suspect identification; Witness assistance; Witnesses
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.