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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 82188 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Public Safety - Marshaling Crime Statistics
Journal: Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science  Volume:453  Dated:(January 1981)  Pages:222-236
Author(s): A J Reiss
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: 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
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article evaluates the Social Indicators III report on public safety and finds it, like its predecessor in 1976, largely a report on major crimes against persons and their property and social responses to them, rather than a statistical report on public safety.
Abstract: Because the report examines the view of crime as the overriding concern in public safety, this critique scritinizes the profile of major crimes against persons as violent and against their property as serious by presenting more detailed statistics on victimization by crime and its consequences from both Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Crime Survey. It provides evidence that reporting for major types of crime, such as rape, robbery, burglary, and larceny-theft, masks considerable heterogeneity in seriousness of crime events. The substantial proportion of some crimes that are attempted rather than completed events, that either result in no material harm to the victim or very little, and that disclose recovery and compensation for loss, are cited to cast doubt upon the view that most crimes against persons are violent and that crimes against persons and property result in substantial physical harm and economic loss. The article points out that statistics on crime, unfortunately, do not permit one to relate the cost of one victimization to one economic position, so that just how trivial much crime victimization is remains in doubt. Moreover, current statistics likewise do not permit one to calculate one's risk of victimization by crime. Footnotes are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Critiques; Drug offenders; Property crime statistics; Statistical analysis; Victimization; Violent crime statistics
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