Essay: Measuring Crime

11 Oct

Essay: Measuring Crime

Sample Essay

Date collection through law agencies

The Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) contains official data reported to law enforcement agencies. It focuses on index crimes which include homicide and non-negligent manslaughter, burglary, forcible rape, larceny or theft, arson and robbery. It is a summary based reporting system with data aggregated to the city, county, state, and other geographic levels. Each month, law enforcement agencies report the number of known index crimes in their jurisdiction to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It mainly includes crimes reported to the police by the general public, crimes discovered by the police as well as crimes known through other sources. The law enforcement agencies also report the number of crime cases cleared (Lynken, 2002, pp.110-115).

Collected through victims

Data collected from victims is mostly conducted through the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The main focal points as put across by Lynken include the type of crime; the severity of crime; the time and place of occurrence; injuries or losses as a result of the crime; any medical expenses incurred; age; race; sex of offender(s); and the relationship of offender(s) to the victim (pp.119-122). Age; sex; race; education; employment; family income; marital status; and military history are used to determine the demographic information. A stratified cluster sample technique is employed in this data collection mechanism with the personal-level files consisting of a full sample of victims and a ten percent sample of non-victims.

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