Households Touched by Crime Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Households Touched by Crime Bureau of Justice Statistics Powered By Docstoc
         U.S. Department of Justice
         Bureau of Justice Statistics                                                                                                                                      <=T
                      II          ~             .                         . . . . . . . . . .                              _                             •

         Households Touched                                                                            \

         by Crime, 1982
         Twenty-nine percent (24.8 million) of                                                                                                 June 1983
         the Nation's households were touched
         by a crime of violence or theft in 1982                This is the third annual bulletin in       the problem of crime in the
         (table 1). The percentage of households                the series "Households Touched by          United States.
         touched by crime in 1982 'was slightly                 Crime." Two years ago the                      It is the goal of the Bureau to
         lower than it was in 1981 (30%) and                    Bureau of Justice Statistics               continue to develop statistical
         almost 3 percentage points lower than                  developed this new measure to              measures that will ,\>rovide the
"        the 1975 estimate (32%).                               assess the frequency with which            American public with a gt'eater
                                                                American homes experience c['ime           understanding of crime and crimi-
    t,       In 1982, households with high in-                  directly. Its widespread accep-            nal justice.
~        comes, those in central cities, and                    tance indicates that it has helped                        Steven R. Schlesinger
r\       those headed by blacks continUl~d to be                to provide a new perspective on                           Director
<l       most vulnerable to crime. A fifth of
         the Nation's households were victimized
         by larcenies, once again the most                        The percentage of households             Households touched by
         common crime, While 7% of all house-                 touched by crime declined slowly             selected crimes of violence
         holds were victims of an attempted or                between 1975 and 1982. due mainly to a       and theft, 1975 -82
         completed burglary, and 6% had a                     drop from 15.9% to 13.3% in persci'nal       Percent
         member who was the victim of a
         violent crime.
                                                              larcenies without contact (thefts from
                                                              a place away from the home, such as a
                                                              restaurant or workplace). The per-
                                                              centage of households toucherj by other

                                                                                                                       Any crime
                                                                                                                                            -                     -
          Table 1. Households touched by crime, 1982          crimes (such as burglary and crimes of       25
                                                              violence) did not fluctuate greatly
                                      Number                  between 1975 and 1982 and showed no          20
                                      (millions)    Percent   discernible trend.
                                                                                                                       Personal larceny   wilhou~   contact
          U.S, households                85,0        100.0
          Households touched by
                                                              Detailed findings                            15
           All crimes                    24.8         29.2
            Rape                           .1          0.2        As in previous years, chances of
            ltobbery                      1.2          1.4    victimization were related to a house-       10
            Assault                       3.8          4.5                                                             Household burglary
               Aggravated                 1.4          1.6    hold's family income, race, and place of
               Simple                     2.7          3.2    residence (table 2).                          5
            Larceny                      17.7         20.9    • Black households were more likely                    "Rape, robbery, and assault
               Personal                  11.7         13.8    than white households to have had                       ,....Motor vehicle theft
               Household                  8.2          9.6
           Burglary                       5.8          6.9    members who were victims of robbery           o
            Motor vehiele theft           1.4                 or aggravated assault in 1982.                1975      76       77   78    79        80       81   82
                                                              • 10% of all black households and 6%
          Note: Percent detail does not add to total          of all white househo~ds were victims of
          because of overlap in households touched by         at least one burglary or attempted           and black households wore victims of
          various crimes.                                     burglary in 1982.                            theft.
                                                              • About the same proportions of whito        • In general, the higher the income the
           - ------,.----- - - -          -----

1   Households touched by selected crimes, by race of household head, 1975 - 82                                                                                                                                                    Households touched by selected crimes, by place of residence, 1975 - 82                                       burgl~y,  larceny, and motor vehicle
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 theft. Because the NeS counts only
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Percent                                                                                                       crimes for which the victim can be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 interviewed, homicide is not counted in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ,           Any NCS crime
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 this analysis, but its exclusion does not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Urban                                                    noticeably affect the estimates pre-
                                                                                                                            Households touched by selected
                                                                                                                            crimes, by family income, 1975 - 82                                                                                                                                                                                  sented here. If each of the 1982
                                                                                                                            Percent                                                                                               .30                                                   Suburban                                                 homicides (about 20,000) had touched a
                                                                                                                            25                                                                                                                                                                                                                   different household and these house-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 holds had been touched by no other
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   25                                                                                                            crime (the largest possible effect), the
    20                                                                                                                      20                                                                                                                                                          Rural                                                    result would not raise the overall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 percentage (29.2%J of households
            Personal larceny without contact
                                                                                                                                   - - - - -___ ......                                                     $15.000+                20    Personal larceny without contact                                                                        touched by crime.
                                              White                                                                                                                     ........                                                                                                                                                                     Other crimes egainst persons or
                                                                                                                                                                                   .........                                                                                        Suburban
                                                                                                                                                                                               - - - _ -.... $7.500-$14.999        15
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      " " - - - - l Urban
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 their households--such as fraud, confi-
            Burglary                                                 Percent                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     dence games, kidnaping, and arson-
    10                                             Black             10
                                                                               Rape. robbery. and assault
                                                                                                                            10 ...... ~.~~~;:~ ......•••............•.....•... :::::::::::                 t::: :~:~ ~~.~gg                                                                        Percent                                       were not included because no reliable
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 --         Rural
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        r---------- - - - ' Urban                                                                                measures are available for the number

                                                                                                              Black                ~.•......... ----_                                                      $7.500-$14:999                                                                             Rape. robbery. and assault
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 of such crimes that occur or the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 - - - - - - - - - - - 1 Suburban

                                                                                                      ------1 White                                                                                        $15,000+
                                                                     5                                                       5                                                                                                      5                                                   Rural
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 number of househOlds victimized by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 these crimes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    O~-------                _________              ~                                                                Traditional measures of crime are in
     1975 76 n 78 79 80 81 82                                        o~--------------------~
                                                                     1975 76 n 78 79 80 81 82                                ~~7~5-=76~~7=7~~78~~7=9~~8=0--~87'~82·                                                                 1975 76        77       78   79   80       81   82             1975 76   77   78   79   80   81   82         the form of volume or rates. Data on
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 the volume of crime have limited
    more likely a family was to be a victim                         • 13% of urban (but only 10% of subur-                  household was victimized only once in a                                                                both a household c:-ime and a personal                          Nation's households) were victims of          usefulness, unless the size of the popu-
    of theft.                                                       ban and 8% of rural) households were                    single year. Ratios greater th&n 1.0 to                                                                crime of theft or violence.                                     both violent crime by strangers and           lation base is taken into account.
    • Families with low incomes were the                            victims of crimes of high concern                       1 show the extent to which the average                                                                 • 11% of the households touched by                              burglary.                                     Rates-expressed in the National Crime
    most likely to be \'ictims of burglary.                         (violent crimes by strangers and bur-                   household touched by crime was victim-                                                                 personal crimes (2% of all households in                                                                      Survey as crimes per 1,000 households
    • At least a third of all urban house-                          glaries).                                               ized more than once in the same year.                                                                  the Nation) were victims of both                                Function and makeup of the indicator          or crimes per 1,000 persons-automati-
    holds were touched by crime.                                                                                                                                                                                                   violence and theft.                                                                                           cally correct for different population
    • The greater vulnerability of urban                            Multiple victimization of households                        In 1981, the ratio for all crimes was                                                              • 7% of the households touched by                                   The households-touched-by-crim e          sizes, but they do not show whether a
    than suburban households was due                                                                                        1.6 to 1; that is, the average victimized                                                              crimes of high concern (1 % of the                              indicator was introduced by the Bureau        given level of crime within a given
    primarily to higher urban rates for                                 The ratio of the number of crime                    househol1 experienced 1.6 incidents                                                                                                                                    of Justice Statistics in 1981. Its aim is     population is widdy spread or highly
    burglary and violent crime.                                     incidents per year to the number of                     (table 3). The ratios for individual                                                                                                                                   to improve our understanding of the           concentrated.
    • Households in rural areas were less                           households touched by crime provides a                  types of crime ranged from 1.0 to 1.3.                                                                 Percent of households                                           impact of crime on our society. 2 The
    likely than those in urban or suburban                          way to examine the degree to which                      Many households were victims of at                                                                     touched by crimes of high                                       household was chosen as the unit of                For each type of crime examined, a
    arel'lS to be victims of any crime.                             households touched by crime w...·e                      least two different crimes during that                                                                 concern*, 1982                                                  analysis because the effects of a crime       household is counted only once regard-
    • Urban households were only a bit                              victims of more than one crime inci-                    year. Evidence of the extent of                                                                                                                                        are not limited to the victim a'lune but      les!> of how many times that household
    more likely than suburban households to                         dent during the year. A ratio of 1.0 to I               multiple victimization comes from                                                                           Any high·concern c1Ime                                     are also felt by other members of the         was victimized. For example, if a
    be victims of larcenies.                                        means that the average victimized                       examining the overlap in the number of                                                                                                                                 victim's household.                           household was burglarized twice and
                                                                                                                            households touched by individual crimes                                                                                                                                                                              one of its members was robbed once
                                                                                                                            and by composite crime categories.                                                                          Race                                                           Households-touched-by-crime               during the year, it is counted once for
     Table 2. Percent of households touched by crime by selected characteristics, 1982                                      • 5% of all households were touched by                                                                                                                                 statistics are derived from National          households touched by burglary even
                                                                                                                       --                                                                                                               White
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       I                           Crime Survey (NCS) data on rape,
                               Race of head       Annual   famil~income (dollars)           Place of residence
                                                                                                                            1NCS incident data were not yet available
                                                                                                                            for 1982, so 1981 incident and households-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    , Black
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        J          personal robbery, assault, household
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 3These crimes are defined in Measuring Crime, BJS
                                                  Low      Medium           ~                                               touched data were used for this aspect of the                                                                                                                                                                        Bulletin, NCJ-75710, February 1981.
                                                  under    7,500- 15,000-                   Cen~ral
                               White    Black     7,500    14,999 24,999 25,000+            cities    Suburban     Rural
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Family income                                              ~ Prevalence of Crime, Bureau of Justice      4 Est.imate derived from Uniform Crime Reports,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Statistics BUlletin, NCJ-75905. March 1981.   1982 Preliminary Annual Release, FBI, April 1983.

     Any crime                   28.7    33.2      25.7       28.6        30.7      33.9     34.6           30.1    23.2         Table 3, Ratio of incidents to houreholds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Le&S    than $7,600                    I
                                                                                                                                 touched by crime, 1981                                                                                 $7.500-$14.999                    I
     Violent crime                5.5     7.1       6.1        6.0         5.5       5.8       7.3           5.7     4.1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Households touched by crime,                  Households touched by crimes against
                                                                                                                     0.6                                                                        Households
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        $15.000 -.$24.999             J                            by type of crime, 1982                        persons, by type of crime, 1982'
      Assault                     4.5     4.7       4.5        4.7         4.3       4.8       5.2           4.6     3.7                                Incidents                               touched                                 $25,000+
        Aggravated                1.6     2.3       1.9        1.8         1.5       1.5       2.0           1.6     1.4                                (millions)                              (millions)
       Simple                     3.2     2.8       3.0        3.2         3.2       3.7       S.~           3.4     2.5
                                                                                                                                 All r::rimes                39.6                                  24.9      1.6 to 1
     Property crime                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Place of residence
      Personal larceny           13.7    13.7       9.6       12.7        15.0      18.6     15.4           15.4    10.3          Violent                        5.6                                4.9      1.2   to   1
      Household larr::eny
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Urban                                       I                                                                                               Violent crimes
      Motor vehicle theft         U.      2.5       1.8        1.6         1.9       1.7      2.6            1.5     0.7           Assault                       4.3                                3.9      1.1   to   1               suburban                       I                                                                                                            only
     Serious violent
      crime 1                     2.8     5.0       3.7        3.3         2.8       2.6       4.5           2.8     2.0
                                                                                                                                                                                                             1.4 to 1
                                                                                                                                                                                                             1.3 to t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rural                    I
     Total larceny2              20,8                                     22.6      25.8                    22.3    16.8
                                         21.3      16.4       20.1                            23.4                                 Household
                                                                                                                                                                                                             1.2 to 1
                                                                                                                                                                                                             1.2 to 1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           ,                I                                                                                       Both
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   o                    5               10                  15
         1Rape , robbery, aggravated assault                                                                                      Motor vehicle                                                                                    Percent
         2personal larceny, hous,,'lold larceny                                                                                    theft                         1.4                                1.3      1.1 to 1                                                                                                                                                               Personal larceny
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   'Rape. robbery or assault by strangers.                                                                                                          only
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   or burglary
    ,'¢   : --6,   ... I   ~       ~   ,,"   .,,~     ,:'"                 ~                              ..   '        /        -.               •

though it was victimized twice by                                                                              victimization risk to other life events,
burglary. It is also counted once for                Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletins                    the per\!ent of households touched by
households touched by robbery. Finally,              are prepared principally by the staff                     crime during a multiyear period, and a
it is counted once in the overall                    of the bureau. Carol B. Kalish, chief                     topic further discussed in this bulletin,
measure, households touched by crime.                of policy analysis, edits the bulletins.                  multiple victimization of households.
                                                     Marilyn Marbrook, publications unit                       In future years, additional character is- '
    For instance, the households-                    chief, administers their production,                      tics of the households-touched-by-
touched-by-crime estimate for 1982                   assisted by Julie A. Ferguson. The                        crime indicator will be examined.
(29.2%) is less than the sum of the                  author of this bulletin is Micha.el R.
estimates for households touched by                  Rand.                                                         Eventually estimates may be
personal crimes (17.7%) and those                                                                              devised to show how often a household
touched by household crimes (14.5%),                 NCJ-!l8671, June 1983                                     is touched by crime during a longer
because almost 5% of U.S. hou.;eholds                                                                          span of time. For example, how many
were victims of both personal and                                                                              of the households among the 29%
household crimes. Similarly, because                   Because the estimates in this                           touched by crime in 1982 were also
almost 2% of the U.S. households were               bulletin are derived from sample survey                    among those touched by crime in 1981
touched by both theft and violence, the             data, theY5are subject to sampling                         and in previous years'? Is a household
sum of households touched by theft                  variation. The techniques used to                          touched by a crime of violence more
(14%) and those touch<ad by violence                derive the estimates produce standard                      than once in a single year likely to have
(5.7%) exceeds the estimate of those                errors about 8% higher than those for a                    several members who were victims or
touched by personal crime (17.7%).                  victimization estimate with the same                       one member who was victimized
                                                    base and rate. The estimates are also                      several times? The answers to these
Methodology                                         subject to respondent errors. Examples                     and other questions about the preva-
                                                    are crimes that are forgotten or with-                     lence of crime should do much to
   All data in this bulletin are from the           held from the interviewer. Respondent                      increase our knowledge of how crime is
National Crime Survey. The Bureml of                errors tend to understate the £!lumber of                  distributed 'lmong its victims.
Justice Statistics contracts with the               households touched by crime.
U.S. Bureau of the Census to collect                                                                           Further reading
and compile the survey data.                            This bulletin, as did its predecessor,
                                                    Households Touched by Crime 1981,                              To be added to the mailing list for
    IIHouseholds ll as used throughout this         eX'lmined aspects of the indicator not                     bulletins or National Crime Survey
bulletin refers to a dwelling unit and              covered in t: original bulletin, The                       reports or to obtain a copy of BJS
the people who occupy it. No attempt                Prevalence of Crime. That first--                          reports referenced in this bulletin,
was' made to locate people who moved                bulletin examined only the characteris-                    write to the National Criminal Justice
during an interview period. Instead, the            tics of households touched by crime.                       Reference Service, Box 6000, Rock-
people who moved into the v8.cated                  The second bulletin began to explore                       ville, Md. 20850, telephone (301) 251-
dwelling unit were interviewed for the              other areas such as comparison of                          5595. Public-use tapes of BJS data sets
rest of the year. Biases produced by                                                                           and other criminal justice data are
people moving during the year affect                5Details of the NCS sample design, the standard            available from the Criminal Justice
the estimates to a minor degree                     error computation, and the customary estimation            Archive and Information Network, P.O.
because only about 20% of all house-                procedure for victimization rates and counts may be        Box 1240, Ann Arbor, Mich. 48106, tele-
                                                    found in appendix III of the BJS report Criminal
h0lds move during a typical year.                   Victimization in the United States, 1980, NCJ-             phone (313) 764-5199.
IIFamilyll has been used as synonymous              84015, June 1983.
with IIhousehold. 1I Actually, 75% of all           6A more detailed description of the procedures used
households are families, 22% are                    t() estimate households touched by crime appears in
persons living alone, and 3% are groups             an unpublished memorandum prepared by the U.S.
                                                    Bureau of the Census. The memorandum is
of unrelated persons.                               available on request from the author at BJS.

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