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Crime Data Are Things

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Crime data are things that devise accurate methods of collecting crime data, using these tested methods to measure the amount and trends of criminal activity, measuring the effect of social policy and social trends on crime rate changes, using crime data to design crime prevention programs and then measuring their effectiveness. A few examples of this are: UCR (or Uniform Crime Report). Collected from local enforcement agencies by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and published yearly. Next, is the National Incident based Reporting System; a program which collects data on each reported crime incident. Another important one, would be the Self-Reporting Surveys in which people are asked about their attitudes, beliefs, values, characteristics and experiences with crime and victimizations. Last but not least, the NVCS (or National Crime Victimization Survey). This method is nothing more than a comprehensive, nationwide survey of victimization in the United States. While they are all fairly efficient ways of collecting data, the Uniform Crime Report stands out solely because it may omit many criminal incidents that victims choose not to report to the police.

Social and environmental factors have a large influence on crime rate. In matters of social factors, take a person's demographics. Things like age, race, social status, marital status, stress, level of fear, who they communicate with, where they live, if they have a job, if they're on welfare or other government assisted programs, etc. Environmental factors, such as physical layout and cultural style, may either facilitate or restrict criminal opportunity. Motivated offenders living in urban hot spots continually learn about criminal opportunities from peers, the media, and their own perceptions; such information may either escalate their criminal motivation or warn them of it's danger. Empirical support is another factor.



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