Crime Rate versus Arrest Rate
December 10, 2012
Judge Troy Webber
The most common error involving the relationship between crime rates and arrest rates occurs when the statistics claimed have been contradicted by the factual information readily available. Another common error, whether intentional or accidental, is to compare the raw number of reported crimes without adjusting for the expected baseline of the crimes that were committed. Not adjusting for this happens consistently. Also the crime data does not contain any information on repeat offenders. One would have to focus and observe the offenders criminal behavior over time to truly get a good status on these rates.
Crime agencies report the number of offenses and crime data in the following categories: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson. ...view middle of the document...
For example, a total of four arrests may very well represent the arrest of four different people or the arrest of the same individual on four different occasions. Perhaps it was two individuals on two separate occasions. Also the total arrests do not indicate the number of charges. So the crime rate here could be relatively high if the police agency were to say this was one person which was accused of 10 different things. Given that this person was only arrested once it would be a ration of 1:8.
Perhaps a better way to correlate these reports would be to come up with a data system that reviews the thorough validity of the crime data, breaks it down by each category and enhances it for analysis purposes. Bring this system down to the state level and allow the agencies to focus on their jurisdictions and communities so that the information is clarified more closely to the source. Enhance the data to include offenses such as a) child molestation; b) child abuse/neglect; c) kidnapping; d) spousal abuse; e) non-support; f) resisting arrest; g) fraud; h) failure to appear and i) white collar crimes.
In addition to this, give the state the ability to review and analyze the juvenile records of those within their jurisdictions. Allow those statistics to be added into the analysis and, this would prove to be an valuable asset in determining how to deal with the issues at hand.
Clearance rates are utilized by many to determine how many crimes are deciphered by the police agencies. The result of this can be problematic of the police entities. The reason behind this is that many argue that the police are simply closing cases and appearing to have “solved” them so that they will have higher clearance rate scores rather than genuinely taking the time to investigate and solve the crime. (National Institute of Justice, 1993)
FBI Uniform Crime Reports. (2004) Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/frequently-asked-questions/ucr_faqs
National Crime Justice Reference Service, National Institute of Justice (1993) Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/Digitization/147480NCJRS.pdf