Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,710,190 articles and books

Variables affecting crime.



Each year when Crime in the United States Crime in the United States is characterized by relatively high levels of gun violence and homicide, compared to other developed countries although this is explained by the fact that criminals in America are more likely to use firearms.  is published, many entities--news media, tourism agencies, and other groups with an interest in crime in our Nation--use reported figures to compile rankings of cities and counties. These rankings, however, are merely a quick choice made by the data user; they provide no insight into the many variables that mold the crime in a particular town, city, county, state, region, or other jurisdiction. Consequently, these rankings lead to simplistic sim·plism  
n.
The tendency to oversimplify an issue or a problem by ignoring complexities or complications.



[French simplisme, from simple, simple, from Old French; see simple
 and/or incomplete analyses that often create misleading perceptions adversely affecting cities and counties, along with their residents.

Consider other characteristics of a jurisdiction

To assess criminality and law enforcement's response from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, one must consider many variables, some of which, while having significant impact on crime, are not readily measurable or applicable pervasively among all locales. Geographic and demographic factors specific to each jurisdiction must be considered and applied if one is going to make an accurate and complete assessment of crime in that jurisdiction. Several sources of information are available that may assist the responsible researcher in exploring the many variables that affect crime in a particular locale. The U.S. Census Bureau Noun 1. Census Bureau - the bureau of the Commerce Department responsible for taking the census; provides demographic information and analyses about the population of the United States
Bureau of the Census
 data, for example, can be used to better understand the makeup makeup

In the performing arts, material used by actors for cosmetic purposes and to help create the characters they play. Not needed in Greek and Roman theatre because of the use of masks, makeup was used in the religious plays of medieval Europe, in which the angels' faces
 of a locale's population. The transience of the population, its racial and ethnic makeup, its composition by age and gender, educational levels, and prevalent family structures are all key factors in assessing and comprehending the crime issue.

Local chambers of commerce, government agencies, planning offices, or similar entities provide information regarding the economic and cultural makeup of cities and counties. Understanding a jurisdiction's industrial/economic base; its dependence upon neighboring neigh·bor  
n.
1. One who lives near or next to another.

2. A person, place, or thing adjacent to or located near another.

3. A fellow human.

4. Used as a form of familiar address.

v.
 jurisdictions; its transportation system; its economic dependence on nonresidents (such as tourists and convention attendees); its proximity to military installations, correctional facilities, etc., all contribute to accurately gauging and interpreting the crime known to and reported by law enforcement.

The strength (personnel and other resources) and the aggressiveness of a jurisdiction's law enforcement agency Noun 1. law enforcement agency - an agency responsible for insuring obedience to the laws
FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation - a federal law enforcement agency that is the principal investigative arm of the Department of Justice
 are also key factors in understanding the nature and extent of crime occurring in that area. Although information pertaining per·tain  
intr.v. per·tained, per·tain·ing, per·tains
1. To have reference; relate: evidence that pertains to the accident.

2.
 to the number of sworn and civilian employees can be found in this publication, it cannot be used alone as an assessment of the emphasis that a community places on enforcing the law. For example, one city may report more crime than a comparable one, not because there is more crime, but rather because its law enforcement agency, through proactive efforts, identifies more offenses. Attitudes of the citizens toward crime and their crime reporting practices, especially concerning minor offenses, also have an impact on the volume of crimes known to police.

Make valid assessments of crime

It is incumbent upon all data users to become as well educated as possible about how to understand and quantify the nature and extent of crime in the United States and in any of the nearly 18,000 jurisdictions represented by law enforcement contributors to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR (Under Color Removal) A method for reducing the amount of printing ink used. It substitutes black for gray color (equal amounts of cyan, magenta and yellow). Thus black ink is used instead of the three CMY inks. See GCR and dot gain. ) Program. Valid assessments are possible only with careful study and analysis of the various unique conditions affecting each local law enforcement jurisdiction.

Historically, the causes and origins of crime have been the subjects of investigation by many disciplines. Some factors that are known to affect the volume and type of crime occurring from place to place are:

* Population density and degree of urbanization.

* Variations in composition of the population, particularly youth concentration.

* Stability of the population with respect to residents' mobility, commuting patterns, and transient factors.

* Modes of transportation and highway system.

* Economic conditions, including median income, poverty level, and job availability.

* Cultural factors and educational, recreational, and religious characteristics.

* Family conditions with respect to divorce and family cohesiveness.

* Climate.

* Effective strength of law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA) is a term used to describe any agency which enforces the law. This may be a local or state police, federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). .

* Administrative and investigative emphases of law enforcement.

* Policies of other components of the criminal justice system (i.e., prosecutorial, judicial, correctional, and probational).

* Citizens' attitudes toward crime.

* Crime reporting practices of the citizenry.

Crime in the United States provides a nationwide view of crime based on statistics contributed by local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies. Population size and student enrollment are the only correlates of crime presented in this publication. Although many of the listed factors equally affect the crime of a particular area, the UCR Program makes no attempt to relate them to the data presented. The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, counties, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment. Until data users examine all the variables that affect crime in a town, city, county, state, region, or other jurisdiction, they can make no meaningful comparisons.
COPYRIGHT 2009 Federal Bureau of Investigation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Caution against ranking
Publication:Uniform Crime Reports: Crime in the United States
Date:Jan 1, 2009
Words:780
Previous Article:Table 9: Offenses known to law enforcement, by state by university and college, 2009.
Next Article:Violent crime.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters