01 basic concepts

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Crime Science CJS380

Crime Science CJS380

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  • 1. Basic Concepts
    CJS 380 Crime Science:Principles, Strategies and Practice of
    Crime Prevention and Reduction
    J.A. Gilmer
  • 2. Crime Mapping Pioneers
    Pioneers in the Study
    of Crime and Place
    André-Michel Guerry(1802–1866) & Adriano Balbi(1782 –1848)
    Essay on the Moral Statistics of France (1832)
  • 3. Pioneers in the Study of Crime and Place
    AdolpheQuetelet(1796-1874)
    Belgian mathematician and astronomer
    Applied statistical analysis to understanding crime relative to place (areas) and demographics
    Crime concentrated in areas of wealthy/educated & committed by poor/unemployed
    Propensity to commit crime
    Inequality as criminogenic factor
    Also developed “Body Mass Index” (BMI) still used today
  • 4. ‘Space’ and ‘Place’ in Crime Science
    “Space” – areas such as neighborhoods, census tracts, or larger territories
    Boundaries may be political or administrative, such as police precincts or districts, cities, etc.
    Often recognized from internal or cognitive frame of reference – a ‘mental map’
    Defined by “sum of all places” within (Bourbon St)
    “Place” – smaller than a ‘space’ – house, business, street corner, etc.
  • 5. Albany’s Neighborhoods
    http://www.albanyny.org/Residents/Neighborhoods.aspx
    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=117678506950785580442.00047deb8a4c3125b89d6&t=h&z=13
  • 6. Time and Temporal Analysis
    Time – how humans parse the continuity of being
    Time of day, Day of week, Monthly, Quarterly, etc.
    Temporal Analysis: study of crime in relation to time (and geography)
    Moments – when and where a crime occurred
    Exact timevs.Time span crimes
    Relative accuracy of occurrence as identified by victim
    Techniques for resolving: mid-point analysis, weighted method
    Duration – “how long event/process continued in specific space”
    Distance as Time – representation of physical space in temporal dimension -- “time to crime”
  • 7. High Risk Places/Times
  • 8. Crime
    Crime : Law ≈ Deviance : Norms (True or False)
    Penal Code vs. Code of Student Conduct
    Code of Hammurabi (Just Deserts??)
    “If a man puts out the eye of an equal, his eye shall be put out.”
    Substantive (Penal) and Procedural Law
    Penal Law applies to all members of the State
    Criminal Procedural Law regulates CJ actors
  • 9. Counting Crime, Officially
    Calls for Service
    CAD systems – massive amounts of data with accurate temporal & geographic detail
    Citizen-initiated – CFS not always a crime “incident”
    Better measure of police activity than crime
    A biased measure of actual victimization
    Incident Data
    Based on reports from first-responding officers
    Subject to officer discretion
    No report, no crime????
  • 10. Official Crime Statistics
    FBI Uniform Crime Reports (Summary UCR)
    Oldest and most widely implemented
    Classifies crime by seriousness into two parts
    Part I: Murder/manslaughter, Forcible rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny/Theft, MV Theft, Arson
    Part II: Simple assault, possession/sale drugs, weapons possession, possession/sale stolen property, forgery and fraud, vandalism, disorderly conduct, etc.
    NYS Crime Data
    http://criminaljustice.state.ny.us/crimnet/ojsa/stats.htm
  • 11. Limitations of UCR Crime Data
    Accuracy – ‘crimes reported to police’
    no report, no crime???
    Consistency – legal differences across states
    Reliability – can be manipulated by police
    Truncation – “hierarchy rule” reports only most-serious crime in a multi-crime event
    Completeness – due to submission deadlines
  • 12. NIBRS – the “new” UCR
    Incident-based reporting (IBR)
    Details at incident-level provided on
    Crime Incidents and Arrests
    Victims and Offenders
    Able to handle multiple crimes per incident
    Links victim(s) and offender(s) at incident level
    Expensive for agencies to implement
    Not widely used – in NYS < 240 LEAs of ~600
    Many larger agencies (NYPD, Buffalo, Rochester) opted to stay with summary UCR reporting
  • 13. Counting Crime, Unofficially
    Local Surveys
    Issues with sample bias, accuracy, validity and reliability
    Expensive to do correctly
    National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
    National sampling methodology of 50,000 households twice a year of persons over 12 years of age
    Redesign will produce subnational estimates
    Self Report Surveys
    Specific to project (no national estimates)
    Sampling bias (representativeness) often a weakness
  • 14. Criminal Victimization in US
    Of 20 million crimes in 2009:
    78% (15.6 million) property crimes
    22% (4.3 million) crimes of violence
    1% (133,000) personal thefts
    Serious Violent Crime Trend
    Serious violent crime includes rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide.
    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=9
  • 15. Qualitative Techniques
    In-depth interviews
    Easy to administer (voice recorder)
    Rich source of detailed information on topic
    Difficult to analyze and compare across studies
    Participant Observation
    Immersion in real-world setting
    Good for “understanding”
    Ethical issues (depending on level of participation)
    Impossible to replicate