Washington, DC - The Department of Justice today announced its support of efforts to collect, analyze and report state and local crime data through the National Crime Victimization Survey. The expansion of the NCVS to produce state and local crime estimates is part of a continuing effort to improve crime data collection and it aligns with recommendations from the President’s Crime Data Task Force, which is focused on reducing violent crime.
Maintained by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, the NCVS has provided national-level estimates of crime since the 1970s. Unlike the law enforcement statistics compiled by the FBI through its Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the NCVS is a household sample survey that provides data on the incidence and prevalence of nonfatal violent and property crime; characteristics of victims, incidents and offenders; the consequences of crime for victims; and the proportion of crime that is not reported to police. Supplemental surveys to the NCVS also provide data on identity theft, stalking, bullying, contact between police and the public and financial fraud.
“The National Crime Victimization Survey is designed to include offenses not reported to police,” said Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. “This expansion of the survey is intended to give researchers, policymakers and the public a deeper understanding of victimization in America.”
Over the past several years, BJS has worked to expand the capacity of the NCVS to assess state and local crime conditions, policing patterns and other criminal justice services. In 2016, the survey sample was redesigned to generate estimates of crime, both reported and unreported, for the largest 22 states. BJS is analyzing the data and will release the first state-level estimates for the 22 largest states in early 2018. With these data, the 22 states, which represent about 80 percent of the US population age 12 or older, will have a more complete picture of the level and nature of crime, both reported and unreported to police.
As the Justice Department launches a series of initiatives to reduce violent crime, including the National Public Safety Partnership, the state-level data will enable comparison of crime rates among states with differing criminal justice policies and programs. It will also permit the assessment of reductions in reported and unreported crime to police over time.