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Police-Public Contact Survey: Assessment and Recommendations for Producing Trend Estimates After 2011 Questionnaire Redesign

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2017
48 pages
This paper, which is part of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) Research and Development Series, describes changes to the 2011 Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS), a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey, and the impact of these changes on estimating trends in police-public contacts
The purpose of the PPCS 2011 redesign was to better capture police-public contacts and the characteristics of these encounters. The changes altered the PPCS scope by using a broader definition of police and public contact and asking more behaviorally specific questions about actions taken by residents and police. This study of the impact of these changes used a split-sample design to assess the extent to which apparent changes in rates, outcomes, and perceptions of public contacts with police are the result of these survey changes rather than actual changes in the rates over time. Estimates for trends in public-police contacts under the PPCS before and after survey changes were examined for the following features of police-public contacts: face-to-face contact, driver in a traffic stop as most recent contact, passenger in a traffic stop as most recent contact comparison, traffic accident as most recent contact, reported crime or problem to police as most recent contact, use or threat of force, arrest during contact, and police behaved properly. 15 tables and 7 references

Date Published: April 1, 2017