U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Representativeness of the Uniform Crime Reports - Ages of Persons Arrested

NCJ Number
Journal of Police Science and Administration Volume: 13 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1985) Pages: 46-52
G S Green
Date Published
7 pages
This study determines whether Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) arrestee figures accurately reflect the relative criminal involvement of juveniles and adults in the crimes of forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
The proportion of age-specific arrestees found in the UCR is compared with the age-specific proportion of offenders identified by victims in the National Crime Survey (NCS) data for 1976 through 1978. Various probable causes of discrepancy between the number of arrestees in the UCR and the number of offenders identified in the NCS are considered; for example, certain offenders may be more or less skilled at avoiding identification and/or capture. Additionally, even if an offender is identified and captured, the police may fail to arrest him because of lack of evidence. Methodological problems within and between the two sources are identified; for instance, the NCS contains substantial sampling and measurement error, and the UCR contains some recording error. Nonetheless, comparison of NCS and UCR statistics reveal that juveniles may be slightly overrepresented in rape arrest statistics. However, juveniles do not seem more likely to come to police attention for forcible rape, nor do they seem more likely, once they have come to police attention, to be arrested. Further comparison indicates that juveniles may be underrepresented in aggravated assault arrestee figures and that juvenile and adult robbery arrestee statistics accurately reflect each age group's relative involvement. Suggestions for further research are provided. One table and 18 references are included.


No download available