Guide Primary Crime

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Negative or positive attitudes towards the police may influence police policy making and strategy. Second, citizen attitudes toward the police may influence decisions to report crime. Third, both fear of crime and punitive attitudes may influence policy making and law making by government agencies, as public support or opposition may determine policy.

The survey is cross-sectional and samples are stratified to all U. The purpose of the NOSCJ is to provide knowledge about American attitudes toward crime and justice issues, which may lead to more informed criminal justice policy and practice. The survey examines a number of issues, such as attitudes toward courts, police, neighborhood problems, juvenile gangs, drug laws, death penalty, gun control, prisons, and worries about crime. In addition to basic demographic characteristics, NOSCJ captures information about hours of television viewing, crime show viewing and source of crime news.

Respondents are asked if they worry about sexual assault; car-jacking; getting mugged; getting beaten up, knifed or shot; getting murdered; being burglarized while at home; and being burglarized while no one is at home. Reliability analysis reveals an alpha of. Each question has a four-category response ranging from a great deal, some, little, and none at all.

Each question has a five-category response ranging from very high, high, average, low, and very low. For the scaling purposes, very low and low were combined into one category. The category response range from serious problem, somewhat of a problem, minor problem, and not a problem at all. Higher scores indicate positive appraisals towards police effectiveness and lower scores indicate negative appraisals of political effectiveness. Punitive justice attitudes are measured by using 11 items.

These questions were categorical in nature and for scaling purposes they were dummy coded. Table one presents the items that are scaled to identify those who hold punitive attitudes toward crime and justice. The scale ranges from 0 punitive attitudes to 1 non-punitive attitudes. The scores range from 0 highly punitive to 11 non-punitive and the average score for respondents is four.

The alpha level of punitive attitude scale is. Nevertheless, one limitation is equating punitive attitudes with retributive attitudes. Historically, the notion of retribution meant "an eye for an eye" and emphasized "harsh" punishment. However, the concept of retribution has evolved and includes the concept of just deserts.


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The central principle of just deserts is proportionality; the severity of the punishment should be proportional to the gravity of the offense. Punitiveness is more concerned with the prevention and reduction of crime through deterrence principles Von Hirsch, However, it is unclear whether survey respondents understand the differences between punitiveness and retribution.

The media variables include crime-show viewing, television hours and crime news source. Crime-show viewing is measured by asking respondents if they are frequent viewers of a television crime show. Finally, respondents were asked the primary source of crime news. A number of control variables are employed in this research to ensure that media effects are properly measured. Demographic variables such as race, gender, age, income, residence, level of education, and marital status are employed in the analysis.

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) - National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

Race, income, residence, level of education and marital status are dummy-coded. Respondents were asked to rate the seriousness of a number of issues in their neighborhood. Higher scores indicate high levels of problems in the neighborhood, whereas lower scores indicate low levels of problems in the neighborhood. The analytic strategy is to examine the relationship between media variables and fear of crime, perceived police effectiveness and punitive justice attitudes.

The first step is to conduct univariate and bivariate analysis.


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  • The next step is to employ multivariate regression models using the ordinary least squares. Three models will be developed to examine the dependent variables, which will include fear of crime, punitive justice attitudes and perceived police effectiveness. The first model will examine the association between crime-show viewing, newspaper as primary source of crime news, hours of television per week and fear of crime.

    The [End page ] control variables will include age, race, residence, marital status, income, gender, problems in neighborhood, and perception of police effectiveness. The second model will examine the association between crime-show viewing, newspapers as primary source of crime news, hours of television viewing and punitive justice attitudes.

    We will employ the same control variables as step one, except that we will include fear of crime as an independent variable. The final step is to examine the association between crime-show viewing, newspapers as primary source of crime news, hours of television viewing and perceived police effectiveness. We will employ age, race, residence, marital status, income, gender, neighborhood problems, fear of crime and punitive attitudes as control variables.

    The scaled variables were employed as both dependent and control variables. On a scale of eight to thirty-two, the respondents score On a scale from 0 to 11, respondents mean score is 4. Socio-demographic characteristics of the sample indicate that 7. The results of correlation analysis are also included in table 2. The results indicate that viewing crime shows is significantly related to fear of crime and perceived police effectiveness.

    Regular viewers of crime shows are more likely to fear or worry about crime. Similarly, regular crime drama viewers are more likely to hold negative attitudes toward police effectiveness. The bivariate analysis indicates that newspaper as primary source of crime news and hours of television viewing are not significantly related to fear of crime, punitive attitudes or perceived police effectiveness.

    In addition, the results indicate that white, married, and low-income 15k to 30k respondents are more likely to have punitive attitudes, whereas black, college educated, and respondents with low appraisals of police effectiveness are less likely to have punitive attitudes. The results also indicate that older respondents, males and respondents with low perception of neighborhood problems are more likely to have low fear of crime, whereas, younger respondents, female, Hispanic, college-educated and respondents with low appraisals of police effectiveness are more likely to fear crime.

    Finally, bivariate results suggest that Hispanic, African-American, urban, and younger respondents are more likely to have negative or low appraisals of police effectiveness. Conversely, respondents with punitive attitudes, with a medium income 30k to 60k , older, white, with low perceptions of neighborhood problems are more likely to have positive or high appraisals of police effectiveness. However, there may be a number of factors that mitigate or enhance the relationships. Thus, it is necessary to conduct multivariate techniques to further address these relationships.

    The findings indicate that crime-show viewing is related to fear of crime. Respondents who report that they are regular viewers of crime shows are more likely to be fearful of crime. This is true even when we control for age, gender, race, income, education, marital status, perceived police effectiveness and perceived neighborhood problems. However, hours of television and newspaper as the primary source of crime news are not significantly related to fear of crime.

    Low Fear of Crime Model Punitive Attitudes Model In this model, the strongest relationship is perceived problems in the neighborhood, followed by gender, education, regular viewing of crime shows, age, income and perceived police effectiveness. Respondents who claim that there are a high number of problems in their neighborhood are more likely to fear crime.

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    This is not surprising, as respondents may feel unsafe in an area that they believe is conducive to crime. Female respondents are also more likely to fear crime. This is consistent with prior research that shows that females are more likely to fear or worry about crime Garofalo, b; LaGrange and Ferraro, ; Parker, ; Parker and Ray, ; Warr, Skogan and Maxfield, College educated respondents are more likely to be fearful of crime. This result is unanticipated, as we would assume that higher education would inform subjects about the nature of crime and justice.

    However, college educated respondents may feel that they have more to "lose" if they are victimized. Moreover, regular viewers of crime drama are more likely to fear crime. Television portrayal of crime and justice is largely sensational, violent and fear producing. Viewers may receive a "distorted" image of the typical crime or criminal, which may produce fear or anxiety about criminal activity. Compared to respondents with average incomes 30k to 60k , lower income respondents are more likely to fear crime. This is consistent with prior research, which reveals that low-income individuals are more likely to fear crime Will and McGrath, ; Skogan and Maxfield, ; Baumer, Older respondents are less likely to fear crime, which is not consistent with prior research Baldassare, ; Garofalo, b; Skogan and Maxfield, ; Yin, Finally, respondents who gave poor ratings of police performance are more likely to be fearful of crime.

    Table three presents the results of punitive attitudes regressed on the media consumption. The findings indicate none of the media consumption variables are related to punitive attitudes. The strongest indicator of punitive attitudes is race, followed by education, income, fear of crime, and marital status. African-American respondents are more likely to hold non-punitive attitudes. This may be the result of inequalities of the justice system.

    For example, compared to whites, African-Americans are more likely to receive harsher punishments such as the death penalty and African-Americans are disproportionately over- represented in prisons Reiman, Some African-Americans may feel threatened by a punitive justice model or feel that a punitive justice model reinforces discrimination and persecution of African-Americans. In addition, respondents with college education are more likely to hold non-punitive attitudes.

    Those with education may be more likely to recognize the inequalities of the justice system and determine that solutions to the "crime problem" may be better served by policies of reintegration or rehabilitation. Furthermore, compared to average income respondents, low-income respondents 15, to 30, are more likely to hold punitive attitudes towards crime and justice.

    As a result, low- income respondents may believe that a punitive ideology is necessary to prevent and reduce crime in the areas in which they live. Moreover, respondents with a high fear of crime are more likely to have punitive attitudes. Fear of crime may provide impetus for support of "get tough" crime policies. Finally, married respondents are more likely to have punitive attitudes. Married respondents might believe that they have more to lose if they are victimized i. Table three examines perceived police effectiveness regressed on media and control variables.

    A possible explanation is that there is little agreement on the role that police play on television crime dramas and news reports. Some research suggests that police are positively portrayed while others show that the police are negatively portrayed. However, the results indicate that age, perceived problems in the neighborhood, fear of crime, and race are significantly related to perceived police effectiveness.

    Older respondents are more likely have high ratings of police effectiveness, whereas younger respondents are more likely to have low ratings of police effectiveness. This is consistent with prior research that shows that compared to younger persons; the elderly have more favorable attitudes toward police Garofalo, ; Hindelang, ; Thomas and Hyman, Respondents who believe that there a high number of problems in their neighborhood are more likely to rate police effectiveness as being poor.

    Respondents may not believe that the local police are not properly fulfilling their role in the community. These respondents may feel that the police are not adequately protecting their communities. Finally, African-Americans are more likely to hold low ratings of police effectiveness. This is similar to prior research which suggests that African-Americans have an antagonistic view of police Garofalo, and that there is a "climate of distrust:" between African-Americans and law enforcement Jacob, However, other studies indicate that residence and social class mitigate the effect of race.

    For example, Kusow, Wilson and Martin find little support that African-Americans are less satisfied with police effectiveness. They find that both African-American and white suburbanites are more satisfied with police performance than African-American and white urban residents. In addition, Albrecht and Green find that low-income African-Americans living in inner cities possess the least favorable attitudes toward the police. Similarly, Parker, Onyekwuluje and Murty find that African-Americans who reside in high crime areas, and who have low incomes are more likely to have held negative attitudes toward the police.

    Nevertheless, controlling for income and residence we find that African-Americans are significantly more likely to hold unfavorable attitudes toward police. Waddington and Braddock find that African-Americans believe that whites receive preferential police treatment and that African-Americans are subjects of discrimination. Includes cyber-intimidation if victim is threatened on Clery geography. To willfully or maliciously destroy, damage, deface, or otherwise injure real or personal property without the consent of the owner or the person having custody or control of the property. Violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim.

    Substantial emotional distress means significant mental suffering or anguish that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. Reasonable person means a reasonable person under similar circumstances and with similar identities to the victim. Part 1 — Primary Crimes 1. ARSON Any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.

    Sex Offenses The Clery Act has four defined sex offenses for which crime statistics must be collected on Clery geography. RAPE The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. INCEST Non forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to each other within the degrees wherein marriage is prohibited by law.

    Statutory Rape Non forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the statutory age of consent.

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    Part 2 — Alcohol, drug and weapon violations The Clery Act requires institutions collect statistics for violations of state law and or ordinances for drug, alcohol and weapons violations. Part 3 — Hate Crimes The Clery Act requires institutions collect crime statistics for hates crime associated with either the commission of a primary crime or the lesser offenses of larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, destruction of or vandalism of a buildings or property.

    Lecturer Guidelines Below are several scenarios that can be read to the class. A home visit by an early health nurse to all new parents is provided to check on how they are managing the demands of parenthood. Is this a crime prevention measure? A landscape architect makes several recommendations in relation to the development of a new housing estate.

    Some of these recommendations include the planting of low growing vegetation at the front of all homes and the installation of a garden bed along the front of the fences. The images below show an anti-theft device that fits beneath tables in bars. Source: Design Against Crime Research Centre Machine-readable microchips will be implanted under the skin of thousands of offenders as part of an expansion of an electronic tagging scheme. Tiny chips would be surgically inserted under the skin of offenders in the community, to help enforce home curfews. The radio frequency identification RFID tags - as long as two grains of rice - are able to carry scannable personal information about individuals, including their identities, address and offending record.

    Mandatory drug testing has been introduced in some workplaces, especially where the performance of intricate physical tasks is required. The work of security personnel responsible for the management of cash-in-transit i. These guidelines seek to protect security personnel involved in cash-in-transit activities. This demonstrates the breadth of what might be considered to be crime prevention and some of the ethical and moral considerations arising from efforts to prevent crime. Some discussion points that might arise from this exercise include: Technology is increasingly contributing to the prevention of crime.

    For example, very successful crime prevention measures have been applied to motor vehicles to make it harder to steal them. However, the use of technology to prevent crime is not without problems. Inserting microchips in known offenders might technologically possible but raises numerous ethical and moral issues. What lengths we should go to prevent crime and the potential unintended consequences of crime prevention measures should always be considered.

    Measuring the impact of the diverse techniques employed to prevent crime is difficult.

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    For example, an early intervention programme involving home visits to new parents might well help families, but it can be difficult demonstrating the crime prevention benefits that accrue many years after the intervention. Exercise 2. Lecturer Guidelines Discuss their answers and then provide them with the completed table or reveal the answers on a PowerPoint slide.

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    Possible discussion points: Consider the different timeframes, responsibilities, and agencies evoked by these terms. Crime control is often considered to be a narrower and more immediate intervention than crime prevention or community safety. Police are generally seen to be responsible for crime control measures, whereas community safety and crime prevention can be the domain of non-criminal justice agencies such as education, health, housing, child protection, family support, urban planning, voluntary, civil society, private companies and local government agencies.

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    The focus of community safety is not only on crime. It is recognized that many communities experience harms that are more important or devastating than crime. Focusing on merely preventing crime might be unhelpful in circumstances where communities face great hardship, loss of life and ill-health on a daily basis. Discussing this can place crime and the associated harms in a wider context. Exercise 3. Here the objective of intervention is to alter those conditions so that crimes cannot occur". This covers myriad approaches to crime prevention which are truly preventative - they work before a crime has been committed.

    This form of prevention is often directed at 'at-risk' young people. Young people who are showing signs of potential involvement in crime might be considered 'at-risk'. Young people not actively engaged in school where it is provided , who associate with known offenders, and who use alcohol and other drugs, might be considered to be at-risk of involvement in crime. Providing programmes to help these young people before they become entrenched in offending would be considered to be a form of secondary crime prevention.

    The UNODC youth crime prevention initiative, Line Up Live Up , exemplifies the ways in which secondary prevention initiatives can maximise protective factors, promote resilience, and strengthen communities. This form of prevention is generally linked to criminal justice agencies, particularly courts, prisons and community correctional agencies.

    Rehabilitation programmes offered by these agencies that seek to prevent further offending would be considered to be forms of tertiary crime prevention. Model Explanation Examples Developmental A form of early intervention, developmental crime prevention seeks to address the early causes of criminality. Situational Stopping the opportunities for crime is an effective way of preventing crime. Intelligence, Intervention, Implementation, Involvement, Impact What are some of the problems with crime data - a key feature of Intelligence?

    Accessing appropriate data, reporting of crime, getting data from small local areas What are some of the challenges to effective implementation? Programmes drift from original intention, clash of agencies with different perspectives, technological failures, staff changes, electoral changes resulting in different policies. Supported by the State of Qatar.


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