Crime in a Free Society: Selections from the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice

By Robert W. Winslow | Go to book overview

2 The amount and trends of crime

There are more than 2800 Federal crimes and a much larger number of State and local ones.Some involve serious bodily harm, some stealing, some public morals or public order, some governmental revenues, some the creation of hazardous conditions, some the regulation of the economy. Some are perpetrated ruthlessly and systematically; others are spontaneous derelictions. Gambling and prostitution are willingly undertaken by both buyer and seller; murder and rape are violently imposed upon their victims. Vandalism is predominantly a crime of the young, driving while intoxicated a crime of the adult. Many crime rates vary significantly from place to place.

The crimes that concern Americans the most are those that affect their personal safety—at home, at work, or in the streets. The most frequent and serious of these crimes of violence against the person are willful homicide, forcible rape, aggravated assault, and robbery. National statistics regarding the number of these offenses known to the police either from citizen complaints or through independent police discovery are collected from local police officials by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and published annually as a part of its report, " Crime in the United States, Uniform Crime Reports." 1 The FBI also collects "offenses known" statistics for three property crimes: burglary, larceny of $50 and over and motor vehicle theft.These seven crimes are grouped together in the UCR to form an Index of serious crimes. 2...


The Risk of Harm

Including robbery, the crimes of violence make up approximately 13 percent of the Index.The Index reports the number of incidents known to the police, not the number of criminals who committed them or the number of injuries they caused.

The risk of sudden attack by a stranger is perhaps best measured by the frequency of robberies since, according to UCR and

____________________
1
Cited hereinafter as UCR.
2
UCR, 1965, p. 51.

-34-

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Crime in a Free Society: Selections from the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Crime in a Free Society - Selections from the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: The Amount and Trends of Crime 34
  • 3: Criminal Statistics —an Urgently Needed Resource 73
  • 4: The Etiology of Crime 106
  • 5: The Ecology of Crime 142
  • 6: Professional Crime 163
  • 7: White-Collar Crime 175
  • 8: Organized Crime 191
  • 9: Narcotics and Drug Abuse 217
  • 10: Drunkenness Offenses 248
  • 11: The Police 257
  • 12: The Courts 289
  • 13: Corrections 324
  • 14: A National Strategy 361
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