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Sami Ansari: Estimating crime rates from police reports and victim surveys: progressive convergence in time series analyses

Crime, Law and Social Change

Published online on


Convergence of UCR and NCVS

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), known as the National Crime Survey (NCS) before 1993, was instituted in 1972 to provide an independent calibration for the Uniform Crime Report [UCR] and to measure the extent of criminal victimization. The first victim survey in 1973 showed a vast but anticipated discrepancy of victimization rates with the UCR rates. Since then the relationship between the two crime data series has shown such divergence narrowing. The divergence noticed in the past and the convergence between the two series observed now poses interesting substantive and methodological questions. Measurement of crime is an important criminological enterprise and these two data sets provide perhaps the best estimate of criminal victimization. If two different techniques display similar trends then confidence in measuring crime is strengthened. Above all, mathematical techniques to examine long-term trends in different data sources present new app ...