ERIC Number: ED223501
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Sep
Reference Count: 0
The Public's Perception of Crime and Police Activity.
Henderson, Joel H.; Sherman, Janet Schmidt
The public's views about behaviors that should be crimes, behaviors that should come under the control of the police, and the public's view of how the police spend their time are examined. A telephone questionnaire survey was conducted with a random sample of 250 persons in San Diego (California). Over 98% of the respondents believed that the seven FBI "index" crimes--robbery, rape, assault, theft, car theft, burglary, and murder--were crimes, and 98% believed that embezzlement and consumer fraud were crimes. Only about 50% thought that victimless crimes and marginal crimes, including vagrancy, public drunkenness, gambling, and smoking marijuana, should be considered crimes. Ninety-eight percent of the respondents believed that the FBI "index" crimes and embezzlement and consumer fraud should involve the police. The percentage dropped to about 60% with respect to victimless crimes. Regarding the public's perception of what the police are doing, results showed that they generally felt the police were protecting them from serious crime. (RM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (San Francisco, CA, September, 1982). Not available in paper copy due to marginal legibility throughout original document.