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Measuring What Matters, Part One: Measures of Crime, Fear, and Disorder

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 1996
16 pages
Publication Series
This report discusses police performance and indicators used to measure crime, based on responses of police executives, leading researchers, community leaders, journalists, and government officials at a 1995 meeting sponsored by the National Institute of Justice's Policing Research Institute.
Meeting participants noted that many people at all levels of government have an official interest in crime measurement and police performance and that police leaders see crime measurement as a way to improve accountability in police performance. Two questions formed the basis of meeting discussions: (1) how to measure the effect of crime, fear, and disorder on the quality of community life; and (2) what effect police activities should have on crime, fear, and disorder. Several themes emerged in meeting discussions that dealt with communities, crime rates in large cities, the policing process, and expectations of police. Specific topics concerned the importance of reducing crime in neighborhoods, the need for community involvement in resolving problems, difficulties experienced by police in addressing community needs, how police behave toward citizens, and public satisfaction with police services. Responses of meeting participants focused on repeat victimization, high-crime neighborhoods, police patrols, the extent of crime in large cities, and difficulties in measuring crime. Particular attention was paid to crime problems in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

Date Published: December 1, 1996