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National Crime Victimization Survey Redesign: Technical Background

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 1994
11 pages
Publication Series
Publication Type
Program/Project Description
These briefing materials on the redesigned National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) summarize the changes to the questionnaire and procedures, as well as their impact.
The methods by which these changes were phased in are presented, followed by a detailed comparison of the new and old questionnaires and procedures, along with reasons why these new methods produce higher crime rates. The discussion notes reasons for differences in violent crime rates because of the new and old screener questions, as well as reasons for differences in burglary rates, theft and household larceny rates, crime rates, and the percentage of crimes reported to the police. A major reclassification scheme has shifted most of what were previously categorized as personal crimes of theft into property crimes of theft. Under the old scheme, theft was characterized as a personal or household crime based on the location of the incident. The redesigned NCVS classifies all thefts as household thefts unless there was contact between victim and offender. Personal thefts with contact (purse-snatching and pocket-picking) are now the only types of theft that are categorized as personal theft. The overlap between the old and new NCVS methods is also discussed. 4 tables
Date Created: August 11, 2014