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CALIFORNIA CRIMES AND ACCIDENTS ASSOCIATED WITH HITCHHIKING

NCJ Number
18834
Author(s)
ANON
Date Published
1974
Length
78 pages
Annotation
RESULTS OF A STUDY UNDERTAKEN TO DETERMINE THE NATURE AND SERIOUSNESS OF CRIMES INVOLVING HITCHHIKERS, AND THE CHARACTERISTICS OF HITCHHIKERS AND DRIVERS INVOLVED IN SUCH CRIMES OR ACCIDENTS.
Abstract
DATA WERE GATHERED FROM ALL FIELD COMMANDS OF THE HIGHWAY PATROL. IN ADDITION, COOPERATION WAS REQUESTED FROM THE CHIEFS OF ALL POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND SHERIFFS OF ALL COUNTIES IN CALIFORNIA. LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WERE ASKED TO RESPOND TO SIX QUESTIONS AND TO SEND A COPY OF THEIR CRIME AND ACCIDENT REPORTS INVOLVING HITCHHIKERS. A TOTAL OF 662 REPORTS WERE RECEIVED. IT WAS FOUND THAT HITCHHIKERS WERE INVOLVED IN AN ESTIMATED 0.26 PERCENT OF THE ACCIDENTS AND 0.63 PERCENT OF THE CRIMES DURING THE STUDY PERIOD. HITCHHIKERS WERE MORE LIKELY TO BE VICTIMS (71.7 PERCENT) THAN PERPETRATORS (28.3 PERCENT) OF MAJOR CRIMES. HITCHHIKER CHARACTERISTICS WERE FAIRLY CONSISTENT WHETHER THEY WERE VICTIMS OF CRIMES, INVOLVED IN ACCIDENTS OR SUSPECTS OF CRIMES. THE AVERAGE HITCHHIKER AGE WAS 21 YEARS OLD, AND BETWEEN 9 AND 12 PERCENT OF ALL HITCHHIKERS WERE FEMALE. FEMALE HITCHHIKERS WERE FOUND TO BE SEVEN TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE VICTIMS OF CRIMES THAN MALES. ABOUT 80 PERCENT OF THE CRIMES AGAINST FEMALE HITCHHIKERS WERE SEX RELATED. ALSO, THE OTHER PARTY INVOLVED IN A HITCHHIKER RELATED CRIME WAS A MOTOR VEHICLE DRIVER IN 95 PERCENT OF THE CASES.