CrimeRisk - United States

Nationwide block group coverage
Seven Core Crimes
United States

Current year and five-year projected risk crime risk indexes for the United States by census block group.

This is an example data from history; subscriber data is updated daily
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Charts of CrimeRisk - United States

Applications

CrimeRisk is most often used for:

  • Evaluation of risk at facility locations (stores, restaurants, etc.) in order to manage risk mitigation plans and policies including parking lot design, lighting, and security staffing requirements.
  • Retail and restaurant site selection
  • Commercial insurance underwriting
  • Risk minimization in routing applications
  • Quality of life studies
  • Health care outcomes analysis

DOCUMENTATION

CrimeRisk - United States

Overview

Purpose

CrimeRisk is intended to provide an assessment of the relative risk of seven major crime types and their summarization to the block group scale. Relative crime rates are very important in real estate applications, insurance underwriting, shopping center and stand-alone retail facilities.

Content

CrimeRisk is a block group and higher level geographic database consisting of a series of standardized indexes for a range of serious crimes against both persons and property. It is derived from an extensive analysis of several years of crime reports from the vast majority of law enforcement jurisdictions nationwide. The crimes included in the database are the "Part 1" crimes and include murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft. These categories are the primary reporting categories used by the FBI in its Uniform Crime Report (UCR), with the exception of Arson, for which data is very inconsistently reported at the jurisdictional level. Part II crimes are not reported in the detail databases and are generally available only for selected areas or at high levels of geography. In accordance with the reporting procedures using in the UCR reports, aggregate indexes have been prepared for personal and property crimes separately, as well as a total index. While this provides a useful measure of the relative "overall" crime rate in an area, it must be recognized that these are unweighted indexes, in that a murder is weighted no more heavily than a purse snatching in the computation. For this reason, caution is advised when using any of the aggregate index values.

Crime Indexes

  1. Total Crime
  2. Personal Crime
  3. Murder
  4. Rape
  5. Robbery
  6. Assault
  7. Property Crime
  8. Burglary
  9. Larceny
  10. Motor Vehicle Theft

Detailed Methodology

The primary source of CrimeRisk is a careful compilation and analysis of the FBI Uniform Crime Report databases.
On an annual basis, the FBI collects data from each of about 16,000 separate law enforcement jurisdictions at the city, county, and state levels and compiles these into its annual Uniform Crime Report (UCR). The latest national crime reports can be obtained from the FBI web site in Excel format. While useful, the UCR provides detailed data only for the largest cities, counties, and metropolitan areas. We are now using UCR data from 2012-2018.

Also, some cities are now posting very detailed crime reports to their websites that are available for download. These data have very specific locations which are useful for matching against specific block groups. If the data is detailed enough and is available for the last seven years, we use it alongside the FBI UCR data. Currently data for New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Austin fit this criteria, and we are adding more with each data release.

A considerable effort was made to correct a number of problems that are prevalent within the FBI databases, including:

  • The standardization of jurisdictional names: the FBI does not employ Census bureau codes in its databases and the jurisdictional names contain numerous typographical errors and format discrepancies which needed to be manually corrected
  • Reporting by individual jurisdictions can be inconsistent from year to year, in that data for some jurisdictions is missing for one or more years and required handling
  • Reporting for some crime types is inconsistent between jurisdictions. The FBI handles this by simply suppressing the statistics entirely for those areas. This primarily affects the rape category for Illinois, where statistics are suppressed for all but the largest jurisdictions. These missing values were handled via the modeling process, in which rape estimates were prepared for these jurisdictions by using a model which related rape incidence to other crime types
  • The standardization of the database to account for jurisdictional overlaps. For example, the California Highway Patrol has jurisdiction over only state and interstate highways in urban areas.
  • Crime rates in general have been declining over the past several years, so it was necessary to adjust the historical data to reflect current crime rates.

Once this correction and standardization effort was completed, the database consisted of a time series of seven years of data covering:

  • All cities and towns which have their own police agency
  • All cities and towns where policing for the local jurisdiction is contracted to a higher level agency but which tracks statistics separately (e.g. the city of Thousand Oaks, California contracts with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department for police services, but the incident reports are separately compiled)
  • A record for each state which covers the population not covered by either of the two cases above. This is normally a combination of County Sheriff (or equivalent) and State level jurisdictions. For a very limited number of areas, such as New York City, the local jurisdiction spans several counties.

The initial models were undertaken using a subset of this database. In the smallest cities, a single murder will have a profound effect on the crime rate per 100,000 population that would severely distort the resulting models. A wide range of Census and current year demographic attributes were extracted from AGS' databases for the remaining areas (approximately 10,000 separate "jurisdictions"). This database was then used as the primary modeling database and was used later for scaling purposes. Each of the seven crime types was modeled separately, using an initial range of about 100 socioeconomic characteristics taken from the Census and AGS' current year estimates. Under AGS' no "redlining" policy, no data variables were used that relate to race, ethnicity, ancestry or language spoken at home.

The models constructed typically accounted for over 85% of the variance in crime rates at this "jurisdiction" level, although it should be noted that the results for property crimes were generally more reliable than for personal crimes.

The results of these models were then applied to the block group level using the same demographic attributes compiled at the block group level. The resulting estimates were then scaled to match the master database of jurisdictions. The block groups within each jurisdiction were scaled to match the crime totals for that jurisdiction. For block groups outside of these areas, results were normalized to match the state totals minus the jurisdiction totals within each state.

The final crime rate estimates were then weighted by population and aggregated to the national totals. The results were then converted to indexes relative to the national total.

Sources
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Report, 2012-2018
Applied Geographic Solutions, most current Estimates and Projections.

Definitions
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Report

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program divides offenses into two groups, Part I and Part II crimes. Each month, participating law enforcement agencies submit information on the number of Part I offenses that become known to them; those offenses cleared by arrest or exceptional means; and the age, sex, and race of persons arrested for each of the offenses. Contributors provide only arrest data for Part II offenses. The UCR Program collects data about Part I offenses in order to measure the level and scope of crime occurring throughout the Nation. The program’s founders chose these offenses because they are serious crimes, they occur with regularity in all areas of the country, and they are likely to be reported to police.

The Part I offenses are:

Criminal homicide

a) Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter: the willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. Deaths caused by negligence, attempts to kill, assaults to kill, suicides, and accidental deaths are excluded. The program classifies justifiable homicides separately and limits the definition to: (1) the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty; or (2) the killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen.

b) Manslaughter by negligence: the killing of another person through gross negligence. Deaths of persons due to their own negligence, accidental deaths not resulting from gross negligence, and traffic fatalities are not included in the category Manslaughter by Negligence.

Rape

In December 2011, the FBI changed their 80-year old definition of rape. As approved, the UCR Program's definition of rape is "Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." This broader definition allows for gender neutrality, the penetration of any bodily orifice, penetration by any object or body part, and offenses in which physical force is not involved.

Robbery

The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear. Aggravated assault—An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. Simple assaults are excluded.

Burglary (breaking or entering)

The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. Attempted forcible entry is included.

Larceny-theft (except motor vehicle theft)

The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Examples are thefts of bicycles, motor vehicle parts and accessories, shoplifting, pocket-picking, or the stealing of any property or article that is not taken by force and violence or by fraud. Attempted larcenies are included. Embezzlement, confidence games, forgery, check fraud, etc., are excluded.

Motor vehicle theft

The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. A motor vehicle is self-propelled and runs on land surface and not on rails. Motorboats, construction equipment, airplanes, and farming equipment are specifically excluded from this category.

Key Features

Covers the seven core crimes tracked nationwide by the FBI Uniform Crime Report

  • murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft
  • plus three summary indexes
  • crimes against persons, crimes against property, and total crime.
  • Indexes are each 100 based, meaning that the national average for each index is 100, ensuring easy comparisons between locations.

Data Provider

AGS

Applied Geographic Solutions, Inc. (AGS) is a leading supplier of premium quality demographic and marketing databases. AGS was established in 1996 in response to the rapidly decreasing number of reliable demographic data providers in the United States.

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