November 25, 2005

Crime Stats

Early last week CNN had a story about a reference book - the new edition of City Crime Rankings. It is rare that a reference book gets headlines.

We don't buy City Crime Rankings because it is essentially a recompilation of the data from the Uniform Crime Reports which we do have. It does the 6th grade math for you. Here is how you can do it for yourself. To obtain a rate, divide the number for the crime of your choice by the population figure. Then multiply by an appropriate number to get the "rate per xx inhabitants" you want.

Example: 2004 Takoma Park Auto Theft (154/17875) x 1000 to get a rate of 8.615 per 1000 inhabitants. What does this mean? Look at the rates in other cities or at other times (see below). Of course this is easier to do using copy and paste from the online edition. But we do have the paper copy if you prefer it.

For crime statistics see:
R 364.1 UNITED Uniform crime reports for the United States. (Crime in the United States)
It sits next to
R 364.1 SOURCEB Sourcebook of criminal justice statistics.

Please note: The tallies will be close to those published by individual cities but not exactly the same, as some crimes are subsequently reclassified, the FBI no doubt makes an occasional typo, etc.

(Edited March 26 2006 to note: the TP Police Department is again publishing the local crime tallies on the web)

Here are some examples of tables constructed using that method (Just to encourage you. No guarantees as we are librarians not statisticians. Go look up the data and make your own constructs.)

Comparing the DOJ published Uniform Crime Reports for Takoma Park, Greenbelt and Westminster and dividing by the population estimates.
2004 crimes/1000 persons
Takoma Park: 43.972
Greenbelt: 67.869
Westminster: 44.196

All three have local police departments

  1. Takoma Park is inside the beltway, a close-in suburb, bordering densely urban areas including DC and some parts of Langley Park in unincorporated PG and Montgomery Counties. (police)
  2. Greenbelt, slightly larger than Takoma Park, is just outside the beltway, a more distant suburb that does not border urban and low income areas. It has the highest per-capita crime rate of the three cities. (police 54 officers)
  3. Westminster, about the same size as Takoma Park, is rural. The overall crime rate is similar to Takoma Park's but the type of crime is different. (police 43 officers)

Census Bureau US 2000 numbers (not the same as the FBI estimates)
Takoma Park: 17,299 | per capita income $26,437 | individuals below poverty level 10.3%
Greenbelt: 21,456 | per capita income $25,236 | individuals below poverty level 10.2%
Westminster: 16,731 | per capita income $20,320 | individuals below poverty level 9.6%

An aside: Have you looked at the SocioEcon mapper. We have no print equivalent.

Here are our pictures (approach them with scepticism - please make your own) followed by the source data from which we constructed them.


bar graph of violent crimes
bar graph of property crime

Source Data


Extracted from Uniform Crime Reports

2000Takoma Park Greenbelt Westminster
pop19471per 100022689per 1000 16189per 1000
homicide10.05130.13210.062
rape50.257100.44110.062
robbery974.982833.658211.297
assault271.387723.173583.583
violent1306.6771687.404815.003
burglary1377.0361526.6991338.215
larceny49425.37186438.08073145.154
auto theft1668.52527812.253422.594
arson00.00000.00090.556
property79740.933129438.0891556.520
total92747.609146264.43798760.967
2001Takoma Park Greenbelt Westminster
pop17556per 100021775per 100016980per 1000
homicide10.05700.00000.000
rape40.22890.41320.118
robbery703.987763.490160.942
assault281.595743.398422.473
violent1035.8671597.302603.534
burglary1508.5441788.1751227.185
larceny56232.01294443.35259835.218
auto theft19811.27842219.380291.708
arson00.00000.000140.824
property91051.834154470.90776344.935
total101357.701170378.20980947.644
2002Takoma Park Greenbelt Westminster
pop17827per 100022111per 100017242per 1000
homicide00.00010.04510.058
rape60.337140.63330.174
robbery25.1611064.794191.102
assault261.458713.211915.278
violent1246.9561928.6831146.612
burglary1076.0021600.0451196.902
larceny63935.84595743.28262035.959
auto theft22912.84641818.905301.740
arson00.00000.000 60.348
property97554.692153569.42277544.948
total109961.648172778.10688351.212
2003Takoma Park Greenbelt Westminster
pop17852per 100022211per 100017287per 1000
homicide20.11230.13510.058
rape90.504110.49540.231
robbery673.753793.557170.983
assault281.568462.0711096.305
violent1065.9381396.2581317.578
burglary1568.7391426.3931076.190
larceny44725.03995242.86261535.576
auto theft1769.85939917.964412.372
arson00.00000.00012 0.694
property77943.637149367.21976344.137
total88549.574163273.47789451.715
2004Takoma Park Greenbelt Westminster
pop17875per 100022293per 100017558per 1000
homicide00.00030.13500.000
rape20.11290.40400.000
robbery583.2451054.710120.683
assault291.622542.422663.759
violent894.9791717.671784.442
burglary1337.4411516.773754.272
larceny41022.93779935.84159233.717
auto theft1548.61539217.584311.766
arson00.000 0 0.0009 0.513
property69738.993134260.19869839.754
total78643.972151367.869776 44.196
5 yrsTakoma Park Greenbelt Westminster
pop avg18.12 22.22 17.05
homicide40.04100.0930.04
rape260.29530.4810 0.12
robbery3844.244494.04851.00
assault1381.523172.853664.29
violent5526.098297.464645.44
burglary6837.547837.055566.52
larceny255228.17451640.65315637.02
auto theft92310.19190917.181732.03
arson00.0000.00500.59
property415845.89720864.88391445.91
total471051.99803772.34434951.01

Note: The population estimate for Takoma Park for 2000 seems oddly inflated, but that is the number used by the FBI.

Posted by library at November 25, 2005 08:29 PM
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