I plan to conduct a survey on the capabilities of the police department of the United States in fighting crime. To do this, I will look at numbers, published by the FBI, on incarceration, arrests and crimes committed over a period of sixteen years. To find the efficiency of the police force, I will then calculate the number of crimes that went unsolved, and then the number of cases without an arrested suspect.
I will do this by subtracting the number of offenders convicted, and then the number of suspects arrested for the police-recorded offenses of that year. The survey will be conducted in two parts. Part one will focus on the United States, while part two will contrast the US data with data found from a census surveys in the United Kingdom, also published on the FBI website. This comparison is mainly used to contrast US developments in crime with that of the rest of the world. However, collected US data was greater than collected UK data, so the comparison will only existed between the number of crimes remaining unsolved. The crime categories that both countries were calculated for will be: murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary and motor vehicle theft.
To judge whether, over the period of sixteen years, efficiency has improved, the results will be graphed using excel, and the linear regression, or "r value" will be found, so determining the correlation between the increase or decrease in crime fighting efficiency in the US and the UK, and also, determine the degree of efficiency change over a period of sixteen years in the US. The data I have collected is freely available on the FBI website, as part of a study conducted on crime between the US and the UK. Unfortunately, the Home Office website for the United Kingdom was unable to produce data from sixteen years ago online; as such data had been archived. Living in the United States, there was no way I could see such materials. However, from the data the FBI had made available to the public, I could make a limited comparison between the US and UK.
From my investigation, I can conclude that the crime fighting efficiency of the US increased. Looking at part one of my project, and the first graph, I can conclude that although the number of crimes that were unsolved grew in 1981-94, relitavely, the efficiency of the US police force also grew – catching just over 39% of criminals in '81, and 66-67% of criminals in 1994. Every graph shows an increase in crime in the US, but also, an increase in crime fighting efficiency.
Basically, the number of cases without a suspect, or remaining unsolved, declined; the Police force became more efficient at catching criminals. Robbery was the only area in which the percentage of cases unsolved and the percentage of cases without an arrested suspect decreased. Burglary showed the least increase in efficiency, with the crimes remaining unsolved decreasing by just under one percentile. US efficiency to catch murder suspects, and convict them, rose the most throughout the period of 1981 to 1994, with efficiency in '81 leaving 60.9% of cases unsolved, and efficiency in '94 leaving 44% of crimes unsolved, an amazing drop of 16.9%.
When assessing part two of the project, we can see that in comparison to the UK, crime efficiency in the US is acutely better. While, in the UK, the numbers of cases left unsolved increased for every crime area, crimes left unsolved in the US decreased in every area. The UK proved least successful at catching those who committed assault. This project had a few limitations. The unavailability of complete UK data with which to contrast with the UK made the contrast unreliable, as it was conducted in only one field.
However, the contrast itself was useful, as it added scope to the project, and the comparison showed how the US police force measured up to those elsewhere. Finding more countries with which to contrast to the US would have made the project stronger. Another limitation was the number of years the study was conducted over. Perhaps given a broader spectrum of years, one could have studied a larger increase in efficiency, and also looked at (if there were any) slides in efficiency level.