How do the definitions of crime vary among the states? What recommendations do you make to the mayor regarding the crime rate comparisons?

Crime rates are of great interest to policy makers as well as citizens. After all, who wants to live in an area with a high crime rate? When you calculate crime rates, you are able to compare cities, states, and countries of different sizes. For example, suppose city A has a population of 120,000 and city B has a population of 500,000. The preceding year, city A had 250 incidents of murder and city B had 400. On reading this, you may think that you want to live in city A because it was host to fewer murders. However, when you calculate the murder rates, you will see that the murder rate for city A is 208 per 100,000 citizens and that for city B is 80 per 100,000 citizens, which is much lower.

The mayor of Centervale is concerned about the increase in violent crimes being reported to the police and has commissioned you to study the crime problem, determine whether the crime rate is worse in Centervale than other states, and create a report.

Tasks:

To prepare for this consulting assignment, you need to learn more about crime rates and explore crime rates by state using the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Uniform Crime Reports.

Access Table 5 at Crime in the United States. Select two states to organize and compare to Centervale. Access the Microsoft Excel worksheet that has been prepared for you to populate with information. The worksheet has been populated with crime data pertinent to the state in which Centervale is located. In the worksheet, organize the data for your two states and the violent crime (Type 1 offenses) counts for those states and calculate the rate of each type of crime. Click here to download the worksheet.

After completing your Microsoft Excel worksheet, prepare a 1- to 2-page report on the crime rate in Centervale as it relates to your comparison states.

Go to the web pages for the states you selected and explore the definitions of crime. (Hint: Search for revised statutes or codes.) Include these definitions in your report.

Answer the following questions in your report:

How does the crime rate in Centervale compare with the crime rates in the other two states? Why is this information important? How do the definitions of crime vary among the states? What recommendations do you make to the mayor regarding the crime rate comparisons?

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