6/03/2012

A study on crime by police

I am often asked about crime rates by police.  I have always assumed that the number is quite low, but there are very few hard numbers on this question.  Here are some numbers over a three year period from January 1, 2005 through December 31, 2007.  There were 569,149 full-time law enforcement employees in 2006.  With about 703 police crimes per year, there was a rate of 124 per hundred thousand full-time law enforcement employees (see page 421 in "Exit Strategy: An Exploration of Late-Stage Police Crime" by Stinson, Liederbach and Freiburger).  

Of particular interest is weapons violations.  118/569,149=0.007%
Compare that to firearms violations of concealed handgun permit holders in Florida.  Between October 1, 1987 and July 31, 2011, there were 168 revocations for firearms related violations in Florida.  Over that period of time permits were issued to over 2 million permit holders.  168/2 million = 0.008%
But that isn't really a fair comparison for permit holders because the violation rate for officers is an annual rate and the rate for permit holders is over the entire period of time.  In a 2011 Fox News piece, I made this calculation:
Over the last 38 months, only four permit holders have had their permit revoked for a firearms related violation -- an annual revocation rate of 0.0003%. . . . 
0.007% or 0.0003% are both extremely low and the violations might not be comparable in that the private individuals might run into problems that a police officer (even one off duty might not run into), but the rate for police is still 23 times higher.


The rate of forceable rape and sodomy is 12.4 per 100,000 per year.  By contrast, the forcible rape rate for the general population was 30.9 in 2006.

The aggravated assault rate for officers was 13.8 per 100,000 per year.  By contrast, the rate for the general population was 287.5 in 2006.

Also of interest was this statement in the paper.
The conviction rate among officers who were arrested with 18 or more years of service was 89.1%, whereas the conviction rate for officers who were arrested with 17 years or less of service was 77.5%.  . . .

As expected, the rate of crime for younger officers is a lot higher than for older ones.

Thanks to Patrick J. Friedrich for this info.  The dissertation is available here.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Brett Ayer said...

I wonder what the crime rate of CCW holders is compared to law enforcement officers?

It would be interesting to see the differences between the two groups for similar crimes to see if there is a statistical difference. I often hear people say "Only the police should have guns", but I have never seen any real data to support that.

6/04/2012 1:19 PM  
OpenID DougHuffman said...

What is "real data"? Here is the Texas DPS 2009 latest report. The overall conviction rate for Concealed Handgun Licensees is 0.001541 = 65,561 convictions total divided by 101 CHL holders.

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/RSD/CHL/Reports/ConvictionRatesReport2009.pdf

6/05/2012 7:14 AM  

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