Crime Characteristics And Trends
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) asks a series of screening questions of all household members to determine if they had any crime incidents. The household respondent, an adult household member with knowledge about the household, is asked about both personal and property crimes. Other household members are asked about personal crimes. If a respondent indicates that an incident(s) occurred, an incident form(s) is administered to obtained detailed information about the characteristics of each incident. Neither victims nor interviewers classify crimes. Classification is based on the information provided on the incident form. If an event can be classified as more than one type of crime, a hierarchy is used that classifies the crime according to the most serious event that occurred. The hierarchy from highest to lowest is: rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft or theft. All data from the incident form is retained on public use data tapes. It is possible to analyze incidents that include more than one crime such as a violent crime which included a burglary.