The Source for Crime and Justice Data

View Record Details

Pub. Type:
Response Time Analysis Volume 3 - Part II - Crime Analysis
Subtitle/Series Name:
Pub. Date:
Nov 1980
Data were collected by civilian observers riding with field officers, tape recordings of conversations between reporting citizens and dispatchers, and recordings of radio communications between dispatchers and field officers. Response time had three components: citizen reporting time, communications dispatching time, and police travel time. Discovery crimes (18.7 percent of the sample) had a median reporting time of 20 minutes, 16 seconds. Involvement crimes (81.3 percent of the sample) had a median reporting time of 5 minutes, 39 seconds. Many crimes were not reported for hours or days, however. Median dispatch time was 2 minutes, 13 seconds and median travel time was 4 minutes, 20 seconds. Citizen apathy and misunderstanding about reporting Part II crimes resulted in significant reporting delays. When both reporting and travel times were short, the probability of on-the-scene arrests increased for crimes involving a victim or witness. Reporting time also affected the chance of a witness being available on the scene. Citizen expectations and perceptions of response time were more closely related to citizen satisfaction than was actual response time. Increased expenditures to reduce dispatching and travel times are unjustified without efforts to reduce reporting delays. Response time is limited by distance, and shortening it is therefore applicable only in certain circumstances. The potential costs in hardware, manpower, potential property damage, and potential injuries inherent in creating a rapid response capability should be assessed in relation to potential benefits. Figures, tables, a glossary, and eight appendixes containing detailed statistical analyses of study data are presented. source
NCJ 71109
United States Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice
Place of Production:
Washington, DC

Related Studies

This publication is related to the following dataset(s):