The major goal of the United Nations Surveys on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems is to collect data on the incidence of reported crime and the operations of criminal justice systems with a view to improving the analysis and dissemination of that information globally.
Surveys were distributed to officials in every member country of the United Nations. Designated officials completed the surveys to the best of their abilities given the country's available data. The survey questionnaire consisted of a series of questions which asked for data, primarily statistical, on the main components of the country's criminal justice system, for the given time period of the wave of data collection. The surveys were continually updated at each subsequent wave. There are two versions of the Wave 2 data (Part 2: Wave 2a, 1975-1980; Part 3: Wave 2b, 1975-1980) because, for various reasons, the variables from Wave 1 and some variables from Wave 2 were combined into one dataset. Similarly, some variables from Wave 2 were combined into one dataset with the variables from Wave 3. For this study, the combined Wave 1 and Wave 2 dataset was separated into Parts 1 and 2 (Wave 1, 1970-1975, and Wave 2a, 1976-1980, respectively) and the combined Wave 2 and Wave 3 dataset was separated into Parts 3 and 4 (Wave 2b, 1975-1980, and Wave 3,1980-1986, respectively).
Surveys were distributed to all member states of the United Nations.
All member states of the United Nations.
Questionnaires filled out by representatives of member states of the United Nations
Crime variables include counts of recorded crime for homicide, assault, rape, robbery, theft, burglary, fraud, embezzlement, drug trafficking, drug possession, bribery, and corruption. There are also counts of suspects, persons prosecuted, persons convicted, and prison admissions by crime, gender, and adult or juvenile status. Other variables include the population of the country and largest city, budgets and salaries for police, courts, and prisons, and types of sanctions, including imprisonment, corporal punishment, deprivation of liberty, control of freedom, warning, fine, and community sentence. The countries participating in the survey and the variables available vary across the ten waves.