The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is an annual survey that collects data on crime against persons age 12 or older from a nationally representative, stratified,
multistage cluster sample of U.S. households. The Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS)is a supplement to the NCVS, administered to NCVS respondents age 16 or older.
BJS conducted a pilot test of the Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS) in 1996 as a supplement to the NCVS. A revised
version of the PPCS was fielded in 1999 among a national sample nearly 15 times as large as the 1996 pilot sample. Since 1999, the PPCS typically has been administered every 3 years as a supplemental survey to all persons age 16 or older within households sampled for the NCVS. The 2015 PPCS was delayed a year.
The U.S. Census Bureau fielded the 2015 PPCS questionnaire, processed the survey data, and provided estimation specifications. The 2015 PPCS was cognitively tested in the spring of 2015 and conducted between July 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015. Respondents were asked about their contacts with police during the past 12 months. For instance, persons interviewed in July 2015 were asked about contacts that occurred between August 2014 and July 2015. Those interviewed in August 2014 were asked about contacts between September 2013 and August 2014.
PPCS questionnaire was revised for the 2011 cycle to better capture contacts with police. While the revised instrument provided valuable new data on the nature of street stops and resident requests for assistance from police, analysis of the data revealed that the changes to the instrument resulted in an inability to generate an overall rate of use of force across all police contacts. The 2011 instrument only asked use of force questions of those respondents who reported a traffic stop or a street stop. Additionally, analysis of the data highlighted areas where minor additions to the survey could increase the utility of the data. The further revisions to the
instrument resulted in a delay in the administration of the PPCS from 2014 to 2015.
The Census Bureau calculates PPCS response rates as the weighted ratio of persons completing interviews over persons who were eligible to receive the questionnaire. The PPCS response rate was 95% (70,959 respondents of the 74,995 eligible)(see Table 1 in the codebook). For prior PPCS collections, non-English speaking NCVS respondents were not eligible to receive the supplement. 2015 was the first year that the supplement was administered to non-English speakers.
PPCS respondents who received the revised survey instrument were asked about their contact with police during the 12 months prior to their interview. Respondents were provided a list of specific reasons for having contact with police. Persons who had more than one contact were asked more detailed questions about only their
most recent contact during the time period.
Stratified multistage cluster sample.
The Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS) interviews a nationally representative sample of households about their contacts with police during the previous 12 months. The PPCS is conducted as a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey.
National Crime Victimization Survey respondents age 16 or older interviewed during the last six months
of 2015. The universe of the NCVS is all persons in the United States age 12 or older.
The combined PPCS response rate is a product of the NCVS household response rate, NCVS person response rate and the PPCS response rate. The overall weighted response rate for the 2015 PPCS was 64%.