Calling the Police: Citizen Reporting of Serious Crime, 1979 (ICPSR 8185)

Principal Investigator(s): Spelman, William; Brown, Dale K.


This dataset replicates the citizen reporting component of POLICE RESPONSE TIME ANALYSIS, 1975 (ICPSR 7760). Information is included on 4,095 reported incidents of aggravated assault, auto theft, burglary, larceny/theft offenses, forcible rape, and robbery. The data cover citizen calls to police between April 21 and December 7, 1979. There are four files in this collection, one each for Jacksonville, Florida, Peoria, Illinois, Rochester, New York, and San Diego, California. The data are taken from police dispatch records and police interviews of citizens who requested police assistance. Variables taken from the dispatch records include the dispatch time, call priority, police travel time, age, sex, and race of the caller, response code, number of suspects, and area of the city in which the call originated. Variables taken from the citizen interviews include respondent's role in the incident (victim, caller, victim-caller, witness-caller), incident location, relationship of caller to victim, number of victims, identification of suspect, and interaction with police.

Access Notes

  • One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Jacksonville, Florida - Download All Files (3.285 MB)
DS2:  Peoria, Illinois - Download All Files (2.816 MB)
DS3:  Rochester, New York - Download All Files (2.955 MB)
DS4:  San Diego, California - Download All Files (3.201 MB)

Study Description


Spelman, William, and Dale K. Brown. Calling the Police: Citizen Reporting of Serious Crime, 1979. ICPSR08185-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2002.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (78-NI-AX-0107)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    assault, auto theft, burglary, citizen crime reporting, larceny, offenses, police citizen interactions, police protection, police reports, rape, robbery, victims, witnesses

Geographic Coverage:    California, Florida, Illinois, Jacksonville, New York (state), Peoria, Rochester (New York), San Diego, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1979-04-21--1979-12-07

Date of Collection:   

  • 1979-04-21--1979-12-07

Data Type(s):    administrative records data



Original ICPSR Release:   1985-03-18

Version History:

  • 2006-01-18 File CB8185.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

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