United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems Series

Investigator(s): United Nations Office at Vienna, R.W. Burnham, Helen Burnham, Bruce DiCristina, and Graeme Newman

The United Nations Surveys of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (formerly known as the United Nations World Crime Surveys) series was begun in 1978 and is comprised of five quinquennial surveys covering the years 1970-1975, 1975-1980, 1980-1986, 1986-1990, and 1990-1994. The project was supported by the United States Bureau of Justice Statistics, and conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Criminal Justice and Crime Prevention Branch, United Nations Office in Vienna. Data gathered on crime prevention and criminal justice among member nations provide information for policy development and program planning. The main objectives of the survey include: to conduct a more focused inquiry into the incidence of crime worldwide, to improve knowledge about the incidence of reported crime in the global development perspective and also international understanding of effective ways to counteract crime, to improve the dissemination globally of the information collected, to facilitate an overview of trends and interrelationships among various parts of the criminal justice system so as to promote informed decision-making in its administration, nationally and cross-nationally, and to serve as an instrument for strengthening cooperation among member states by putting the review and analysis of national crime-related data in a broader context. The surveys also provide a valuable source of charting trends in crime and criminal justice over two decades.