Police-Public Contact Survey, 2015 (ICPSR 36653)
Version Date: Apr 11, 2018 View help for published
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Summary View help for Summary
The Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS) provides detailed information on the nature and characteristics of face-to-face contacts between police and the public, including the reason for and outcome of the contact and the respondent's satisfaction with the contact. The data can be used to estimate the likelihood of different types of contact for residents with different demographic characteristics, including contacts involving the use of nonfatal force by police. The PPCS is used to collect data from a nationally representative sample of U.S. residents age 16 or older as a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey. To date, the PPCS has been conducted seven times by BJS:
1. 1996. Described in the BJS publication Police Use of Force: Collection of National Data (NCJ 165040).
2. 1999. Described in Contacts between Police and the Public: Findings from the 1999 National Survey (NCJ 184957). These data are archived as POLICE-PUBLIC CONTACT SURVEY, 1999: [UNITED STATES] (ICPSR 3151).
3. 2002. Described in Contacts between Police and the Public: Findings from the 2002 National Survey (NCJ 207845). These data are archived as POLICE-PUBLIC CONTACT SURVEY, 2002: [UNITED STATES] (ICPSR 4273).
4. 2005. Described in the BJS publication Contacts between Police and the Public, 2005 (NCJ 215243). These data are archived as POLICE-PUBLIC CONTACT SURVEY, 2005: [UNITED STATES] (ICPSR 020020).
5. 2008. Described in the BJS publication Contacts between Police and the Public, 2008 (NCJ 234599). These data are archived as POLICE-PUBLIC CONTACT SURVEY, 2008 (ICPSR 32022).
6. 2011. Split sample design due to instrument changes. New instrument findings described in two publications: Police Behavior During Traffic and Street Stops, 2011 (NCJ 242937) and Requests for Police Assistance, 2011 (NCJ 242938). These data are archived as POLICE-PUBLIC CONTACT SURVEY, 2011 (ICPSR 34276).
7. 2015. Described in the BJS publication Contacts between Police and Public, 2015 (NCJ 251145). These data are archived as POLICE-PUBLIC CONTACT SURVEY, 2015 (ICPSR 36653).
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Geographic Coverage View help for Geographic Coverage
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Restrictions View help for Restrictions
This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited.
Distributor(s) View help for Distributor(s)
Study Design View help for Study Design
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.
Sample View help for Sample
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.
Time Method View help for Time Method
Universe View help for Universe
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.
Unit(s) of Observation View help for Unit(s) of Observation
Data Type(s) View help for Data Type(s)
Mode of Data Collection View help for Mode of Data Collection
Response Rates View help for Response Rates
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%.Hide
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Version History View help for Version History
2018-04-11 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Performed consistency checks.
- Standardized missing values.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Weight View help for Weight
To obtain national estimates, the weight variable must be used.
The overall weight is calculated by multiplying the PPCS base weight by the PPCS noninterview adjustment factor. This adjustment factor weights up to the total PPCS sample for persons interviewed for NCVS but not PPCS.Hide
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.