Police-Public Contact Survey, 2020 (ICPSR 38320)
Version Date: Nov 17, 2022 View help for published
Alternate Title View help for Alternate Title
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 nine 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 20020).
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).
8. 2018. Described in the BJS publication Contacts between Police and Public, 2018. These data are archived as POLICE-PUBLIC CONTACT SURVEY, 2018 (ICPSR 37916).
9. 2020. Described in the BJS publication Contacts between Police and Public, 2020. These data are archived as POLICE-PUBLIC CONTACT SURVEY, 2020 (ICPSR 38320).
Citation View help for Citation
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Subject Terms View help for Subject Terms
Geographic Coverage View help for Geographic Coverage
Smallest Geographic Unit View help for Smallest Geographic Unit
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. However, recent PPCS supplements have been administered on an irregular basis.
The U.S. Census Bureau fielded the 2020 PPCS questionnaire, processed the survey data, and provided estimation specifications. The 2020 PPCS was conducted between January 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020. Respondents were asked about their contacts with police during the past 12 months. For instance, persons interviewed in January 2020 were asked about contacts that occurred between February 2019 and January 2020. 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.
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 unweighted PPCS response rate was 75.7% (95,300 respondents of the 125,900 eligible)(see Table 1 in the Source and Accuracy Statement for the 2020 Police-Public Contact Survey). In 2020, persons who completed their NCVS interview in a language other than English could complete the PPCS in the same language.
The 2020 PPCS reintroduced a series of questions that was not included in the 2018 PPCS but was included in prior iterations. This series of questions asked residents about verbal and physical actions in which they may have engaged against the police during their most recent contact, such as disobeying the officer(s) or trying to get away from the officer(s). No other changes were made to the instrument between 2018 and 2020.
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 (NCVS) respondents age 16 or older interviewed during the first six months of 2020. The universe of the NCVS is all persons in the United States age 12 and 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 2020 PPCS was 50.3%.Hide
Original Release Date View help for Original Release Date
Version History View help for Version History
2022-11-17 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.