show separate tabulations for a large number of cities and metropolitan areas.

  1. A review and restatement of the objectives of the commercial surveys should be conducted and data collection should be suspended, except in support of experimental and exploratory review of these objectives.

  2. Five percent of the NCS sample in the future should be available to interview in order to explore different forms and ordering of questions, and for pretesting possible new questions….

  3. Routine NCS tabulation should include results on the risk of victimization, where the unit of analysis is the surveyed individual, and that analysis of risk should be a significant part of NCS publications on a recurring basis. If the NCS data are coded and tabulated so as to yield a cumulative count of personal and household victim experiences of all surveyed respondents, analyses of multiple victimization, including events now excluded as “series” incidents, could and should be routine components of official publications.

  4. A major methodological effort on optimum field and survey design for the NCS should be undertaken. Toward this goal, high priority should be given to research on the best combination of reference period, frequency of interview at an address, length of retention in the sample, and bounding rules. Part of the recommended research in this area should be a new reverse record check study in order to assess: (a) differential degrees of reporting for different types of victimizations and different classes of respondents, (b) problems of telescoping and decay, and (c) biases in the misreporting of facts.

  5. Local interest in victimization patterns should be addressed through LEAA-Census joint development of a manual of procedures for conducting local area victimization surveys. The federal government should produce reports on the NCS that contain detailed analyses of patterns and trends of victimization so as to allow law enforcement personnel, the public, and policymakers to draw inferences that might be applicable to the issues with which they are concerned. Informing the public and their policymakers of the distribution and modifiability of risk should be the primary objective of the NCS.

SOURCE: National Research Council (1976b:3–5).



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