National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) supplements allow BJS to capture the emerging landscape of crime while preserving consistency with the main NCVS. Supplements are typically in the field for 6 months, either January-June or July-December. A supplement interview is conducted immediately after the NCVS interview for the sample person and before proceeding to the next eligible household member’s NCVS interview. In most cases, the reference period is 12 months, and estimates generated by supplement data are prevalence-based.
There are currently five active NCVS supplements.
Administered to persons age 16 or older who completed an in-person NCVS interview, the Identity Theft Supplement (ITS) asks respondents if they had experienced identity theft during the past 12 months. The ITS encompasses several types of identity theft, such as misuse of an existing account, misuse of personal information to open a new account, and other misuses of personal information. Persons who had reported experiencing at least one incident in the past 12 months were asked to describe characteristics of the most recent incident and its effects.
The Police Public Contact Survey (PPCS) provides detailed information on the characteristics of persons who had some type of contact with police during the past year, including those who contacted the police to report a crime or were pulled over in a traffic stop. The PPCS interviews a nationally representative sample of residents age 16 or older as a supplement to the NCVS. The survey enables BJS to examine the perceptions of police behavior and response during these encounters.
The Supplemental Fraud Survey (SFS) collects data on the experiences of adults across seven types of personal financial fraud during the preceding 12 months. It also collects information on victim characteristics and whether the incident was reported to police or others.
The Supplemental Victimization Survey (SVS) asks persons age 16 or older about their experiences with stalking during the preceding 12 months, and collects information on the demographic characteristics of stalking victims. It also collects information on the nature of stalking victimization, including the number of offenders, the relationship between the victim and offender, and the frequency and duration of the stalking.
There are two national crime series which have data on crime rates and trends. The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is based upon a sample of households and includes both crimes that are reported to police and those that are not reported. The Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) is based upon local police reports which are compiled by the FBI. The two data series complement each other and both are “right” in terms of measuring what they are designed to measure. Please see the report, The Nation’s Two Crime Measures (NCJ 246832, BJS web), for more information.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics' (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the nation's primary source of information on criminal victimization. Each year, data are obtained from a nationally representative sample of about 240,000 persons in about 150,000 households on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. The NCVS collects information on nonfatal personal crimes (rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault, and personal larceny) and household property crimes (burglary, motor vehicle theft, and other theft) both reported and not reported to police. Survey respondents provide information about themselves (e.g., age, sex, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, education level, and income) and whether they experienced a victimization. For each victimization incident, the NCVS collects information about the offender (e.g., age, race and Hispanic origin, sex, and victim-offender relationship), characteristics of the crime (including time and place of occurrence, use of weapons, nature of injury, and economic consequences), whether the crime was reported to police, reasons the crime was or was not reported, and victim experiences with the criminal justice system.
A victimization is a single victim or household that experiences a criminal incident. Criminal incidents or crimes are distinguished from victimizations in that one criminal incident may have multiple victims or victimizations. For violent crimes (rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault) and for personal theft/larceny, the count of victimizations is the number of individuals who experienced a violent crime. For crimes against households (burglary, trespassing, other theft, and motor-vehicle theft), each household affected by a crime is counted as a single victimization.