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Violence and Theft in the Workplace



ADVANCE FOR RELEASE AT 5 P.M. EST                  
SUNDAY JULY 24, 1994                               
BJS 202-307-0784

                WORK PLACE VIOLENCE                        

     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- One in six violent crimes occurs in the 
work place, according to a Department of Justice study released 
here today.

     The Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) said an 
estimated 7 percent of all rapes, 8 percent of all robberies and 16
percent of all assaults occur at work.  The data are from an 
analysis of work place crime from 1987 through 1992 gathered 
through the National Criminal Victimization Survey of U.S. households.

     "The work place is the scene of almost 1 million violent crimes 
every year,"  said Acting BJS Director Lawrence A. Greenfeld.  
"About 10 percent--or 100,000--of these violent workplace crimes 
involve offenders armed with handguns."

     Of the approximately 3.2 million violent crimes and thefts in 
the work place, about 500,000 victims lose an estimated 1.8 
million workdays each year and $55 million in lost wages, not 
including days covered by sick and annual leave, the study said.

     Among the women who experience crime at work, 40 percent are
attacked by a stranger, 35 percent by a casual acquaintance, 19 
percent by a well known acquaintance and 1 percent by a relative.  
About 5 percent are attacked by a husband, former husband, 
boyfriend or former boyfriend.  

     The average annual number of workplace victimizations from 
1987 through 1992 follow:

         No. of Victimizations   No. with Injuries

Rape   . . . .  13,068               3,438
Robbery  . . .  79,109              17,904
Agg. assault  . 264,174             48,180
Simple assault  615,160             89,572

     Federal, state and local government workers, who make up 
about 18 percent of the total U.S. workforce, account for 30 
percent of all workplace victims.  "Several factors may be 
responsible for this overrepresentation, including a potentially 
high risk of victimization for particular government occupations 
such as public safety personnel" the report noted.  

     In addition to the violent crimes, there was an annual 
average of more than 2 million personal thefts in the work place 
during the period as well as more than 200,000 motor vehicle thefts.

     More than half of all work place victimizations were not 
reported to police--among those not reporting, 40 percent said 
they believed the matter was minor or too personal, and 27 percent 
said they reported the incident to another official, such as a 
company security guard.

     Single copies of the BJS crime data brief, "Violence and 
Theft in the Workplace" (NCJ-148199), as well as other BJS 
statistical reports may be obtained from the BJS Clearinghouse, 
Box 179, Annapolis Junction, Maryland 20701-0179.  The telephone 
number is 1-800-732-3277.  Fax orders to 410-792-4358.
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After hours contact: Stu Smith 301-983-9354

Date Published: July 24, 1994