Contacts Between Police and the Public, 2008   [open pdf - 867KB]

"In 2008, an estimated 16.9% of U.S. residents age 16 or older had face-to-face contact with police. This was a decline from the 19.1% of U.S. residents who reported having contact with police in 2005 and a decrease from the 21% who experienced contact with police in 1999 and 2002. Between 2002 and 2008, about 5.3 million fewer residents had face-to-face contact with police, down to an estimated 40.0 million from 45.3 million. Among persons who had a face-to-face contact with police in 2008, about 1 out of 4 had more than one contact during the year. The public most commonly came into contact with police when driving a vehicle that was pulled over in a traffic stop. Other frequent reasons for contact with police included reporting a crime to police or being involved in a traffic accident. The findings described in this report are based on the Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS) that the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) periodically uses to interview all persons age 16 or older in a nationally representative sample of households about their contacts with police during the previous 12 months. The PPCS is a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey. This report summarizes data from the 2008 PPCS and compares findings to the 2002 and 2005 surveys."

Report Number:
BJS Special Report No. NCJ 234599
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Office of Justice Programs: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/
Media Type:
Help with citations