arrest rate | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Policing

An arrest rate is the number of arrests per 100,000 persons within the area being considered.

An arrest rate is a statistical measure used to indicate the number of arrests made per 100,000 people within a particular area or population. This measure is commonly used by law enforcement agencies and criminologists to evaluate the effectiveness of policing strategies and to track changes in crime rates over time.

The rate is calculated by dividing the number of arrests made within a given time period by the total population of the area being considered, then multiplying the result by 100,000. For example, if there were 500 arrests made in a city with a population of 100,000, the rate would be 500 divided by 100,000, or 0.5%, multiplied by 100,000, resulting in a rate of 500 per 100,000 people.

The rate can be used to analyze patterns of crime and arrest within a particular area, as well as to compare rates across different regions or time periods. For example, a higher arrest rate may indicate that law enforcement agencies are more active in making arrests or that there are higher levels of criminal activity within the population.

However, it is important to note that these rates may be influenced by a variety of factors beyond the level of criminal activity within a population. For example, differences in policing strategies, public reporting of crimes, and the demographics of a population can all affect the number of arrests made and the resulting rate.

Additionally, these rates do not necessarily provide a complete picture of the overall level of criminal activity within a population. Not all crimes result in arrest, and some crimes may be more likely to result in arrest than others, depending on factors such as the severity of the crime, the likelihood of identifying a suspect, and the availability of evidence.

[ Glossary ]

Last Modified: 05/03/2023

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