The convergence in findings across the various methods of measurement is more pronounced in regard to the nature of criminal offenses. By all accounts, most crime in the United States involves relatively minor property offenses that occur with some frequency. Larceny-theft is by far the most frequently reported offense under the UCR classification, and thefts from in and around the household are the most common victimization experience reported in the NCVS data. Although these property offenses may generate fear and concerns about the effectiveness of law enforcement and other crime control efforts, the direct, objective harm to the victim from these property offenses is often minimal. Likewise, the vast majority of violent offenses in the United States are attempts or threats that involve little or no injury to the victim. These offenses are classified as either simple or common assaults under various jurisdictions. Although less than 5% of individuals responding to victimization surveys report being the victim of an assault in the previous six months, these offenses are grossly underreported in both victimization and police data, especially when they involve no physical injury, mutual combat and arguments among peers, and domestic violence situations.
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The Nature of Criminal Offenses
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