FBI Crime Statistics – Property and Motor Vehicle Theft – Logarithmic Trends

A logarithmic trend appears in the percentage change in Motor Vehicle Theft and Property Crime offenses.

Does having smaller law enforcement agencies closer to the grass roots have any impact on crime? Consider the data below.

Scatter plot with regression lines. (Logarithmic.)
Logarithmic Regression on the ratio of count of agencies to population size.


Property Crime

Notice that in almost every case, except for the very large cities) it is getting better – the percentages are negative.

The above trend would indicate that for each multiple of ten growth in agency count divided by population count, the change from 2016 to 2017 shrinks by 2.5 percentage points (it gets more better).

Motor Vehicle Theft

Note that motor vehicle theft is getting worse in every case – the percentages are positive.

The trend above would indicate that for multiple of ten growth in agency count divided by population count, the change from 2016 to 2017 grows by 1.5 percentage points (it gets more worse).

This is counter intuitive and may reflect the differing environments of smaller towns which may be less population dense : It’s easier to steal a car when there are fewer windows close by for people to see you.

It is also interesting that motor vehicle theft is included in property crime and yet has an opposite trend.

Source – FBI Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January-June, 2017

The percentage change in offenses known to law enforcement for the first six (6) months of 2017 compared with those for the first half of 2016 for population group.




One Comment

Data Driven Man August 2, 2018

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