Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Where were they counted?

Was doing some research on the 2007 VT shooting

In looking at the FBI-UCR for 2007

I looked here and found 2 homicides listed

I looked up Blacksburg VA, where VT is located found 0

I looked up Montgomery County where Blacksburg is located found 0

So where were they counted?


Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Also not showing under Virginia Tech (they have a separate category for colleges and universities), or on the Blacksburg town website - which is odd since I seem to remember that it was on the town's site a couple of years ago.

It does show up in the VT's 2007 annual campus security report and statistics.

I wonder if the FBI, et al. don't count it because it is an extreme outlier - . From a statistical standpoint the incident should be discarded, as it would severely distort any sort of calculations.

I will email the FBI for some clarification.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Here's the reply I got to my email:

Please see the attached 2007 Virginia Crime by County data set and corresponding record description. Uniform Crime Reporting Program data does not identify specific victims, but it appears that the county agency reported 30 victims and Virginia Tech reported 2.

The attachment I received with the email confirms that. I have sent a follow-up to see if I can find out why it's not showing on the webpage.

Thank you for the prompt response. I do see the 30 in the report you attached, but it is not showing on the website page I was able to locate (http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_10_va.html). The 2 reported by VT do also show on the equivalent webpage (http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_09_va.html).

Is the report you forwarded available online in another place? Or is it simply a data entry error at the webpage I saw? Publicly available online sources are preferred for my purposes.

Again, thank you for your quick response.

The Duck said...

Well we will see where it goes

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Latest reply:

The data we attached is not available on-line. The data published are segregated into different tables for different types of agencies. You would need to look at Table 9 (http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_09.html), and Table 10(http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2007/data/table_10.html). Additionally, if an agency does not meet publication deadlines, the data will not be in the publication, but may still be submitted later for inclusion in the master files.

So, pointing us to the same place we said doesn't have it. I suppose it's possible the county didn't report those before the deadline, thinking that the university would report it. Honestly, I'm not sure why it was split that way anyway - IIRC, most or all of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene on campus, and the crime actually took place on campus, so I would have expected the university to report all of them.

Either way, in any statistical analysis I know of, the homicide numbers from 2007 would be discarded as an aberration, anyway. But it would be nice if they published the correct numbers.