CSI - Research
Church Crime Statistics - PART ONE
Analysis of Uniform Crime Reports from the FBI
by Chuck Chadwick
I don't know what sparked my interest in this subject again other than a little common sense.
The pioneer in church security statistics is Carl Chinn. He has been tracking violent crime in churches sense 1999. Carl and I were talking about the enormity of trying to track crime statistics for churches.
There were several web sites using Goggle as there prime source of church crime tracking. Those are very helpful in making churches aware of the daily trends. But those numbers don't seem to reflect the bigger picture I was looking for. One study published put the number at approximately 1,200 for the total number of crimes at Christian churches in 2009.
Carl brought up the FBI's reports on Uniform Crime Reports (UCRs). (see foot note for details on UCRs)
Having over 17,000 departments inputting data on millions of crimes each year has got to be valuable data. All I had to do is find a way to sort out the Church crimes.
With a couple of days research into the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data I seem to have found it. The data files are huge and you can't import a 5.4 million record database into an Excel spreadsheet. You have to use a database product like Microsoft Access (at least).
The data file for 2008 has over 5 million records and among the data structure is a field called "Location". Low-and-behold location code 4 is for "Church/ Synagogue/Temple".
There were over 24,445 crimes attributed to location code 4 (Churches/Synagogues/Temples).
I am willing to concede that not all are going to be Christian churches, but the majority would be.
We will be bringing you further analysis of the data soon.
Development of Security and Safety Standards for Christian Churches
Christian Security Specialist - Establish Accreditation and
Program Requirement - Pending Standards development.
Planning to visit?
PO BOX 1166