BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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ADVANCE FOR RELEASE 4:30 PM EST BJS
Thursday, December 20, 2001 202/307-0784

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS MOST AT RISK FOR WORKPLACE VIOLENCE

College and University Faculty Members Have Lowest Rates

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. residents suffered an annual average of 1.7 million violent workplace victimizations between 1993 and 1999, the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. In addition to those non-fatal workplace crimes against people 12 years old and older, there were about 900 workplace-related homicides annually during those years, according to the new BJS study. Workplace violence accounted for 18 percent of all violent crime during the seven-year period.

Of the occupations examined, police officers experienced such crimes at the highest rate (260.8 per 1,000 police officers), whereas college or university professors and teachers had the lowest rate (1.6 per 1,000 teachers). Government employees had violent victimization rates (28.6 per 1,000 government worker) that were higher than those people who work for private companies (9.9 per 1,000 workers) or self-employed people (7.4 per 1,000).

Rates for the 1993-1999 period for selected occupations as measured by BJS' National Crime Victimization Survey were as follows:

Occupation Average Annual Rate
per 1,000 Workers
     
Law enforcement officers 260.8  
Corrections officers 155.7  
Taxicab drivers 128.3  
Bartenders 81.6  
Mental health custodians 69.0  
Special education teachers 68.4  
Gas station attendants 68.3  
Mental health professionals 68.2  
Junior high school teachers 54.2  
Convenience store workers 53.9  
Bus drivers 38.2  
High school teachers 38.1  
Nurses 21.9  
Physicians 16.2  
All workers 12.6  
College teachers 1.6  

The non-fatal workplace crime rate declined 44 percent from 1993 through 1999, and the number of workplace homicides fell 39 percent during the same period.

White workers experienced workplace victimization (13.0 per 1,000 workers) at a rate 25 percent higher than blacks (10.4 per 1,000 blacks) and 59 percent higher than for other races (8.2 per 1,000 such workers). About 60 percent of workplace violence against whites and blacks was committed by offenders of the same race as the victim.

Almost one in eight victimized workers were injured during the act of violence, about one in nine faced multiple offenders and about four in 10 had a prior relationship with the offender. In about 11 percent of the workplace homicides the offender was a coworker, former coworker or a customer. About three-quarters of all workplace violence was committed by unarmed offenders, but more than 80 percent of the workplace homicides were committed with firearms.

The BJS special report, "Violence in the Workplace, 1993-99" (NCJ-190076) was written by BJS statistician Detis T. Duhart. After the release date it will be available at:

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=693

The BJS Internet site is:

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/

Additional criminal justice materials can be obtained from the Office of Justice Programs homepage at:

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov

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BJS02004
E-mail: stu@ojp.usdoj.gov
After hours contact: Stu Smith at 301/983-9354
E-mail: stu219@hotmail.com



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