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Publication Contacts between Police and the Public, 2008

Christine Eith, Matthew R. Durose, Bureau of Justice Statistics

October 5, 2011    NCJ 234599

Presents findings from a nationally representative survey of nearly 60,000 residents age 16 or older about their contact with police during the 12 months prior to the interview. Interviews were conducted between July 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008 as a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). This report offers detailed information on face-to-face contacts with the police, including the reason for and outcome of the contact, resident opinion on police behavior during the contact, and whether police used or threatened use of force during the contact. The report describes the demographic characteristics of residents involved in traffic stops and incidents in which the police used force. It also provides comparative analysis with prior survey findings.


  • The percent of U.S. residents age 16 or older who had face-to-face contact with police declined from 2002 (21.0%) to 2005 (19.1%) and declined again in 2008 (16.9%).
  • White (8.4%), black (8.8%), and Hispanic (9.1%) drivers were stopped by police at similar rates in 2008.
  • Male drivers (9.9%) were stopped at higher rates than female drivers (7.0%).

Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

Press Release
Full report (PDF 932K)
ASCII file (48K)
Spreadsheet (Zip format 51K)
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Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS)

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