Elizabeth Davis, Anthony Whyde, BJS Statisticians, Lynn Langton Ph.D., former BJS Statistician
October 11, 2018 NCJ 251145
Presents data on the nature and frequency of contact between police and U.S. residents age 16 or older, including demographic characteristics of residents, the reason for and outcomes of the contact, police threats or use of nonfatal force, and residents' perceptions of police behavior during the contact.
- The portion of U.S. residents age 16 or older who had contact with the police in the preceding 12 months declined from 26% in 2011 to 21% in 2015, a drop of more than 9 million people (from 62.9 million to 53.5 million).
- The number of persons experiencing police-initiated contact fell by 8 million (down 23%), the number of persons who initiated contact with the police fell by 6 million (down 19%), and the number experiencing contact from traffic accidents did not change significantly.
- Whites (23%) were more likely than blacks (20%) or Hispanics (17%) to have contact with police.
- Police were equally likely to initiate contact with blacks and whites (11% each) but were less likely to initiate contact with Hispanics (9%).
Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series
Press Release (95K)
Summary (PDF 124K)
Full report (PDF 577K)
Data table (Zip format 49K)
Help for using BJS products
About the Source Data
Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS)
To cite this product, use the following link:
View All Publications and Products