BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Home  | Data Collection Detail
Data Collection: Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS)
Status: Active
Frequency: Every three years since 1996
Latest data available: 2018

Provides detailed information on the characteristics of persons who had some type of contact with police during the year, including those who contacted the police to report a crime or were pulled over in a traffic stop. The PPCS interviews a nationally representative sample of residents age 16 or older as a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The survey enables BJS to examine the perceptions of police behavior and response during these encounters.

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Data Experts

  • Elizabeth Davis, BJS Statistician (Email this expert)
  • Erika Harrell, Ph.D., BJS Statistician (Email this expert)
  • Grace Kena, BJS Statistician (Email this expert)
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    Collection Period

    1996, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2015, 2018

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    Questionnaires

    Police Public Contact Survey: A Supplement to the NCVS
    2018 PDF (1.1M) | 2015 PDF (166K) | 2011 PDF (232K) | 2008 PDF (83K) | 2005 PDF (136K) | 2002 PDF (169K) | 1999 PDF (168K)
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    Documentation

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    Methodology

    The most recent Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS) was conducted for BJS during the last 6 months of 2018 by the U.S. Census Bureau as a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). In 2018, PPCS interviews were obtained from 104,324 of the 139,692 individuals age 16 or older in the NCVS sample. To produce national estimates on police-public contacts, sample weights were applied to the survey data so that the respondents represented the entire population, including the nonrespondents. After adjustment for nonresponse, the sample cases in 2018 were weighted to produce a national population estimate of 259,316,200 persons age 16 or older.

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    Publications & Products

    The following publications and products were generated by BJS using data from this collection.

    Contacts Between Police and the Public, 2018 - Statistical Tables This report is the twelfth in a series that began in 1996. It examines the nature and frequency of residents' contact with police by residents' demographic characteristics, types of contact, perceptions of police behaviors, and police threats or use of nonfatal force.
      Full report (PDF 675K) | Data tables (Zip format 14K)
    Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

    Contacts Between Police and the Public, 2015 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.
      Press Release (95K) | Summary (PDF 124K) | Full report (PDF 577K) | Data table (Zip format 49K)
    Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

    Police Use of Nonfatal Force, 2002-11 Presents data on the threat or use of nonfatal force by police against white, black, and Hispanic residents during police contact.
      Press Release | Summary (PDF 202K) | Full report (PDF 751K) | ASCII file (38K) | Comma-delimited values (CSV) (Zip format 26K)

    Police Behavior during Traffic and Street Stops, 2011 Examines the characteristics and experiences of persons age 16 or older who were stopped by police during traffic and street stops, and their perceptions of police behavior and response during these encounters.
      Press Release | Full report (PDF 1.8M) | ASCII file (52K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 64K)

    Requests for Police Assistance, 2011 STUDY FINDS SOME RACIAL DIFFERENCES IN PERCEPTIONS OF POLICE BEHAVIOR DURING CONTACT WITH THE PUBLIC
      Press Release

    Requests for Police Assistance, 2011 Examines the characteristics and experiences of persons age 16 or older who contacted police to request assistance in 2011.
      Press Release | Full report (PDF 952K) | ASCII file (23K) | Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 33K)

    Contacts between Police and the Public, 2008 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.
      Press Release | Full report (PDF 932K) | ASCII file (48K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 51K) | Codebooks and Datasets
    Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

    Contacts between Police and the Public, 2008 CONTACTS BETWEEN POLICE AND THE PUBLIC DECLINED FROM 2002 TO 2008
      Press Release
    Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

    Contacts between Police and the Public, 2005 Presents data over a 12-month period on the nature and characteristics of face-to-face contacts between residents of the U.S. and the police. The report also provides demographic and other characteristics of residents involved in traffic stops and use of force incidents.
      Press Release | Full report (PDF 305K) | ASCII file (32K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 21K) | To order paper version
    Part of the Contacts between Police and the Public Series

    Characteristics of Drivers Stopped by Police, 2002 Provides data on the nature and characteristics of traffic stops, as collected in the 2002 Police-Public Contact Survey, a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey.
      Full report (PDF 337K) | ASCII file (34K) | Spreadsheet (Zip format 60K)

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    Related Topics

  • Crime Type
  • Law Enforcement
  • Victims
  • Law Enforcement | Police-Public Contacts
  • Law Enforcement | Community Policing
  • Law Enforcement | Arrest-Related Deaths
  • Law Enforcement | Use of Force
  • Victims | Reporting crimes to police
  • Law Enforcement | Police-Public Contacts | Officers Killed and Assaulted
  • Law Enforcement | Police-Public Contacts | Traffic Stops
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