Crime, Courts, and Corrections Guide:Victimization

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This guide is part of a larger guide on Crime, Courts, and Corrections in the City of Pittsburgh.

Information on crime victims at a national level is available through the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Both agencies collaborate to collect data from a sample of U.S. residents in the National Crime Victimization Survey.[1] The survey collects data on the age, sex, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, education level, and income of people in the sample, and asks whether they have been a recent victim of crime. For each incident, the Victimization Survey also includes information about the offender (age, race and Hispanic origin, sex, and victim-offender relationship), details about the crime (including time and place of occurrence, use of weapons, nature of injury, and economic consequences), whether the crime was ever reported to police (or reasons for not reporting), and the experiences of the victim with the criminal justice system.

According to summary statistics from the National Crime Victimization Survey[2], a large number of crimes go unreported, In 2014, 46% of violent crimes and 37% of property crimes were reported to police nationwide. The levels of reporting can also vary considerably by the individual types of crimes. Within the violent crime category, 61% of robberies but only 34% of rape/sexual assault incidents are reported to police. A similar variance can also be seen in property crime, where 60% of burglaries and 83% of motor vehicle thefts are reported, but law enforcement is notified of only 29% of thefts. This level of non-reporting should be taken into account when evaluating victimization statistics from local data sources.

Data on the victims of reported homicides in Pittsburgh and in Allegheny County is available through an interactive data visualization developed by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. This data is collected from crime reports, and is reported by municipality in the County dashboard, and by neighborhood in the City dashboard. Details include age, race, and gender of the victim.

What's Included in the Data

Publicly Available
  • Total victims
  • Age of victims
  • Race of victims
  • Gender of victims
Not Publicly Available
  • Specific identity of the victims

Where to Find the Data

Things to Know

  • Allegheny County and City of Pittsburgh data is generated by the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner
  • Only homicide victims are included in the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County data.