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Concept: Police


A geographically-resolved, multi-level Bayesian model is used to analyze the data presented in the U.S. Police-Shooting Database (USPSD) in order to investigate the extent of racial bias in the shooting of American civilians by police officers in recent years. In contrast to previous work that relied on the FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Reports that were constructed from self-reported cases of police-involved homicide, this data set is less likely to be biased by police reporting practices. County-specific relative risk outcomes of being shot by police are estimated as a function of the interaction of: 1) whether suspects/civilians were armed or unarmed, and 2) the race/ethnicity of the suspects/civilians. The results provide evidence of a significant bias in the killing of unarmed black Americans relative to unarmed white Americans, in that the probability of being {black, unarmed, and shot by police} is about 3.49 times the probability of being {white, unarmed, and shot by police} on average. Furthermore, the results of multi-level modeling show that there exists significant heterogeneity across counties in the extent of racial bias in police shootings, with some counties showing relative risk ratios of 20 to 1 or more. Finally, analysis of police shooting data as a function of county-level predictors suggests that racial bias in police shootings is most likely to emerge in police departments in larger metropolitan counties with low median incomes and a sizable portion of black residents, especially when there is high financial inequality in that county. There is no relationship between county-level racial bias in police shootings and crime rates (even race-specific crime rates), meaning that the racial bias observed in police shootings in this data set is not explainable as a response to local-level crime rates.

Concepts: Scientific method, United States, Relative risk, Crime, White American, Police, Bayes factor, Constable


Policing is generally considered a high-risk profession for the development of mental health problems, but this assumption lacks empirical evidence. Research question of the present study is to what extent mental health disturbances, such as (very) severe symptoms of anxiety, depression and hostility are more prevalent among police officers than among other occupational groups.

Concepts: Psychology, Epidemiology, Research, Mental disorder, Empirical research, Police, Constable, Police officer


Lead (Pb) is a toxic substance with well-known, multiple, long-term, adverse health outcomes. Shooting guns at firing ranges is an occupational necessity for security personnel, police officers, members of the military, and increasingly a recreational activity by the public. In the United States alone, an estimated 16,000-18,000 firing ranges exist. Discharge of Pb dust and gases is a consequence of shooting guns.

Concepts: United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Toxicology, Photography, Police, Conscription, Information security


Prior research suggests that United States governmental sources documenting the number of law-enforcement-related deaths (i.e., fatalities due to injuries inflicted by law enforcement officers) undercount these incidents. The National Vital Statistics System (NVSS), administered by the federal government and based on state death certificate data, identifies such deaths by assigning them diagnostic codes corresponding to “legal intervention” in accordance with the International Classification of Diseases-10th Revision (ICD-10). Newer, nongovernmental databases track law-enforcement-related deaths by compiling news media reports and provide an opportunity to assess the magnitude and determinants of suspected NVSS underreporting. Our a priori hypotheses were that underreporting by the NVSS would exceed that by the news media sources, and that underreporting rates would be higher for decedents of color versus white, decedents in lower versus higher income counties, decedents killed by non-firearm (e.g., Taser) versus firearm mechanisms, and deaths recorded by a medical examiner versus coroner.

Concepts: United States, Federal government of the United States, U.S. state, Source code, A priori, Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal government


In the United States, state firearm ownership has been correlated with homicide rates. More than 90% of homicides of law enforcement officers (LEOs) are committed with firearms. We examined the relationship between state firearm ownership rates and LEO occupational homicide rates.

Concepts: United States, Poverty in the United States, U.S. state, Appeal, Police, Law of the United States, Common law, Federal Bureau of Investigation


To update previous examinations of racial/ethnic disparities in the use of lethal force by US police.

Concepts: Police


Distracted driving is one of the most significant human factor issues in transport safety. Mobile phone interactions while driving may involve a multitude of cognitive and physical resources that result in inferior driving performance and reduced safety margins. The current study investigates characteristics of usage, risk factors, compensatory strategies in use and characteristics of high-frequency offenders of mobile phone use while driving. A series of questions were administered to drivers in Queensland (Australia) using an on-line questionnaire. A total of 484 drivers (34.9% males and 49.8% aged 17-25) participated anonymously. At least one of every two motorists surveyed reported engaging in distracted driving. Drivers were unable to acknowledge the increased crash risk associated with answering and locating a ringing phone in contrast to other tasks such as texting/browsing. Attitudes towards mobile phone usage were more favourable for talking than texting or browsing. Lowering the driving speed and increasing the distance from the vehicle in front were the most popular task-management strategies for talking and texting/browsing while driving. On the other hand, keeping the mobile phone low (e.g. in the driver’s lap or on the passenger seat) was the favourite strategy used by drivers to avoid police fines for both talking and texting/browsing. Logistic regression models were fitted to understand differences in risk factors for engaging in mobile phone conversations and browsing/texting while driving. For both tasks, exposure to driving, driving experience, driving history (offences and crashes), and attitudes were significant predictors. Future mobile phone prevention efforts would benefit from development of safe attitudes and increasing risk literacy. Enforcement of mobile phone distraction should be re-engineered, as the use of task-management strategies to evade police enforcement seems to dilute its effect on the prevention of this behaviour. Some countermeasures and suggestions were proposed in the design of public education campaigns and driver-mobile phone interaction.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Risk, Laptop, Mobile phone, Police, Text messaging, Push-button telephone


This study examines cultural differences in ordinary dishonesty between Italy and Sweden, two countries with different reputations for trustworthiness and probity. Exploiting a set of cross-cultural tax compliance experiments, we find that the average level of tax evasion (as a measure of ordinary dishonesty) does not differ significantly between Swedes and Italians. However, we also uncover differences in national “styles” of dishonesty. Specifically, while Swedes are more likely to be either completely honest or completely dishonest in their fiscal declarations, Italians are more prone to fudging (i.e., cheating by a small amount). We discuss the implications of these findings for the evolution and enforcement of honesty norms.

Concepts: Experiment, Sweden, Criminal law, Cultural studies, Human behavior, Italy, Police, Dishonesty


To compare the change in illicit opioid users' risk of fatal drug-related poisoning (DRP) associated with opioid agonist pharmacotherapy (OAP) and psychological support, and investigate the modifying effect of patient characteristics, criminal justice system (CJS) referral, and treatment completion.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Law, Crime, Criminal law, Criminal justice, Punishment, Police, Corrections


Vacant and abandoned buildings pose significant challenges to the health and safety of communities. In 2011 the City of Philadelphia began enforcing a Doors and Windows Ordinance that required property owners of abandoned buildings to install working doors and windows in all structural openings or face significant fines. We tested the effects of the new ordinance on the occurrence of crime surrounding abandoned buildings from January 2011 to April 2013 using a difference-in-differences approach. We used Poisson regression models to compare differences in pre- and post-treatment measures of crime for buildings that were remediated as a result of the ordinance (n = 676) or permitted for renovation (n = 241), and randomly-matched control buildings that were not remediated (n = 676) or permitted for renovation (n = 964), while also controlling for sociodemographic and other confounders measured around each building. Building remediations were significantly associated with citywide reductions in overall crimes, total assaults, gun assaults and nuisance crimes (p <0.001). Building remediations were also significantly associated with reductions in violent gun crimes in one city section (p <0.01). At the same time, some significant increases were seen in narcotics sales and possession and property crimes around remediated buildings (p <0.001). Building renovation permits were significantly associated with reductions in all crime classifications across multiple city sections (p <0.001). We found no significant spatial displacement effects. Doors and windows remediation offers a relatively low-cost method of reducing certain crimes in and around abandoned buildings. Cities with an abundance of decaying and abandoned housing stock might consider some form of this structural change to their built environments as one strategy to enhance public safety.

Concepts: Regression analysis, City, Crime, Occupational safety and health, Police, Building, Fire protection, Occupancy