Raw crime levels do not provide much context, particularly given the varying sizes of the hospitals across the United States and Canada. To provide context and based on lessons learned during last year’s Crime Survey, the 2015 Crime Survey collected licensed hospital bed counts which is used as a surrogate indicator of hospital size. As a surrogate indicator of size, licensed hospital beds allow for the calculation of crimes rates (per 100 beds) and provide the ability to trend crime rates over time to include the results of last year’s Crime Survey.
It is important to remember that crime rates are used to provide context and allow for comparisons between hospitals of different sizes. Bed counts were used based on experience from prior crime surveys where additional size and population indicators were collected. That experience informed the decision to use bed counts as other indicators were more challenging to obtain and not consistently reported via the crime surveys.
The graphs below display the crime rate trends for 2012 to 2014 per 100 beds for U.S. hospitals.