Victimizations and incidents are classified based upon detailed characteristics of the event provided by the respondent.
Neither victims nor interviewers classify crimes at the time of interview. During data processing, a computer program classifies each event into one type of crime, based upon the entries on a number of items on the survey questionnaire. This ensures that similar events will be classified using a standard procedure.
The glossary definition for each crime indicates the major characteristics required to be so classified. If an event can be classified as more than one type of crime, a hierarchy is used which classifies the crime according to the most serious event that occurred. The hierarchy is: rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, theft.