The police force bears a fundamental responsibility to bring about justice for crime victims. To best fulfill this role, police officers must hold offenders accountable, beginning with their swift apprehension. Given this expectation, police agencies, and the public alike, have used clearance rates as a direct measure of police performance. However, despite its significance to victims, communities, and society at large, the complexities inherent to case clearance are rarely understood. Indeed, their definition, theoretical importance, and current figures are seldom examined among citizens and police agencies. This working paper will attempt to address this gap in knowledge by discussing the various forms of clearance, the significance of clearance rate through a theoretical and practical lens, and current clearance statistics.

Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Project

Student Type


Degree Name

Criminal Justice (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Department of Criminal Justice (CLA)


Irshad Altheimer


RIT – Main Campus