Professor Mark Stallo
Research Methods in Criminal Justice
October 12, 2012
Uniform Crime Report
A Uniform Crime Report is a data series published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that has been collected since 1930 and has been widely used by criminal justice researchers to collect data on crime. (Maxfield & Babbie, 2012) Law enforcement agencies provide the crime data to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and then the reports are compiled and created. The Uniform Crime Report does not count all crimes that are reported to the police. Part I offenses such as murders and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft are all counted in the Uniform Crime Report. (Maxfield & Babbie, 2012) There are a large number of crimes that are not measured in the Uniform Crime Report because they are considered to be Part II crimes. Part II crimes consist of shoplifting, drug sale or use, fraud, prostitution, simple assault, vandalism, receiving stolen property, and other non-traffic offenses. (Maxfield & Babbie, 2012) Part II crimes are counted on the Uniform Crime Reports only if that person has been arrested and charged with a crime. These crimes do represent a large number of offenses that occur across the United States. And since they are only reported if a person has been arrested and charged with a crime, this does create some measurement errors in the Uniform Crime Report.
In the 1920’s, the International Association of Chiefs of Police formed the Committee on Uniform Crime Reports. (Atlas, 2011) This committee wanted to establish a system of uniform police crime statistics. This committee evaluated various crimes based on how serious the crime is and how frequent that crime occurred as well as the likelihood of it being reported to law enforcement in all areas of the country. (Atlas, 2011) After the studies and evaluations were completed in each state, the Committee completed a plan for crime reporting that became the foundation of the Uniform Crime Report Program in 1929. (Atlas, 2011)
Every month, law enforcement agencies across the United States submit results on the amount of Part I index offenses to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The index offenses consists of criminal homicide: the willful non-negligent killing of one human being by another or a death caused by negligence, attempted killings, and suicides; Forcible rape: the knowledge of raping a female forcibly and against her will and attempts or assaults excluding statutory offenses; Robbery: The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the custody or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force; Aggravated assault: an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury with the use of a weapon; Burglary: The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft; Larceny theft: the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another such as bicycles, shoplifting, and pocket-picking; Motor vehicle theft: the theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle; Arson: any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud a house, public building or any other personal property of another. (Atlas, 2011) Arson was not included in the Part I crime index’s originally when the Committee first formed the Uniform Crime Report. It was later added in 1979 to be included on the Uniform Crime Report.
Before looking into the Uniform Crime Report statistics, violent crime in Illinois seems to have been on the rise especially the major metropolitan areas like Chicago. Just based on the news reports and changes in the communities that I have seen over the years has led me to believe that violent crime has increased tremendously. But after looking into the statistics more...