Measuring Crime

Good Essays
Measuring Crime
Angaleana Williams
CJA/204
May 26,2014
Robert Bradley
Measuring Crime
There are three tools used to measure crime in the United States; Uniform Crime Report , National Crime Victimization Survey and National Incident Based Reporting System . Two major crimes reporting programs exist. The first is the Uniform Crimes Reports or UCR (National Institute of Justice, 2009). The UCR is utilized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for documenting crimes and making decisions on policies. The eight crimes that are tracked by the UCR are arson, robbery, rape, theft, burglary, aggravated assault, murder, and vehicle theft. The data contains reports of specific incidents of arrests but does not include details of arrest. Only the most serious offense of an arrest is recorded. Approximately over Seventeen thousand law enforcement agencies convey information to the Federal Bureau Investigation through the UCR database. However, the data is not a useful tool for investigating local crimes due to inadequate reporting. The second reporting program is the National Incident-Based Reporting System or NIBRS (National Institute of Justice, 2009). The NIBRS is a more comprehensive version of the UCR. More details are documented pertaining to each crime and there are 46 different crimes being tracked (National Institute of Justice). The NIBRS records minute details concerning each arrest such as location, victim, offender, weapons, injuries, etc. While the UCR only records the most serious offense of an arrest the NIBRS records all offenses. The NIBRS allows law enforcement the ability to analyze the data and construct a more informed examination of criminal activity within the community (National Institute,2009). Utilizing this system also allows law enforcement the capacity to collect evidence that assists in the implementation of better solutions and practices relating to crime. Researchers also make use of the NIBRS to examine many factors.

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