Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)


Data on Health and Well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Other Native Americans, Data Catalog

Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)

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Sponsor: U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ)/Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Description: The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program is a nationwide, cooperative summary statistical effort of more than 17,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily reporting data on crimes brought to their attention. The UCR Program collects offense information for murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. It also collects information on the characteristics of persons arrested, victims and offenders in homicides and nonnegligent manslaughter, and offenders in hate crimes.
Relevant Policy Issues: Rates of Involvement with Justice System.
Data Type(s): Registry
Unit of Analysis: The unit of analysis is arrests. One person may be arrested multiple times during the year; as a result, the arrest tabulations cannot be considered as a total number of individuals arrested.
Identification of AI/AN/NA: According to the UCR Handbook, revised in 2004, the racial categories used in the UCR Program were adopted from the Statistical Policy Handbook (1978) published by the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards, U.S. Department of Commerce. The racial designations are defined as follows:
  • White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.
  • Black. A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native (AI/AN). A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.
  • Asian or Pacific Islander. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands. This area includes, for example, China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, and Samoa.
AI/AN/NA Population in Data Set: The total number of arrests of AI/ANs in 2004 was 135,479 for all ages. Of this total, 20,391 AI/AN arrests involved individuals who were under 18 years of age. Total arrests of AI/AN offenders in hate crimes was 41. Information was not available on offenders or victims of homicide because in the published tables, AI/AN is combined with other races into an other race category. However, this information is available in the raw data sets, which are available from the UCR Program.
Geographic Scope: The geographic scope of the reporting system is national. Analyses are presented for principal cities in metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), metropolitan counties (counties within an MSA), nonmetropolitan counties (counties outside an MSA), and suburban areas (counties within an MSA but excluding principal city). Breakdowns of the data are also available regionally and by population group as well.
Date or Frequency: Law enforcement agencies submit data on a monthly basis and the data are compiled into annual files. Data are published in annual reports.
Data Collection Methodology: Law enforcement agencies contribute crime data through their respective state UCR Program. For those states that do not have a state program, local agencies submit crime statistics directly to the FBI.
Participation: Optional, without incentives
Response Rate: During 2004, law enforcement agencies active in the UCR Program represented 94.2 percent of the total number of law enforcement agencies.
Strengths: The data source contains a large AI/AN population. Data are collected on a key policy issue, involvement with the justice system. There are multiple years of data available. This data source is a vast compilation of published tables that are widely used for tracking crime trends across the nation. Additionally, an archive of master files (final data, not estimates) are available upon request.
Limitations: These are summary data that do not allow analyses beyond simple tabulations by geographic unit, race, and broad age groupings. Moreover, these are primarily tabulations of arrests and, in some cases victim information, so these data cannot be used to determine the number of unique individuals who have been arrested within a year. Some offense data for each year are estimated (arrest data are not estimated) because not all law enforcement agencies are able to provide data for complete reporting periods. The estimates are computed by using the known offense figures of similar areas within a state and assigning the same proportion of crime volumes to nonreporting agencies or agencies with missing data. The estimation process considers the following: population size of agency, type of jurisdiction (e.g., police department versus sheriffs office), and geographic location.
Other: The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which is compiled in addition to the UCR as summary reporting, covers 80 percent of the nations reporting. The NIBRS collects data on each single incident and arrest within 22 crime categories. For each offense known to police within these categories, incident, victim, property, offender, and arrestee information are gathered when available. The goal of the redesign is to modernize crime information by collecting data currently maintained in law enforcement records while maintaining the integrity of UCRs long-running statistical series. Implementation of the NIBRS is occurring at a pace commensurate with the resources, abilities, and limitations of the contributing law enforcement agencies. In, 2004, 29 state programs had been certified for NIBRS participation. For current UCR reporting, NIBRS data are summarized in order to be combined with the UCR data. Contact information for the NIBRS is the same as for the UCR.
Contact Information: The general website for the UCR is http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm. At this website, reports and statistical tables are available for 1995-2005 (provisional data).

For more information regarding the FBIs UCR data, you may contact a member of the Communications Unit staff by telephone at (304) 625-4995; by facsimile at (304) 625-5394; or by Internet at cjis_comm@leo.gov. (E-mail data requests cannot be processed unless requesters include their full name, a mailing address, and a contact telephone number.)

Reports of Interest: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/documents/CIUS2004.pdf


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