Crime Data Collection

We have at our disposal two major databases exclusively created to aid law enforcement. The first one is administered and updated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. It is appropriately identified as the Uniform Crime Report or UCR. The UCR contain official data transferred to and received from various law enforcement agencies across America. This interchange of crime statistics is based upon what is referred to as index crimes such as homicide, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault and similar anti-social behaviors. On a monthly basis various law enforcement agencies direct their crime numbers to the central database at the FBI facilities. (Frequently Asked Questions Federal Bureau of Investigation). Results of the FBI’s compilations are published annually and dissemination of the assembled data is readily made available to law enforcement agencies around the nation.

Participation by various law enforcement bureaus is on a voluntary basis therefore one can not verify total accuracy in the conclusive results. Reported data to the UCR is generally indexed as violent or property type crimes in its Part I section while its Part II expands slightly and tracks more specific crimes. The information is broken down into several different reports which we will bypass at this time.

One of the major complaints lodged against the UCR is that their members feel it does not accurately reflect the actual crime rates since its inclusions only listing crimes which have been reported to the law enforcement agencies. In addition, it only tracks major crimes and not any minor violations thus it is impossible to link the minor and major crimes together. As an example of this downfall suppose a person is murdered during a carjacking, the reported information would be listed under the category of murder and not the car jacking. Inconsistencies exists specifically in the manner for which forcible rape crimes are submitted to the database as the inputs...