The FBI gathers and publishes U.S. crime statistics through its Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which was created in 1929 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Among the UCR’s annual publications are “Crime in the United States,” “Hate Crime Statistics” and “Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted.”
More than 17,000 law enforcement agencies provide data to the FBI, and the goal of the UCR program is to supply agencies with dependable information on crime nationwide. The UCR site is also a valuable tool for researchers. Visitors can find crime statistics for states, metropolitan areas, cities with populations of more than 10,000, rural and suburban counties, and colleges and universities. Within the report summary of “Crime in the United States,” visitors can see a crime clock that breaks down how often each type of crime is committed and a map that shows the crime breakdown by region of the United States. The section titled “offenses reported” includes in-depth statistics such as race, sex and age of the perpetrators, and breakdowns for property, violent and hate crimes. The “special reports” section provides researchers with more specific studies, such as arrests of juveniles for drug abuse violations or violence against infants.
The National Incident-Based Reporting System, a separate data collection system, offers a more detailed look at each crime occurrence, with data on every incident and arrest in various categories. The NIBRS data have been used to produce reports such as an examination of white-collar crime or an analysis of the structure of family violence.
Comments: The website is a helpful and reliable source of crime statistics. Visitors can read the guidelines for reporting, defining and scoring a crime. The site does note that not all of the data it receives can be published due to computer issues, changes in record management systems and personnel shortages within individual agencies.