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The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) are the three main sources used to provide annual reports on various statistics such as: crimes, offenders, victims and more. The crime data reporting systems are used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
NCVS provides information pertaining to the victims, measures types of crimes including those not reported to law enforcement. The annual survey focuses on non-fatal personal crimes such as rape, robbery and assault as well as property crimes that include burglary, vandalism and theft. Other type of information found on the NCVS survey is calculated crimes as well as comparing the changes in crime rates throughout the years.
The UCR program provides information from 18,000 agencies nationwide with a goal to produce accurate information from reports disclosed to law enforcement such as murder, aggravated assault and forcible rape. The UCR program provides additional data on the officers killed and assaulted and the relationship between the victim and offender.
NIBRS gathers detailed information that was measured in the UCR program as well as any occurrences and arrests from law enforcement agencies. Divided into group A and group B offenses, detailed information such as the date, time, area where the incident occurred, victim and offender demographics and relationship and the type of weapon used.
In my opinion, the UCR program is more important because it is the system that is more widely used by researchers’, the public, law enforcement agencies and college students. The UCR relies on 18,000 agencies which provides more information. However, NIBRS is more accurate as it provides crime statistics by supplying a contingency for crimes as well as the detailed information provided by officers from their incident reports. All infractions within every criminal occurrence is surveyed and due to its ability to provide vital crime statistics, it has improved the quality of crime data.
A challenge that exists in reporting systems, is that law enforcement agencies in large populations aren’t reporting their data as well as some victims because of their fear or negative view towards the law and police officers. To overcome the challenges, all participants should provide information to the NCVS, UCR and NIBRS to ensure that crime statistics are accurate and public needs are being met. It’s would also help if police officers have more interaction with communities to build a rapport so they will feel more comfortable to report a crime.
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