Contrasting Features Of Ucr And Nibrs Criminology Essay

Comparison of the Two Primary Crime Data Beginnings Used In the United States, the Uniform Crime Reporting ( UCR ) and the National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS )

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The two primary beginnings of offense informations employed in the United States of America to routinely supervise the nature and grade of offense are the Uniform Crime Reporting ( UCR ) and the National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) . The information for these two beginnings is gathered, organized and analyzed by assorted federal US bureaus such as the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ) . The information from these two beginnings is used by offense informations analysts to find the nature and strength of assorted jurisprudence breaches and to acquire information sing the background, behaviour and personality of the condemnable wrongdoers. The Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) consists of informations collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ) from more than 17,000 local constabulary sections throughout the USA. A much improved version of Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) is known as the National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) . The NIBRS holds an highly big grade of information about assorted offenses committed throughout the USA. The information contained within the NIBRS is organized in assorted complex ways. In the paragraphs to follow a elaborate treatment will be carried, comparing and contrasting assorted of import characteristics of the UCR and the NIBRS.

Contrasting Features of UCR and NIBRS

Number of discourtesies tracked

The figure of discourtesies tracked is one of the most of import points of distinction between UCR and NIBRS. Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) records offense reported and apprehensions made for the 8 Part I offenses and studies apprehension counts for Part II offenses while in the National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) Part I and Part II offense classification was replaced by Group A and Group B offenses ( Samaha, 2005 ) .

Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) : The informations collected from local constabulary sections across the USA is used to roll up Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) . At the UCR this information is so categorized into two groups, Part I offense and Part II discourtesy ( Lynch & A ; Addington, 2006 ) . The first group, Part I offense includes list of 8 index discourtesies including:



Robbery ( personal and commercial )

Aggravated assault

Burglary ( family and commercial )


Motor vehicle larceny


It is the duty of constabulary section across the USA to enter every reported happening of such offenses and so base on balls on the information to the FBI. At UCR the condemnable informations belonging to Part I offenses is farther broken down in footings of the metropolis, county, metropolitan country and the geographical division in which the incident occurred.

All the other types of offenses which are of less serious nature and for which local constabulary sections have small to no information are included in the list of Part II offenses. In entirety UCR lists 21 offenses in the list of Part II offenses. Vandalism, drug trafficking, spirits jurisprudence misdemeanor, fraud, peculation, gaming, intuition, disorderly behavior, transporting and possessing arms and other such offenses of non-violent nature and included among the list of Part II offenses.

National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) : The most of import point of difference between UCR and NIBRS is that in the NIBRS the categorization of offenses in the signifier of Part I and Part II offenses is discarded in the favour of Group A and Group B categorization of discourtesies. National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) contains information on 46 ‘Group A ‘ discourtesies that represent 22 index offense categories instead than merely concentrating on eight index discourtesies as in the instance of UCR.

The 22 ‘Group A ‘ index offense discourtesies are listed below:

Homicide ( negligent manslaughter, murder/non-negligent manslaughter, justifiable homicide-It is non categorized as a offense )

Forcible sex discourtesies


Assault ( Aggravated assault, simple assault and bullying )

Burglary ( interrupting and come ining )

Larceny ( Theft offenses )

Motor vehicle larceny



Non-forcible sex discourtesies

Counterfeiting/forgery discourtesies

Destruction/damage/vandalism of victim ‘s belongings

Drug/narcotic discourtesies

Pornography/obscene stuff





Gambling discourtesies


Stolen belongings discourtesies

Weapon jurisprudence misdemeanors

The ‘Group B ‘ consists of 11 condemnable discourtesies. This group covers all sorts and types of offenses non contained in the ‘Group A ‘ discourtesies.


Disorderly behavior

Bad cheques


Driving under the influence

Liquor jurisprudence misdemeanors


Peeping Tom

Nonviolent household discourtesies


All other discourtesies

Summary based versus Incident based coverage

Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) : The Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) system is besides known as the traditional system of coverage or the drumhead based coverage system. This system is based on matching the entire figure of incidences for Part I offenses every bit good as summing together the entire figure of felons arrested for perpetrating both Part I and Part II offenses. In other words, UCR informations consist of entire offense counts or drumhead informations of the offenses reported from constabulary sections across the state. In the UCR drumhead informations ‘group ‘ is the unit of analysis ; offense studies are merely available for metropoliss or counties and these may be summed up to find aggregative degree of offense across provinces and parts in the USA. This cumulative information is so submitted in the signifier of monthly drumhead studies to the FBI. It is for this ground UCR is besides known as the drumhead coverage system ( Department of Justice-FBI, 2004 ) .

The cardinal drawback of the sum-up based coverage system is that no distinguishable description is available for specifying the nature of discourtesy, the wrongdoers and the victims. This defect in UCR system is exposed whenever condemnable analysis is done at the basic degree concentrating on single offenses, wrongdoers and victim as it is possible to sum up single units of analysis to a higher degree, but it is non possible to disaggregate big grouped informations to the single degree.

National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) : As compared to the UCR, National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) is a really effectual offense coverage system that collects informations on each individual condemnable discourtesy and apprehension ( Siegel & A ; Senna, 2007 ) . This new system requires jurisprudence enforcement bureaus to subject at least a brief history of each condemnable discourtesy and the resulting apprehensions ( Regoli, Hewitt, & A ; DeLisi, 2009 ) . For each discourtesy known to the local jurisprudence enforcement governments, information within the classs of incident, belongings, victim, wrongdoer and arrestee is gathered. In entirety information for 53 informations elements within a sum of 22 offense classs is gathered ( Cole, Smith, & A ; DeJong, 2012 ) . The studies therefore developed are extremely elaborate and meaningful and can turn out to be extremely good for the local offense bureaus. Armed with across-the-board offense informations these bureaus can do a strong instance against violative felons and consecutive jurisprudence wrongdoers.

Revised Crime Definitions in the National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS )

NIBRS revised some of the bing offense definitions found in the sum-up based coverage system ( Hagan, 2003 ) . For case in the traditional UCR system, ‘Manslaughter by Negligence ‘ was defined as “ The violent death of another individual through gross carelessness ” whereas in the NIBRS the definition was altered to except the word “ gross ” , ‘Manslaughter by Negligence ‘ is now defined as “ The violent death of another individual through carelessness ” . Another point distinguishing between UCR and NIBRS in this class is that in the UCR system ‘Manslaughter by Negligence ‘ includes all sorts of traffic human deaths whereas in the NIBRS the definition was modified so that the sub-category of Homicide, ‘Negligent Manslaughter ‘ now counts all traffic human deaths as negligent manslaughter except merely the ‘accidental traffic deceases ‘ ( Vito & A ; Maahs, 2011 ) .

Within the ‘Assault ‘ offense class the UCR does non provides a definition for the subcategory of ‘intimidation ‘ . It is merely stated as an illustration of simple, non aggravated Part II discourtesy. As compared to the drumhead coverage system the NIBRS provides a proper definition for ‘intimidation ‘ .

Hierarchy regulation versus Individual discourtesy coverage

Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) : The hierarchy regulation employed by the traditional offense coverage system, Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) for categorization of offenses resulted in a figure of measurement mistakes. Under the spheres of the hierarchy jurisprudence if a condemnable commits more than one discourtesy in a individual incident than merely the most serious discourtesy will be listed as the cause of the incident ( Wilson, 2009 ) . The illustration below taken from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook efficaciously explains how the hierarchy regulation operates ( Maxfield & A ; Babbie, 2010 ) . A stealer broke into a place, stole several points, put them in the auto which belonged to the proprietor of the belongings. Merely when the burglar was about to go forth the proprietor returned and took the stealer by surprise who knocked the proprietor unconscious by hitting him in the caput with a chair. The burglar so drove off in the proprietors ‘ auto. Here the burglar committed a figure of offenses the categorization of these offenses harmonizing to the Hierarchy regulation will be done as follows:

Nature of offense

Categorization harmonizing to Part I and Part II discourtesy system

Burglary-Forced entry




Motor Vehicle Theft


Aggravated Assault


Robbery-Other unsafe arm


After categorization of the burglar ‘s discourtesies merely one discourtesy, falling into the class of ‘Robbery-Other unsafe arm ‘ ( 3c ) was described in the UCR. This discourtesy was listed as Robbery since it is the most serious offense among the list of list of discourtesies committed by the burglar. The lesser discourtesies were non accounted in that twelvemonth ‘s UCR sums. Therefore, the cogency and unity of UCR is extremely compromised for non numbering all offenses committed in an incident ( Regoli, Hewitt, & A ; DeLisi, 2011 ) .

National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) : The hierarchy regulation does non be under the National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) . Under the NIBRS local jurisprudence enforcement bureaus are required to subject elaborate information about all discourtesies committed in a individual incident ( Paynich & A ; Hill, 2011 ) . Harmonizing to the enchiridion of NIBRS an incident is defined as “ one or more discourtesies committed by the same wrongdoer or group of wrongdoers moving in concert, at the same clip and topographic point ” ( Department of Justice -FBI, 2000 ) .

In each condemnable happening NIBRS collects information on up to 10 discourtesies. This includes elaborate information about the victim, the wrongdoer, any informants and the nature and type of the discourtesy. The NIBRS besides provides information about the fortunes under which the felon discourtesy took topographic point and the known features of the victim and the wrongdoer such as their age, sex, race and the relationship between them ( Broder & A ; Tucker, 2011 ) . If the illustration cited above, listed as Robbery under the UCR system, was reported under the NIBRS all the information refering the nature of incident such as forced entry of the burglar, his act of stealing which includes stealing from place every bit good as vehicle larceny, the hurts he caused upon the proprietor of the house and the day of the month, clip and location of the incident would hold been reported ( Walsh & A ; Hemmens, 2010 ) . NIBRS is of great aid to condemnable analysts by supplying complete information about a peculiar incident.

Method of sorting offenses

Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) : The Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) sorts offenses into two wide classs ; offenses against individuals which includes discourtesies such as slaying, assault, robbery, domestic force and aggravated assault. The 2nd class, offenses against belongings includes discourtesies such as burglary, robbery, larceny-theft, hooliganism, incendiarism, car larceny, counterfeit and fraud.

National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) : Like the drumhead coverage system, NIBRS distinguishes between offenses against individuals and offenses against belongings, but unlike the UCR, NIBRS has included a 3rd class of offense ; the offenses against society. This new class was created to forbid the people from prosecuting in morally devolving activities. This class covers discourtesies such as gaming, drug misdemeanors, pornography/obscene stuff, harlotry and other such frailty offenses ( Rantala & A ; Edwards, 2000 ) . These offenses are recorded as one discourtesy per distinguishable operation. These offenses are besides known as victimless offenses because these offenses are normally non committed against a individual hence they can non be listed in the class of offenses against individuals. These offenses besides can non be labeled as a belongings offense since belongings is non the aim behind this class of offenses.

Attempted versus completed offenses

Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) : No mechanism existed in the UCR system for separating between offenses that were completed and offenses that were left in the center or in other words, were left uncomplete. This led to serious confusions as many attempted or uncomplete offenses were reported in the mode as if they were complete.

National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) : As compared to UCR, National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) makes a clear differentiation between the attempted and completed offenses. In the NIBRS each condemnable discourtesy is labeled as either an ‘A ‘ which stands for ‘Attempted Crime ‘ or ‘C ‘ which means a “ Completed Crime ” .

Meanss for informations correlativity

Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) : Many condemnable probes require informations analysts to pull assorted correlativities between the collected information. The major defect of Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) is that it earnestly lacks mechanisms for developing effectual correlativities among informations on discourtesies, apprehensions and victims. The drumhead coverage system merely enables informations correlativity in instance of a homicide incident. In a homicide incident the UCR can correlate the age, race and sex of the condemnable wrongdoer to the age, race and sex of the victim.

National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) : As compared to the sum-up based coverage system, the NIBRS uses both expressed and implied linkages for ciphering the grade of correlativity between different types of information values. The expressed linkages are used to link together data elements such as wrongdoers, discourtesies, victims, belongings, arrestees to the condemnable incidents ( Department of Justice -FBI, 2004 ) . The inexplicit linkage, on the other manus is used to pull linkage between all the wrongdoers and victims in any condemnable discourtesy, since each condemnable wrongdoer in any condemnable incident indirectly or straight participates in the committee of discourtesy against the victims. The handiness of incident specific information from National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) means that jurisprudence enforcement bureaus can non merely pull complicated relationships between victims and wrongdoers but besides can find correlativity between these relationships and the offense information ; a functionality lacked by the sum-up based coverage system.

Collection of Weapon Information

Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) : The Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) merely collects weapon information for condemnable discourtesies such as slaying, robbery and aggravated assault.

National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) : As compared to the sum-up based coverage system, the NIBRS records weapon information for all violent condemnable discourtesies ( Cohen & A ; Wright, 2011 ) .

Establishing Victim-to-Offender Relationship

Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) : In the Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) system the relationship of the victim to the wrongdoer ( for illustration, the victim was the married woman, hubby, male parent, brother, boy, employee or employer of the wrongdoer ) is reported merely in homicide events.

National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) : As compared to the sum-up based coverage system, in NIBRS the victim ‘s relationship to the wrongdoer is reported for all offenses falling under the class of ‘Crimes against Person ‘ i.e. , slaying discourtesy, assault discourtesy, kidnapping/abduction discourtesy, robbery discourtesy, domestic force and aggravated assault discourtesy. The relationship between victims to wrongdoers is besides reported in instance of a robbery since one chief component of the robbery discourtesy is an assault which renders it be a violent offense ( Department of Justice -FBI, 2000 ) .

Circumstance Coverage

Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) : In the Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) system the circumstance information is collected merely in instance of a homicide discourtesy.

National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) : In the modified offense coverage system, NIBRS, the circumstance information is collected merely for homicides every bit good as aggravated assaults.

Hotel Rule

Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) : Harmonizing to the Uniform Crime Reports ( UCR ) system the hotel regulation provinces that whenever multiple units of a installation for e.g. , a hotel are burglarized and the director reports the incident to the constabulary instead than single residents the constabulary will number the multiple burglary incident as a individual discourtesy ( Burgess, Regehr, & A ; Roberts, 2012 ) .

National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) : In the NIBRS the hotel regulation was modified and extended to mini-warehouses and self-storage warehouses.

Advantages and disadvantages of UCR and NIBRS

There are several advantages every bit good as disadvantages of both UCR and NIBRS. Some of them are compared as below.




Extensive informations coverage across assorted geographical countries.

Individually studies each discourtesy that occurs in a condemnable incident.

Particular focal point on offenses committed against jurisprudence enforcement professionals.

Four times more inclusive offense classs as compared to UCR.

Standardized offense definitions.

Contains victimization information.




Hierarchy regulation ; studies merely the most serious offense or event.

Execution of NIBRS across local constabulary sections has been rather slow.

Sums different discourtesies into same offense class.

Engagement in NIBRS requires increased informations entry demands.

Measurement and coverage prejudice.

NIBRS does non use informations that constitute a representative sample of the population, states or jurisprudence enforcement bureaus.

Deductions of UCR and NIBRS

The Uniform Crime Reporting ( UCR ) system has collected, categorized and presented offense figures for the greatest portion of the 20th century. The UCR system greatly aided jurisprudence enforcement organisations in roll uping a immense database comprising of dependable offense statistics. In the 20 first century UCR plan went through major alterations, it is now being replaced by a more comprehensive and elaborate offense coverage system called National Incident-Based Reporting System. The deductions of such an effectual and expeditiously developed offense coverage system are many, it is expected that the NIBRS system will turn out to be a frontline arm for jurisprudence enforcement bureaus across the state.


In the USA the two chief beginnings for accessing condemnable informations are the Uniform Crime Reporting ( UCR ) and the National Incident-Based Reporting System ( NIBRS ) . The UCR was the old and out-of-date system for maintaining condemnable records which was replaced by the revised and updated NIBRS in 1989. There are a figure of differences between the UCR and the NIBRS yet the most of import difference is that UCR is fundamentally a sum-up based coverage system while NIBRS studies condemnable discourtesies at the incident degree. The UCR collects informations in a drumhead format besides known as the sum or sum entire methodological analysis. The drumhead format for informations aggregation meant that single features and fortunes of every condemnable discourtesy were lost. This job was solved with the debut of NIBRS system. The NIBRS non merely collects aggregative informations but besides provides an effectual methodological analysis for keeping the significance of each distinct unit of information. The computerized databases used by NIBRS greatly assist condemnable analysts and research workers in doing specific offense related questions.


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