Characteristics And Strengths Of The Uniform Crime Reports

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1. The first data collection source is the Uniform Crime Reports. UCR was a voluntary program that began in the 1920’s by the international association of chiefs of police. It was turned to the FBI in 1930. UCR’s collect data and statistics about the persons arrested, offense known to the police, crime offenses cleared by the police and law enforcement personnel. Uniform Crime Reports were last collected in 2009. Followed by the UCR, are National Crime Victimization Surveys, formerly called National Crime Surveys. NCVS have been conducted annually since 1972 by the Bureau of the Census for the U.S Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics. The data is collected by asking respondents to the survey if they have been victims of any …show more content…
Strengths of using Uniform Crime Reports as a data source is that it is relatively inexpensive. UCR’s also measure homicides and arrests which makes it a consistent national sample, and a large source of data. The National Incident Based Reporting System contains more data on each crime committed, and the additional level of detail supports the resolution of criminological issues. There is also no hierarchy rule under the NIBRS system. National Crime Victimization Surveys include crimes that are not reported to police which is called the dark figure of crime. Crimes not reported typically include rape, sexual assault, and abuse. People do not want to report crimes because they are afraid of the results so many of these incidents go largely unreported. The NCVS also uses careful sampling techniques and conducts a yearly survey. Self-Report Surveys also include crimes that are not reported. Self- Report also includes substance abuse and the offender’s personal …show more content…
Weaknesses of Uniform Crime Reports are that it does not include crimes not reported to the police, which as stated before make up a large amount of the crime committed. UCR’s also do not include drug usage and typically has reporting errors made by the officers during arrest. The NIBRS also does not include crimes not reported to the police and is very hard to report anything using this system. Because of the difficulty, people do not want to use this method of obtaining data. The NIBRS also reports on multiple offenses which makes it looks like crime had increased. National Crime Victimization Surveys rely heavily on the honesty and the memory of victims. Some victims might exaggerate their incidents or omit information to make something seem more dramatic or severe than it was. NCVS also does not include substance abuse in their data. Another weakness is that interviewers can sometimes be biased or may cheat. One of the biggest weaknesses of Self-Report Crime Surveys is that it asks about less serious offenses such as skipping class and omits questions about serious crimes such as robbery and assault. Self-Report Surveys also have to reply on the honesty of offenders who may lie out of fear of being punished. Self-Rep ort Surveys omit offenders who refuse to participate who may also be the most dangerous since they are not willing to share

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