The Importance Of Crime Data Collection

780 Words 4 Pages
To narrow down exactly which crime data collection data gives the most reliable representation of crime rate in the United States I had to rule out which ones I knew where not. With all great sound arguments one must lead with the process of elimination first. So to begin this journey I first researched the three most profound data collections: Uniform Crime Report (UCR), The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), and The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
The first choice was easy to rule out. The NCVS was simply the most unreliable all though it gave the most information, it simply is not the most reliable. According to Siegel et al. (2015), a “weakness of self-report surveys are that they rely on the honesty of offenders
…show more content…
When asking them I was surprised by their answer. They said “What was NIBRS?” So I explained to them what it was and they read my textbook to because they wanted to know just exactly what it was since they never heard of it. Then the most profound statement stood out. “Clearly there must be a more reliable source for crime statistics than the UCR as it stands today. Beginning in 1982, a five-year redesign effort was undertaken to provide more comprehensive and detailed crime statistics. The effort resulted in the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), a program that collects data on each reported crime incident” (Siegel et al., 2015, pg32). The cops said well this must be the one that is most reliable. However I was not convinced, how reliable could a source of data be if the cops in a major city did not even know what it was.
This led me to my next quest why was NIBRS not a reliable source of data? after reading the text book I still thought this was the best source it contained the most information and had the most reliable data until I read this “About one-third of all the police agencies that contribute data to the UCR are now part of the NIBRS program. When fully implemented and adopted across the nation, NIBRS
…show more content…
“The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program is a nationwide, cooperative statistical effort of nearly 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily reporting data on crimes brought to their attention. Since 1930, the FBI has administered the UCR Program and continued to assess and monitor the nature and type of crime in the Nation.” (Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics et al., 2009) “The UCR is the best known and most widely cited source of official criminal statistics.” (Siegel et al., 2015, pg 28) This made the UCR the most reliable representation for crime rate in the United States because it has the most local law enforcement agencies reporting to it. By having the most reports it certainly has become the most popular. Although it has some weaknesses so do each of the crime data sources which is why when used in combination they each give us a unique outlook on crime in the United

Related Documents