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Measuring Crime Essay

There are so many different police agencies and levels here in the United States. Here are a few of the Federal policing agencies: Department of agriculture, commerce, Defense, FBI, and justice, but there are 15 Federal departments. The State level agencies consist of highway patrols, port authorities, state police, fish and wild life police which are only a few of the state levels agencies. At the local level agencies, there are campus, constables, transit police, and sheriff’s department, which also are just a small portion of the local level agencies. With so many policing agencies, we measure the crime level here in the United States with three main tools. “They are uniform crime report, National crime victimization survey, and the National incident based reporting system.

The uniform crime report: Law enforcement agencies voluntarily report crime statistics on a monthly basis to the FBI. Areas of interest are murder, burglary, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, larceny/theft, auto theft and arson. The National victimization survey is conducted by the Bureau of Justice statistics; the survey is conducted every six months on all household members 12 and older to help determine the magnitude of illegal unfair treatment-mainly unreported victimization. The National incident based reporting system is new and currently being tested and evaluated. This system will eventually replace the uniform crime report. Additionally, this report will expand the list of crimes for which data is collected” (University of Phoenix, 2013). Major crime reporting programs and purposes

In the United States, there are several modes of crime reporting that assist lawmakers, citizens, and criminal justice officials with accurate information regarding various crimes. The three major programs are the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS), Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), and National Crime Reporting (NCR). Each reporting system serves a direct reporting purpose that has advantages for some and disadvantages for others. The three crime reporting systems have distinct origins that details the need for the creation of each system while providing justification for its longevity. The three major crime reporting systems are feasible for people trying to gain information on crimes and will be relevant until more intricate systems exist.

“The objective of the Uniform Crime Reporting program is to produce crime statistics for law enforcement administration, operation, and management” (Texas Department of Public Safety, 2014). UCR is a national administrative program that uses collaboration between, states, counties, and federal law enforcement agencies to publish criminal statistics. Although effective, the UCR is not 100 percent accurate because all departments do not report criminal data to the program. The NIBRS focuses on incidents and arrests as opposed to crime completely and the information is generated by local, state, and federal agencies. National Crime Reporting is a program that shows the crime statistics of the nation.

It is an index of information that is available to federal, state, and local authorities. The major purposes of crime reporting programs are to provide senior officials with an accurate snapshot of crime data that fluctuates. The data has many purposes to many people like city officials who use the data to place emphasis on certain crimes. The data is also important to media and public citizens who use the information to conduct research or shop for homes. Though the information is mostly accurate, the Federal Bureau of Investigations discourages negatively using the information to depict a region, state, county, or city. There are numerous factors that influence the fluctuation of certain crimes in different areas so using common sense to decipher the sociological factors is necessary.


Texas Department of Public Safety. (2014). The Texas uniform crime reporting program. Retrieved from http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/crime_records/pages/ucr.htm University of Phoenix (2013) Interactive Multi-Media CJI Link [Multimedia]. Retrieved from
University of Phoenix, CJA-204 website

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