The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program

This paper discusses the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program,
describing its flaws and suggesting improvements.

This paper explains that the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program
only records data from known offenders, or people who are arrested by police departments in the USA , but does not take into consideration findings of a court, coroner, jury, or the decision of a prosecutor. The author reports that the UCR can be improved by including a measure of unreported crimes and changing outdated definitions of specific crimes. The paper stresses that, while law enforcement uses the UCR as a resource, the UCR also is an important social indicator for politicians, the media, and thus the greater American public; therefore, the UCR should begin to reflect the needs of this broader population in its mandate.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Criticism of the UCR
Means to Improve the UCR
Conclusion

Further improvement to the UCR can be achieved through bettering the UCR’s known current underreporting and underestimation of certain crimes. First, the UCR should include a measure of unreported crimes. Certainly, the inclusion of this type of data is sometimes problematic, as it often rests on public perceptions of the rate of crime and estimates of the occurrence of certain crimes, and thus may be inherently unreliable. Thus, this report recommends that the UCR include a separate category for ‘unreported’ crime statistics that are currently not included in the UCR. As such, the reporting of traditionally unreported crimes will not directly effect the reporting of reported or known crimes. Second, the UCR can be improved by reporting all crimes that occur in a group of crimes.

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