Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's October 2001

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

There are many ways to estimate crime in the United States. The Uniform Crime Report (UCR), The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and Self-Report Surveys are all ways to see the trends in crime. All of these systems have plus' and negatives, and they all show the same type of data, but it is gathered in different ways. Also what we know about crime rates and what makes them fluctuate is also very important.

The UCR is the "most widely cited source of complete crime statistics"� (Siegel pg. 51). The Federal Bureau of Investigation takes records from over 17,000 police departments nation wide and compiles all the data into statistics. These statistics look at murder, aggravated rape, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, arson, motor vehicle theft, and robbery. This data is not required to be given to the FBI.

One major problem with the UCR is that not all the departments give the FBI their information.

Another issue with the UCR is that it only looks at the crimes that are reported. In a lot of cases crimes are not reported to the police, therefor they can not be reported on the UCR. An example of a crime that is not reported to the police is rape, men and women. Men do not report this crime because they are afraid of what will happen to them. Some women also do not report rape for the same reason and because of fear for their attacker might come back to hurt them again.

Another problem with the UCR is that each Law Enforcement Agency has different reporting methods. Some times there are systematic errors, some don't count all the arrest if they are not formal bookings. There is about a 10%error rate.

There are three ways to show the data that the UCR...