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Predicting Crime with the Uniform Crime Reporting System

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PREDICTING CRIME WITH
THE UNIFORM CRIME REPORTING
SYSTEM

Predicting Crime With the Uniform Crime Reporting System
Mitchell Adair
Introduction to Criminal Justice: CJA 105-AUO A01 Argosy University

1 The Uniform Crime Reporting System is a statistical effort that is said to be cooperative of more than ten thousand state, city, and county law enforcement agencies on a basis that is considered to be voluntary when it comes to the reporting crime data that is brought to their attention. These agencies of the law enforcement profession covers more than eighty percent of the population of this nation.(DOJ/FBI, 2004) This said information that is produced by contributors of the Uniform Crime Reporting System is forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation directly through programs of UCR that is either state or local level of more than forty states and also D.C. State and local law enforcement agencies that directly submit to the FBI are given guidance on a continuous basis not to mention support individually. (DOJ/FBI, 2004) UCR programs that are on the level of state are links that have proven to be effective between contributors that are considered to be local and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well. A vast amount of these UCR programs have requirements of reporting that are said to be commanded by authority and gather data that goes well to the further side of the scope that when it comes to crime problems that need to be addressed, problems that are relevant to their jurisdictions.(Spencer, 2012) In a various amount of situations, these law enforcement agencies are more than able to give more service that is frequent as well as direct to agencies that are participants and they can also make more ready information for the use at the level of state as well as give to operations that are considered to be more efficient at the level that is nationwide. When it comes to the UCR, it has its advantages as well as disadvantages. The Uniform Crime Reports includes information that is considered to be official about events of criminal activity that has been given to the Federal Bureau of Investigation by agencies of law enforcement that reported the said crime. The advantages of the Uniform Crime Report is that one, the people of the community where the crime was committed are notified about certain crimes that have taken place in the area. There are citizens who want to know about the rates of crime in their communities, this is where the UCR can prove to be very beneficial. Families whose major concern are their children will more than likely want to view the crime rates in the schools in the surrounding area as well as neighborhoods that their children may have to walk through in order to get to school. On the down side, the UCR can prove not to be totally accurate. Agencies of law enforcement only report crimes that they have been notified of. Sex crimes are said to
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be reported on a more frequent basis that crimes such as breaking and entering, car theft and also robberies the statistics say. Another disadvantage of the Uniform Crime Report is how they describe the exact nature of as well as report cases of individuals who are victims of sexual assault. The only time these cases are reported is when a man has sexually assaulted a woman but not when the individual is a man or of the same sex; these cases are not reported into the UCR. The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s UCR’s definition of manslaughter that is labeled as non-negligent and murder the killing, willfully, of one individual by another.(UCR, 2011) In the year of 2011, the estimation of murders in the nation was well over 14,000. According to the FBI’s UCR, this was said to a decrease of about 0.7% when compared to the estimations of the year 2010, almost 15% (14.7%) decrease from the year 2007, and a decrease of about 10% from the year of 2002. (UCR, 2011) When it comes to the UCR assisting law enforcement agencies predicting and preventing crime in the future will prove to a plus being that it is said that the UCR is quite reliable for keeping reported crimes of the entire population of the United States. So, if law enforcement agencies pay attention to the statistics that are reported, they will more than likely be able to predict as well as prevent where and when, also the time a crime will more than likely occur. The Uniform Crime Report will prove to assist all law enforcement agencies when it comes to the prevention and the prediction of crimes in the future or future crimes. This will prove successful because these law enforcement agencies will have first hand knowledge of the predictor factors of the crime they will more than likely to be able to put together more officers on patrol so that they will have much success when it comes to preventing a crimes or the crime from taking place. The Bureau of Justice Statistics of the United States government gathers much information on how the rate of murder has changed over time. The chart below is the murder rate per 100,000 population. Please take notice that in the early 80’s as well as the late 2000’s, our nation experienced periods of recession.(Smith & Cooper, 2011) 3 Over the past three decades, crime has become an issue that is considered to be very major and of concern to the public at large. It has also come a issue that is major when it comes to discussions that are political as well as action and of major public spending funds. Very little is known when it comes to the factors that are the driving force of crime trends and the base of knowledge has far too many limitations when it comes to the supporting forecasts that are considered to be intelligent when it comes to the direction in which the rates of crime are going, especially when it comes to the changing of directions. When it comes to the development of knowledge base such as this, it is vital for the enhancement of public policies that are considered to be rational as well as the funds of the public that are in relation to crime. Behaviors of the past are said to be the best known predictors for behaviors of the future. When looked at from this perspective, it is considered to be reasonable when it comes to the prevention of crime by preventing criminals who are well known when it comes to their continuance of their criminal behavior.
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The UCR data had been issued since the 1960’s and has proven to be very useful when it comes to the prediction of crime as well as the crime rates from a perspective that considered to be historical as well as trends that are quite recent. (Rosenfeld & Goldberger, 2008) In the year 1974, the state of Iowa became involved very actively with the Uniform Crime Report, and Iowa was said to be just the fifth state of our nation to become identified as a reporting state that is certified under the system known as the National Incident-Based Reporting System or NIBRS, 1991.(Spencer, 2012) The Uniform Crime Report gives noticeable or important data when it comes to the prediction of crimes over a periods that are long, this is due to the function which is statistical, especially, in particular, the results of incidents per 100,000 people.(Spencer, 2012) Agencies of the law enforcement profession are required in any way what-so-ever, by law to give information to federal government agencies, FBI, to be produced in reports that are annual. However, there is a system that is in existence that is considered to be cooperative and voluntary for this purpose that has survey forms that are standard when it comes to making the reporting system among the vast amount of law enforcement agencies as uniform as possible.

References: Department of Justice/FBI (2004) Uniform Crime Report Handbook. Information retrieved from www.fbi.gov 1/14/2104. Spencer, D. (2012). The Uniform Crime Report and Good Lawmaking: An Indictment of the System. Useful Tools of Justice: the FBI Uniform Crime Report and National Incident Based Reporting System. The Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports (2011) Crime in the United States. Information retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr 1/16/2014. Cooper , A. & Smith, E. (2011) Homicide Trends in the United States. Information retrieved from http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=2221 1/16/2014
Rosenfeld, R. & Goldberger, A.S. (2008) Understanding Crime Trends: Workshop Report. Two factors contributing to U.S. crime trends…...

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