Crime Data Sources in the United States

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Crime Data Sources in the United States: The collection of crime data in the United States is carried out through different approaches including Uniform Crime Reports and the National Incident-Based Reporting System, which also act as the two primary sources of crime data for crime reporting. The data obtained from these sources are used for research and documentation of crime status at the county, state, and national levels. Notably, the National Incident-Based Reporting System emerged as an advancement of the conventional summary of Uniform Crime Reports that were used to track crime in the country. In addition, the Congress uses data from these sources together with those from the National Crime Victimization Survey to guide policy decisions and create suitable responses to crime. While the use of these sources helps in dealing with crime in the United States, they have some similarities and differences between them with regards to methodological processes and implications. Uniform Crime Reports (UCR): Uniform Crime Reports were introduced in the late 1920s as the initial national, standardized measure of crime incidence (James & Council, 2008). This approach was initially regarded as a means of measuring the effectiveness of local law enforcement to offer enforcement through data that could help in fighting crime. Since its introduction UCR developed to an extent that it was widely used by academics and governmental officials for various purposes like policy, planning, and research. In addition to increased use, Uniform Crime Reports are the most commonly cited crime statistics across the country. However, in the recent past, there have been numerous efforts to assess UCR data quality through comprehensive methods de... ... middle of paper ... ...ttempted or completed, which helps in ensuring that attempted offenses are not regarded as completed crime. This system provides a way of ensuring the differentiation between these types of offenses. Conclusion: Uniform Crime Reports and the National Incident-Based Reporting System are two primary sources of crime. These methods have been used to provide information that help law enforcement agencies in fighting crime. However, the systems have been characterized by several concerns that are mainly centered on their effectiveness in fighting crime. Despite of their increased use and associated concerns UCR and NIBRS have certain similarities and differences between them. The similarities emerge from the fact that NIBRS was developed as an improvement for UCR while the differences are attributed to attempts by NIBRS to deal with the weaknesses of UCR program.
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