Uniform Crime Reports V Ncvs Essay Research

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Uniform Crime Reports V. Ncvs Essay, Research Paper Arguments over crime statistics have been raging ever since governments began counting criminal activity. In 1930 the United States congress authorized the attorney general of the United States to survey crime in America. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was chosen to implement the program. (Schmalleger p.38) The Uniform Crime Reports is the survey taken by the FBI. This measure of crime in America depends on reports to the police by victims of crimes. The UCR Program was developed by the FBI for the purpose of serving law enforcement as a tool for operational and administrative purposes. Through the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the UCR Program was developed. Later, the National Sheriffs’

Association (NSA) endorsed the program and acts in an advisory capacity today. Prior to 1930, no comprehensive system of crime information on a national scale existed. Now, for close to sixty years, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program has been collecting crime date from participating states, either from the individual agencies within the states or directly from state programs. Statistics are gathered on what is referred to as the “index crimes”. The seven offenses comprising the crime index are murder, rape, robbery, aggravate assault, burglary, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft. Arson was added to the offenses in 1978. Whenever complaints of crime are determined through investigation to be unfounded or false, they are eliminated from an agency’s count. The

number of actual offenses known is reported regardless of whether anyone is arrested for the crime, stolen property is recovered, or prosecution is undertaken. In addition, the Summary UCR Program follows what is known as the “Hierarchy Rule” which requires counting only the most serious offense in an incident, ignoring all others. However, this rule only applies to crime reporting and does not affect the number of charges for which a defendant may be prosecuted in the courts. Arson is an exception to the “Hierarchy Rule”. One of the problems with the Uniform Crime Reports is that many citizens do not always make official reports. For example, many women refuse to report rapes because they do not want to relive the ordeal. Some citizen’s feel that the police will not be

able to do anything about a crime committed against them therefore they do not report it. Another problem with the Uniform Crime Reports is that Victimless crimes are rarely reported. These are crimes like prostitution, gambling, and drug use. Since many of these crimes are not reported, then the UCR becomes somewhat vague and incomplete. When reviewing crime data, it is important for the reader to note the difference between offenses and arrests. Offenses relate to events and arrests relate to persons. A single offense may involve no arrestees; may involve one arrestee; or may involve many arrestees. National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is the Nation’s primary source of information on criminal victimization. Twice each year, data are obtained from a nationally

representative sample of roughly 49,000 households comprising about 100,000 persons on the frequency, characteristics, and consequences of criminal victimization in the United States. The survey reports the likelihood of victimization by rape, sexual assault, robbery, assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft for the population as a whole as well as for segments of the population such as women, the elderly, members of various racial groups, city dwellers, or other groups. The NCVS provides the largest national forum for victims to describe the impact of crime and characteristics of violent offenders. The problems with the National Crime Victimization Survey are that some victims are afraid to report crimes even to nonpolice interviewers. Another problem is that