Uniform Crime Reports

The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program compiles official data on crime in the United States, published by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). UCR is "a nationwide, cooperative statistical effort of nearly 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies voluntarily reporting data on crimes brought to their attention".[2]

Crime statistics are compiled from UCR data and published annually by the FBI in the Crime in the United States series.

The FBI does not collect the data itself. Rather, law enforcement agencies across the United States provide the data to the FBI, which then compiles the Reports.

The Uniform Crime Reporting program began in 1929, and since then has become an important source of crime information for law enforcement, policymakers, scholars, and the media. The UCR Program consists of four parts:

The FBI publishes annual data from these collections in Crime in the United States, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, and Hate Crime Statistics.

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Badge of a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent
Badge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Flag of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Common nameFederal Bureau of Investigation
MottoFidelity, Bravery, Integrity
Agency overview
FormedJuly 26, 1908
Employees35,104[1] (October 31, 2014)
Annual budgetUS$8.3 billion (FY 2014)[1]
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agency
(Operations jurisdiction)
United States
Operations jurisdictionUnited States
Legal jurisdictionAs per operations jurisdiction
Governing bodyU.S. Department of Justice
Constituting instrument
General nature
HeadquartersJ. Edgar Hoover Building
Northwest, Washington, D.C.

Sworn members13,260 (October 31, 2014)[1]
Unsworn members18,306 (October 31, 2014)[1]
Agency executives
Child agencies
Major units
Field offices56 (List of FBI Field Offices)
Significant operation(s)


The UCR Program was based upon work by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the Social Science Research Council (SSRC)[3] throughout the 1920s to create a uniform national set of crime statistics, reliable for analysis. In 1927, the IACP created the Committee on Uniform Crime Reporting to determine statistics for national comparisons. The committee determined seven crimes fundamental to comparing crime rates: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, burglary, aggravated assault, larceny and motor vehicle theft (the eighth, arson, was added under a congressional directive in 1979). The early program was managed by the IACP, prior to FBI involvement, done through a monthly report. The first report in January 1930 reported data from 400 cities throughout 43 states, covering more than 20 million individuals, approximately twenty percent of the total U.S. population.[4]

On June 11, 1930, through IACP lobbying, the United States Congress passed legislation enacting 28 U.S.C. § 534, which granted the office of the Attorney General the ability to "acquire, collect, classify, and preserve identification, criminal identification, crime, and other records" with the ability to appoint officials to oversee this duty, including the subordinate members of the Bureau of Investigation. The Attorney General, in turn, designated the FBI to serve as the national clearinghouse for the data collected, and the FBI assumed responsibility for managing the UCR Program in September 1930. The July 1930 issue of the IACP crime report announced the FBI's takeover of the program. While the IACP discontinued oversight of the program, they continued to advise the FBI to better the UCR.

Since 1935, the FBI served as a data clearinghouse; organizing, collecting, and disseminating information voluntarily submitted by local, state, federal and tribal law enforcement agencies. The UCR remained the primary tool for collection and analysis of data for the next half century. Throughout the 1980s, a series of National UCR Conferences were with members from the IACP, Department of Justice, including the FBI, and newly formed Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The purpose was to determine necessary system revisions and then implement them. The result of these conferences was the release of a Blueprint for the Future of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program release in May 1985, detailing the necessary revisions. The report proposed splitting reported data into two separate categories, the eight serious crimes (which later became known as "Part I index crimes") and 21 less commonly reported crimes (which later became known as "Part II index crimes").

In 2003, FBI UCR data were compiled from more than 16,000 agencies, representing 93 percent of the population[5] in 46 states and the District of Columbia.[6] While nationally reporting is not mandated, many states have instituted laws requiring law enforcement within those states to provide UCR data.

Data collection

Each month, law enforcement agencies report the number of known index crimes in their jurisdiction to the FBI. This mainly includes crimes reported to the police by the general public, but may also include crimes that police officers discover, and known through other sources. Law enforcement agencies also report the number of crime cases cleared.

UCR crime categories

FBI UCR crime-clock 2014
FBI Crime Clock – 2014
2004 UCR Overview
Violent and Property Crime Indexes per 100,000 population, 2004 Uniform Crime Report

For reporting purposes, criminal offenses are divided into two major groups: Part I offenses and Part II offenses.

In Part I, the UCR indexes reported incidents of index crimes which are broken into two categories: violent and property crimes. Aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder, and robbery are classified as violent while arson, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft are classified as property crimes. These are reported via the document named Return A – Monthly Return of Offenses Known to the Police. Part 1 crimes are collectively known as Index crimes, this name is used because the crimes are considered quite serious, tend to be reported more reliably than others, and are reported directly to the police and not to a separate agency (ex- IRS) that doesn't necessarily contribute to the UCR.

In Part II, the following categories are tracked: simple assault, curfew offenses and loitering, embezzlement, forgery and counterfeiting, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, drug offenses, fraud, gambling, liquor offenses, offenses against the family, prostitution, public drunkenness, runaways, sex offenses, stolen property, vandalism, vagrancy, and weapons offenses.

Two property reports are also included with the Return A. The first is the Property Stolen by Classification report. This report details the number of actual crimes of each type in the Return A and the monetary value of property stolen in conjunction with that crime. Some offenses are reported in greater detail on this report than on the Return A. For example, on the Report A, burglaries are divided into three categories: Forcible Entry, Unlawful Entry – No Force, and Attempted Forcible Entry. On the Property Stolen by Classification report, burglaries are divided into six categories based on location type and the time of the offense. Offenses are counted in residences with offense times of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Unknown Time and Non-residences with the same three time groupings.

The second property report is the Property Stolen by Type and Value report. The monetary value of both stolen and recovered property are totaled and classified as one of eleven property types:

The FBI began recording arson rates, as part of the UCR, in 1979. This report details arsons of the following property types:

  • Single Occupancy Residential (houses, townhouses, duplexes, etc.)
  • Other Residential (apartments, tenements, flats, hotels, motels, dormitories, etc.)
  • Storage (barns, garages, warehouses, etc.)
  • Industrial/Manufacturing
  • Other Commercial (stores, restaurants, offices, etc.)
  • Community/Public (churches, jails, schools, colleges, hospitals, etc.)
  • All Other Structures (out buildings, monuments, buildings under construction, etc.)
  • Motor Vehicles (automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, etc.)
  • Other Mobile Property (trailers, recreational vehicles, airplanes, boats, etc.)
  • Other (crops, timber, fences, signs, etc.)

Advisory groups

The Criminal Justice Information Systems Committees of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) serve in an advisory capacity to the UCR Program and encourage local police departments and sheriff's departments to participate fully in the program.

In 1988, a Data Providers' Advisory Policy Board was established to provide input for UCR matters. The Board operated until 1993 when it combined with the National Crime Information Center Advisory Policy Board to form a single Advisory Policy Board (APB) to address all issues regarding the FBI's criminal justice information services. In addition, the Association of State UCR Programs (ASUCRP) focuses on UCR issues within individual state law enforcement associations and promotes interest in the UCR Program. These organizations foster widespread and responsible use of UCR statistics and assist data contributors when needed.


The UCR itself warns that it reflects crime reports by police, not later adjudication.

UCR versus NCVS
Comparing arrests, reports and unknown violent crime

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Frequently Asked Questions". Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  2. ^ "Summary of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program". fbi.gov. 1987-09-30. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  3. ^ Lawrence Rosen, "The Creation of the Uniform Crime Report", Social Science History 19:2 (Summer 1995):215–238.
  4. ^ Crime in the United States 2000. (PDF). Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, D.C.. Retrieved on 30 March 2008. Archived on 14 April 2010.
  5. ^ Frequently Asked Questions. Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice. Washington, D.C.. Uniform Crime Reports. Retrieved on 2008-03-30.
  6. ^ UCR and NIBRS Participation Archived 2006-04-25 at the Wayback Machine. U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics. Washington, D.C. Retrieved on 2008-03-30.

Further reading

  • Lynch, J. P., & Addington, L. A. (2007). Understanding crime statistics: revisiting the divergence of the NCVS and UCR. Cambridge studies in criminology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521862042

External links

Cannabis in the United States

The use, sale, and possession of cannabis over 0.3% THC in the United States is illegal under federal law. As a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, cannabis over 0.3% THC (legal term marijuana) is considered to have "no accepted medical use" and have a high potential for abuse and physical or psychological dependence. Cannabis use is illegal for any reason, with the exception of FDA-approved research programs. However, individual states have enacted legislation permitting exemptions for various uses, mainly for medical and industrial use but also including recreational use.Cannabis for industrial uses (hemp) was made illegal to grow without a permit under the Controlled Substances Act because of its relation to cannabis as a drug, and any imported products must adhere to a zero tolerance policy. The Agricultural Act of 2014 allows for universities and state-level departments of agriculture to cultivate cannabis for research into its industrial potential.As a psychoactive drug, cannabis continues to find extensive favor among recreational and medical users in the United States. As of 2019, ten states, two U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational use of cannabis. Thirty-three states, four U.S. territories, and D.C. have legalized medical use of the drug. Multiple efforts to reschedule cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act have failed, and the United States Supreme Court has ruled in United States v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative (2001) and Gonzales v. Raich (2005) that the federal government has a right to regulate and criminalize cannabis, whether medical or recreational. As a result, cannabis dispensaries are licensed by each state; these businesses sell cannabis products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, nor are they legally registered with the federal government to sell controlled substances. Although cannabis has not been approved, the FDA recognizes the potential benefits and has approved two drugs that contain components of marijuana.The ability of states to implement cannabis legalization policies was weakened after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memorandum on January 4, 2018 and issued a new memo instructing US Attorneys to enforce federal law related to marijuana. The Cole memo, issued by former Deputy Attorney General James Cole in 2013, urged federal prosecutors to refrain from targeting state-legal marijuana operations. Regarding the medical use of cannabis, the Rohrabacher–Farr amendment still remains in effect to protect state-legal medical cannabis activities from enforcement of federal law.

Crime in St. Louis

Crime in St. Louis includes an overview of crime both in the city of St. Louis and in the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. Crime in the city increased from the 1960s through the early 1990s as measured by the index crime rate, followed by a decline in crime rates through 2014. Despite decreasing crime, rates of violent crime and property crime in both the city and the metropolitan area remain higher than the national metropolitan area average. In addition, the city of St. Louis consistently has been ranked among the most dangerous cities in the United States. As of April 2017, St. Louis has the highest murder rate in America. At the end of 2017, St. Louis metropolitan had 205 murders with only 159 within the city limit. The new Chief of Police, John Hayden said two-thirds (67%) of all the murders and one-half of all the assaults are concentrated in a triangular area in the North part of the city.

Crime in Virginia

Crime in the U.S. state of Virginia has generally decreased from 2008 to 2014.

Crime in the United States

Crime in the United States has been recorded since colonization. Crime rates have varied over time, with a sharp rise after 1963, reaching a broad peak between the 1970s and early 1990s. Since then, crime has declined significantly in the United States, and current crime rates are approximately the same as those of the 1960s.Statistics on specific crimes are indexed in the annual Uniform Crime Reports by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and by annual National Crime Victimization Surveys by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In addition to the primary Uniform Crime Report known as Crime in the United States, the FBI publishes annual reports on the status of law enforcement in the United States. The report's definitions of specific crimes are considered standard by many American law enforcement agencies. According to the FBI, index crime in the United States includes violent crime and property crime. Violent crime consists of four criminal offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault; property crime consists of burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

Crime statistics

There are several methods for the measuring of crime. Public surveys are occasionally conducted to estimate the amount of crime that has not been reported to police. Such surveys are usually more reliable for assessing trends. However, they also have their limitations and generally don't procure statistics useful for local crime prevention, often ignore offenses against children and do not count offenders brought before the criminal justice system.

Law enforcement agencies in some countries offer compilations of statistics for various types of crime.

Two major methods for collecting crime data are law enforcement reports, which only reflect crimes that are reported, recorded, and not subsequently canceled; and victim study (victimization statistical surveys), which rely on individual memory and honesty. For less frequent crimes such as intentional homicide and armed robbery, reported incidences are generally more reliable, but suffer from under-recording; for example, no criming in the United Kingdom sees over one third of reported violent crimes being not recorded by the police. Because laws and practices vary between jurisdictions, comparing crime statistics between and even within countries can be difficult: typically only violent deaths (homicide or manslaughter) can reliably be compared, due to consistent and high reporting and relative clear definition.

The U.S. has two major data collection programs, the Uniform Crime Reports from the FBI and the National Crime Victimization Survey from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. However, the U.S. has no comprehensive infrastructure to monitor crime trends and report the information to related parties such as law enforcement.Research using a series of victim surveys in 18 countries of the European Union, funded by the European Commission, has reported (2005) that the level of crime in Europe has fallen back to the levels of 1990, and notes that levels of common crime have shown declining trends in the U.S., Canada, Australia and other industrialized countries as well. The European researchers say a general consensus identifies demographic change as the leading cause for this international trend. Although homicide and robbery rates rose in the U.S. in the 1980s, by the end of the century they had declined by 40%.However, the European research suggests that "increased use of crime prevention measures may indeed be the common factor behind the near universal decrease in overall levels of crime in the Western world", since decreases have been most pronounced in property crime and less so, if at all, in contact crimes.

Gangland killing

A gangland killing is a murder carried out by organized criminals. According to FBI Uniform Crime Reports, in 2013 there were 138 gangland killings or 1 percent of all homicides in the United States. This does not include juvenile gang killings, of which there were four times as many during the same year.

Gun violence in the United States by state

This article is a list of the U.S. states and the District of Columbia, with population, murders and nonnegligent manslaughter, murders, gun murders, and gun ownership percentage, then calculated rates per 100,000. The population data is from the U.S. Census Bureau. Murder rates were calculated based on the FBI Uniform Crime Reports and the estimated 2015 population of each state.

The 2015 U.S. population total was 320.9 million. The 2015 U.S. overall murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate per 100,000 inhabitants was 4.9.

List of U.S. states by homicide rate

This is a list of U.S. states by homicide rate according to FBI Uniform Crime Reports.

List of United States cities by crime rate

The following table of United States cities by crime rate is based on Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reports statistics from 2017 for the top 100 most populous cities in America that have reported data to the FBI UCR system.The population numbers are based on U.S. Census estimates for the year end. The number of murders includes nonnegligent manslaughter. This list is based on the reporting. In most cases, the city and the reporting agency are identical. However, in some cases such as Charlotte, Honolulu, and Las Vegas, the reporting agency has more than one municipality.

Murder is the only statistic that all agencies are required to report. Consequently, some agencies do not report all the crimes. If components are missing the total is adjusted to 0.

Media feeding frenzy

A media feeding frenzy is intense media coverage of a story of great interest to the public.

The 1998 Lewinsky scandal in the U.S. was a well-noted example of this.

The metaphor, drawing an analogy with feeding frenzies of groups of animals, was popularized by Larry Sabato's book Feeding Frenzy: Attack Journalism and American Politics.

Other examples include media coverage of "crime waves" that often drive changes in criminal law to address problems that do not appear in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), the most reliable indicator of actual crime in the U.S.; unlike the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), the NCVS is not affected by changes in people's willingness to report crimes to law enforcement and in the willingness of law enforcement to forward UCRs to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in national summaries.Sacco claimed that media outlets try to organize their reporting as much as possible around themes to help them amortize over several reports the work required to educate a journalist to the point where s/he can discuss a subject intelligently. These themes become "feeding frenzies". The availability cascade helps explain the human psychology behind a media feeding frenzy.

Of course, a commercial media organization could lose advertising if they had a media feeding frenzy that affected an advertiser's business: Advertisers don't want to feed mouths that bite them, and have been known to modify where they spend their advertising budget accordingly. Commercial media disseminate negative information about advertisers only to the extent required to keep customers.

Michael Maltz

Michael D. Maltz (born 1938) is an American electrical engineer, criminologist and Emeritus Professor at University of Illinois at Chicago in criminal justice, and adjunct professor and researcher at Ohio State University.

Morgan Quitno Press

Morgan Quitno Press is a research and publishing company based in Lawrence, Kansas, which compiles books with statistics of crime rates, health care, education, and other categories, ranking cities and states in the United States. Among the major categories are "Smartest State", "Most Dangerous State", "Most Dangerous City", "Most Dangerous Metro Area", "Most Livable State", "Healthiest State", and "Most Improved State"; some information is per capita while some is overall. In July 2007 Morgan Quitno was acquired by CQ Press, a division of Congressional Quarterly Inc.. Their ranking of jurisdictions in terms of "safety" has been criticized for faulty methodology and inappropriate use of data by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the American Society of Criminology, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

National Crime Victimization Survey

The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), administered by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, is a national survey of approximately 49,000 to 77,400 households twice a year in the United States, on the frequency of crime victimization, as well as characteristics and consequences of victimization. The survey focuses on gathering information on the following crimes: assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, rape, and robbery. The survey results are used for the purposes of building a crime index. It has been used in comparison with the Uniform Crime Reports and the National Incident-Based Reporting System to assess the dark figure of crime. The NCVS survey is comparable to the British Crime Survey conducted in the United Kingdom.

The NCVS began in 1972 and was developed from work done by the National Opinion Research Center and the

President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice. A key finding of the survey was the realization that many crimes were not reported to the police.

National Incident-Based Reporting System

National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) is an incident-based reporting system used by law enforcement agencies in the United States for collecting and reporting data on crimes. Local, state and federal agencies generate NIBRS data from their records management systems. Data is collected on every incident and arrest in the Group A offense category. These Group A offenses are 49 offenses grouped in 23 crime categories. Specific facts about these offenses are gathered and reported in the NIBRS system. In addition to the Group A offenses, 10 Group B offenses are reported with only the arrest information.

Property crime

Property crime is a category of crime that includes, among other crimes, burglary, larceny, theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, shoplifting, and vandalism. Property crime is a crime to obtain money, property, or some other benefit. This may involve force, or the threat of force, in cases like robbery or extortion. Since these crimes are committed in order to enrich the perpetrator they are considered property crimes. Crimes against property are divided into two groups: destroyed property and stolen property. When property is destroyed, it could be called arson or vandalism. Examples of the act of stealing property is robbery or embezzlement.

Property crimes are high-volume crimes, with cash, electronics (e.g. televisions), power tools, cameras, and jewelry often targeted. "Hot products" tend to be items that are concealable, removable, available, valuable, and enjoyable, with an ease of "disposal" being the most important characteristic.

Race and crime in the United States

The relationship between race and crime in the United States has been a topic of public controversy and scholarly debate for more than a century. The crime rate varies between racial groups. Most homicides in the United States are intraracial—the perpetrator and victim are of the same race. Research argues that the overrepresentation of some minorities in the criminal justice system can be explained by socioeconomic factors as well as racial discrimination by law enforcement and the judicial system.

Supplementary Homicide Reports

Supplementary Homicide Reports (abbreviated SHR) is a database of homicides in the United States maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as part of its Uniform Crime Reports program. The database consists of detailed reports of homicides reported to the FBI by local law enforcement agencies in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The only state that does not participate is Florida, which records homicides in a separate tally that is included in a separate spreadsheet online.


UCR may refer to:

Under color removal in printing

Unified Cornish Revised, a variety of the Cornish language

Uniform Crime Reports

Union centriste et républicaine (Centrist and Republican Union), group of the French senate

Unión Cívica Radical (Radical Civic Union), an Argentine political party

University Center Rochester in Minnesota

University of California, Riverside

University of Costa Rica

University College Roosevelt, Middelburg, The Netherlands

Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, an environmental advocacy organization in Georgia, USA

Usual, customary and reasonable, a method of generating health care prices

Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook

Frequently referred to as The Green Book due to its green cover, the Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook is a publication of the United States Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The manual instructs law enforcement officers on the proper method for filling out the monthly Uniform Crime Reports returns for police records and statistics.


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