Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Reports (NCVR) are two of the most recognized and utilized reports for crime statistics and the aid in crime prevention in the United States. The UCR or Uniform Crime Report is performed by the FBI. The UCR is a vital tool because it provides detailed reports on offenses and outlines patterns to help in better understanding trends and threats both nationally and locally. The annual publication contains rates of crimes in cities, states, and counties as well as the nation.
It is also compiled of law enforcement arrests, clearance, and employee data. The UCR has data on any crime imaginable from hate crimes to home mortgage fraud and can be researched as far back as 1960. The UCR is useful because it is actual data from law enforcement on arrest and process thus providing the FBI with specific statistics for specific areas. The NCVR or National Crime Victimization Report is performed by using a national sample which is compiled of approximately 40,000 households; each household is surveyed twice a year.
This type of data collection allows the BJS or Bureau of Justice Statistics to predict the likely hood of victimization by crimes such as rape, robbery, assault, household or auto theft and sexual assault. The NCVR provides an estimated likely hood of crimes for the population as a whole as well as for separate groups within the population such as elderly, women, certain ethnic groups, city dwellers and also rural residents. The data collected from the NCVR goes back as far as 1973. One of the main differences in the data provided from these two types of reports would be the way they are collected.
The Uniform Crime Report is compiled by collection factual data from different law enforcement organizations while the National Criminalization Report is compiled of data collected from surveying a percentage of the population. I feel like the Uniform Crime Report would be a more useful tool in the prevention of crimes for various reasons. Since the UCR has factual data collected from law enforcement agencies we can look at the data to determine not only which crimes are more relevant in certain areas, we can also compare the data to determine which crimes have risen in that area.
The UCR can also provide us with the knowledge of which crimes are more relevant to the law enforcement agencies in certain areas as well. If we see a certain crime rising based on the calls received reporting a crime but notice the arrest rate for those crimes a lower we can conclude that either the law enforcement agency is not equipped for that crime. We can then determine whether or not the failure would be because of lack of equipment, staff, or training needed to better equip the agency for the crime that is rising in order to prevent it from becoming an overwhelming problem to the society.
The public perception of crime is highly inaccurate according to Dr. Mark Warr, a professor in sociology at The University of Texas. Warr is quoted in the article Crime on the Rise saying “Many people don’t realize that while reported crime may appear to go up in a given year, that doesn’t mean real crime rates are on the rise,” One of the facts supporting this would be that homicides have actually been declining for more than 700 years.
The overwhelming information we receive from the media makes the general population believe the world is actually much more dangerous than it really is. This type of information provides a negative outlook that can affect the way we live, think, and perceive things in our everyday lives. I feel like this type of knowledge is a big part of why we feel like our crime rates are rising when in actuality it is not.
I feel like our societies perception of crime while only become more harmful as move on into the future. I feel like between the media over informing the public and people perceptions of certain crime shows will inevitably harm our society in the long run. Shows such as Criminal Minds, CSI, and Law & Order are wonderful shows that provide some insite on how the law agencies work however; some people perceive these types of shows as more realistic than they actually are.
The perceptions grown from these shows have certain people believing crimes should be solved quicker, the bad guy always gets caught, and evidence is collected faster than it actually is. If you mix these perceptions with the medias’ overwhelming information on crimes people are going to believe that the world we live in is massively crime ridden and cannot understand why it takes law enforcement agencies so long to solve these crime like they do on the crime shows.
Not only does this type of perception place a great deal of stress on the law enforcement agencies, it also forces them to try and resolve the issue as fast as possible instead of taking their time. When an agency feels rushed, whether from public or political society this causes them to miss crucial evidence, overlook other possibilities, and start the criminal justice process on the wrong direction right off the bat.
I think if society would realize the media gets paid to getter ratings and knows that trauma is always a big seller the society would realize criminal statistics in a better light. I also believe society should come together as a whole and research the actual crime rates in their community in order to either prevent crimes from happening or to simply provide each other with a better perspective the crime happening there. References http://www. fbi. gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr http://bjs. ojp. usdoj. gov/index. cfm? ty=dcdetail&iid=245 http://www. utexas. edu/features/2008/crime