Uniform Crime Reporting
FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR)
Click HERE for to request a UCRonline login name and password
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. These are known as "Part I" offenses. Due to the difference in individual state statutes throughout the United States, a definition for each crime was established to ensure uniformity.
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".
Arrest data is also collected from the agencies. Data is collected on arrests for all crimes, Part I and Part II, except for traffic violations. Part II crimes include approximately 21 categories of offenses ranging from simple assaults to runaways.
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.
Louisiana Uniform Crime Reporting Program (LUCR)
In the legislative session of 1991, House Bill 1176 passed both the House and the Senate to become Act 509 creating Louisiana Revised Statute 15:1204.2. This law created and allowed for the establishment of a uniform crime reporting system in our state.
At that time, The Louisiana Uniform Crime Reporting Program began working toward the establishment of a state program. Since 1992, the staff has conducted a vigorous training program to encourage local law enforcement agencies to fully participate in the national UCR program operated by the FBI. At the time, LCLE created the necessary infrastructure for the program to become recognized as a state program. In September 1993, a formal request for certification was made to the FBI. In order to become a certified program certain conditions had to be met. These conditions are listed below:
- The state program must conform to national Uniform Crime Reports' standards, definitions and information requirements.
- The state criminal justice agency must have a proven, effective statewide program and have instituted acceptable quality control procedures.
- Coverage within the state by a state agency must be, at least, equal to that attained by the national Uniform Crime Reports.
- The state agency must have adequate field staff assigned to conduct audits and to assist contributing agencies in record practices and crime reporting procedures.
- The state agency must furnish to the FBI all of the detailed data regularly collected by the FBI in the form of duplicate returns, computer printouts, and/or magnetic tapes.
- The state agency must have the proven capability (tested over a period of time) to supply all the statistical data required in time to meet national Uniform Crime Reports' publication deadlines.
In October 1993, the state program met approval and was certified by the FBI. The Louisiana Uniform Crime Reporting (LUCR) staff began collecting Summary UCR reports in December 1993.
The first reports were due by December 15, 1993, and included data from the month of November. The state's law enforcement agencies proved their support by overwhelming response. Since initial efforts began, the number of agencies reporting UCR data has increased from 89 agencies in 1991, to over 180 in 1998. Special emphasis has been placed on obtaining data from the state's Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSA's). At the current time, the majority of the agencies within the state's SMSA's are reporting.
The LUCR staff continues to fulfill its responsibilities in connection with the program by editing and reviewing individual agency reports monthly for both completeness and quality. Each report submitted is examined thoroughly for arithmetical accuracy and for deviations which may indicate errors. To ensure quality, the field staff maintains constant contact with the individual contributors. When minor errors are detected, they are corrected by telephone between the field agent and the agency. Site visits are conducted regularly and the field staff is "on call" at any time to give technical assistance to agencies in need. The personal contacts are invaluable to the accuracy and quality of reporting and a vital link to the Summary UCR program and the contributors.
Periodic seminars are conducted in key areas of the state, also as an effort to ensure data quality and to encourage reporting. Seminar instruction includes basic information necessary to begin reporting such as types of crimes and types of reports, as well as quality assurance measures. In addition to seminars, "one-on-one" training sessions are conducted by field staff as needed.
Louisiana Incident-Based Reporting System (LIBRS)
In addition to the ongoing and implementing efforts of the Summary Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the state has been developing the Louisiana Incident-Based Reporting System (LIBRS). Just as the FBI is phasing in an incident-based reporting system for all of the states in the nation, our state is phasing incident-based reporting into our law enforcement agencies. It is important to distinguish between the Louisiana program, LIBRS, and the national program, NIBRS, since the two acronyms are so similar.
Incident-Based Reporting (IBR), the more generic term used here, is a more detailed form of reporting. It is the result of a study done by law enforcement agencies in our nation in the 1980's to find the needs of law enforcement as we near the 21st century. Incident-Based Reporting will enhance the quantity, quality and timeliness of statistical data collected by the law enforcement community. It will also improve the methodology used for compiling, analyzing, auditing, and publishing collected crime data.
Incident-Based Reporting is a system that collects information on an incident-by-incident basis. It provides us with all the crimes that occur during a criminal incident - unlike the Summary UCR System which follows the "Hierarchy Rule". The IBR system includes a new category called "Crimes Against Society" which produces data on crimes such as drug and narcotic offenses. Another important feature of IBR is the expansion of victim-to-offender relationships. The system will also have increased "circumstances" reporting, where more information will be collected in the area of circumstances involved in the offense. There will be more correlation between offenses, property, victims, offenders and arrestees - all pertinent information necessary in crime analysis.
In addition, a new area of social concern has been included in Incident-Based Reporting - hate crime. Hate crimes are crimes that show prejudice and bias toward a group of people or an individual member of a group. Federal law includes the areas of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion in its definition of hate crime.
LIBRS, the state's incident based reporting system, is intended to serve several functions. It is intended to replace Summary UCR as the base statistical system for crime data in the state. Second, it is intended to provide the additional statistical information necessary to properly plan modifications to the state criminal justice system. Examples of this include determining the need for additional state prison or local jail space, and the need for additional law enforcement officers. In addition, it will help determine the impact of proposed changes in terms of both cost and programmatic effect.
LIBRS is also part of a larger effort to improve criminal justice records at the local level where it serves to both standardize the information collected at point of incident and point of arrest, and to create standards for the electronic transfer of law enforcement data statewide. It is through its role in the improvement of criminal justice records at the local level that LIBRS provides the basis for the state level Criminal History Improvement Program.
Many other agencies are collecting data necessary for reporting to LIBRS. However, because there are some agencies in our state that do not have law enforcement management software, LCLE and Louisiana Sheriff's Association have developed a software package for agencies. This package is called LA-LEMIS (Louisiana Law Enforcement Management Information System).
For More Information: Call UCR Summary Reporting/LIBRS Program or LEMIS at 225.342.1569.
- Click HERE to link to the UCR forms