Maintaining statistics is one of the primary tasks of police departments, and its importance is defined by the need to provide information on the current crime rate. Data relating to this indicator are submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and included in the Uniform Crime Report. As can be seen from the statistics of the four areas under consideration, their indicators differ. This fact explains the necessity to compare them to provide a clear picture of the situation in the towns. The current report contains the definition and description of the Uniform Crime Report, the data-gathering strategy used for the analysis and its rationale, and crime trends in the specified areas.
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Definition and Description of the Uniform Crime Report
The Uniform Crime Report is a vital source of information on the country’s crime rates gathered from all states. Its primary objective is to generate data for law enforcement administration, operation, and management (FBI, 1). This Report allows tracking social tendencies and revealing the dependence of the crime rate on specific factors (FBI, 1). Hence, the FBI’s tasks include collecting, publishing, and archiving crime statistics from different states that reflect changes in society and their impact on citizens’ criminal activity.
The work on the report requires the participation of various people and organizations. They include law enforcement executives, students of criminal justice, researchers, members of the media, and the public (FBI, 1). These participants are influenced by the country’s criminal situation and use this information in their daily activities. To divide the received data into parts, they are combined into four separate reports. They are known as the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), the Summary Reporting System (SRS), the Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted (LEOKA) Program, and the Hate Crime Statistics Program (FBI, 1). These documents are published annually and are useful for people seeking information on national crime indicators.
Data-Gathering Strategy and Rationale
While considering the crime situation in the four selected areas with the help of the information received from the Uniform Crime Report, it is vital to define the data-gathering strategy addressing the needs of the study. From this perspective, the suitable option will be document review since the procedure implies the analysis of the data from the Report rather than observations or interviews. The research nature is explanatory as it aims to identify the causes and effects of social phenomena, and it adds to the necessity to use document review as the principal data-gathering strategy. In this way, the rationale for this choice is the use of one source of information to compare the crime situations in the four towns.
Discussion of the Crime Trends
The crime rates of Happy Town, Frown Town, Smooth Town, and Cool Town vary depending on specific factors and the type of offenses. Therefore, it will be reasonable to consider the following the Uniform Crime Report’s hierarchy rule to reveal the tendencies in the most significant crimes. The first type is criminal homicide, which includes murder and manslaughter. From this perspective, the most favorable situation is in Cool Town and Frown Town, and the position of the former seems to be even better as it is the most populous among the selected areas.
The second type of offense is forcible rape, and Frown Town and Cool Town are also leaders regarding the safety of their citizens from this crime over the past five years. The third offense is robbery, and Smooth Town is the area with the lowest indicators in this sphere. This crime is followed by aggravated assault, and Cool Town and Frown Town demonstrate the lowest rates of it, and the same applies to burglary. As for larceny-theft, it is more common for Happy Town and Smooth Town rather than Cool Town and Frown Town. The last type of offense is motor vehicle theft, and its rate is higher for Happy Town compared to the other three areas.
The comparison of the towns’ indicators allows concluding on the prevalence of violent crimes in Cool Town and Frown Town. In contrast to them, Happy Town and Smooth Town have worse crime rates when it comes to minor and average offenses. However, it is critical to consider the population of these areas. This indicator for Happy Town is gradually becoming lower, and the general trend for the decrease in crime can be ascribed to this circumstance. Hence, Smooth Town seems to be the safest area out of the four towns in terms of the crime situation considering five years.
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The information from the Uniform Crime Report proved to be useful for the analysis of crime rates in the selected four towns. The chosen strategy, document review, contributed to the study’s precise outcome. The comparison of indicators over the past five years leads to the conclusion that the crime rate depends on the number of people, as in the case of Happy Town. Another finding from the study is the prevalence of minor and average offenses in places with low rates of serious crimes such as Happy Town and Smooth Town. Alternatively, Cool Town and Frown Town have lower rates of minor and average offenses while leading to murder and forcible rape. This outcome allows predicting future crime indicators in the areas.
FBI, 2018, Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program — FBI, Web.