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Uniform Crime Report: Term Definition

Uniform Crime Report is a reporting system that is summarized with data concerning different geographic levels in a State. The data that is reported in Uniform Crime Report is officially represented to the agencies that enforce law and order. These agencies are therefore required to forward that report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in United States. The Uniform Crime Report mostly concentrates on key crimes such as killing, arson, rape, assault, and theft among others. In United States, the statistics concerning crime issues are obtained from Uniform Crime Report, whereby they are made public by Federal Bureau of Investigation once per year (Schmalleger, 2003).

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The National Crime Victimization Survey has been in operation since early 1970s through collecting statistics on individuals and household crimes. NCVS is considered to be the main source of crime statistics as it provides the number and various types of offences that are not presented to the law enforcement agencies. It’s known to give the best forum of the affected parties whereby the repercussion of the crime is described and the features of the offenders are described (Schmalleger, 2003). The statistics from NCVS are collected twice per year in the United States through the department of justice. All in all, this body was designed to carry out four main objectives; first to provide the state with complex information concerning the victims and the results of the offence.

Secondly, to give an approximate number and types of offences that fails to be reported to the police. Thirdly, the National Crime Victimization Survey is also expected to give consistent procedures of selected types of offences. Finally they are also expected to provide comparison measures of different times and areas. The crimes that are dealt with by this survey are either personal or property. Personal offences involve rapes, sexual harassments, assault etc, while property offences include break-ins, sabotage, and motor vehicle theft among others. NCVS provides offence statistics that are both cumulative and non-cumulative.

Uniform Crime Report has been found to have both theoretical and practical imperfection. To begin with, the crime rates they report are not 100% accurate because they rely on the ones they forward to the law enforcement agencies. In cases where several crimes are related, the UCR only recognizes the most serious ones. Severally, in incidences where a person is killed during robbery with violence, they only report murder. Secondly, the uniform crime report does not consider rapes done by men or rape between people of the same sex; instead they refer it as carnal knowledge of a woman done by force (Schmalleger, 2003). Thirdly, UCR recognizes the overall crimes that are reported by the police, it does not matter to them whether the victim would be proofed innocent by the court of law later.

Just as the Uniform Crime Report, the NCVS has also been found with both theoretical and practical imperfections. Firstly, when in the field doing research, the respondents may fail to report some offences that are considered to be criminal. Offences like minor assaults, and abuse between couples may not be revealed by the respondents. Secondly, if the respondent discovers that his or her time will be consumed by reporting a certain crime, he or she will decline to give the required details. Thirdly, it becomes a challenge of the respondent to remember all sorts of offences encountered by every member of the household.

The shortcomings of these two collections can be corrected to make them give a perfect statistics. In case of Uniform Crime Report, they should be waiting for the courts judgments whether the victim is proofed guilty or not, before announcing their final statistics. Also, whether an offence is serious or not it should, be considered and be included in the crime statistics. For the National Crime Victimization Survey, conducting interviews in the field should be done repeatedly to compare the results and get the perfect ones (Schmalleger, 2003).


Schmalleger, F. (2003). Criminal Justice today: An introduction text for the 21st century. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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