The uniform crime reporting is a collaborative program with more than 17000 US agencies, which include city, universities, county, state, and federal agencies that deal with law enforcement. These agencies voluntarily report data on crimes committed in their jurisdiction or brought to their knowledge to the US justice department or the FBI on a monthly basis. The program collects information on rape, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, murder, and non-slipshod manslaughter. The efficiency is determined by the method used (HHS, nd).
For UCR program, crime data is collected in two ways: traditional summary reporting and National Incident-Based Reporting held at state level where all local agencies report to their respective state UCR programs. These two methods capture data from a myriad of primary and secondary sources. Information acquired is accessible to the public, researchers and the media on the existing crime levels in the US. The UCR is vital in key policy issues as it captures data for multiple years on different crimes (FBI, nd).
B. National Crime Victimization Surveys (NCVS) .
These surveys collect data on a sample representative of the nation on personal and domestic victimization in the US. The survey has been ongoing from its inception in 1973. The sample size is estimated at 40000 households with an average population of 75000 where each household is surveyed twice in the year the household is selected, but a household can be interviewed for a period more than one year but not exceeding 3 years and limited to 7 interviews (BSJ, nd).
The surveys target to gather information about crimes and their consequences. estimate unreported crimes. provide measures to curb selected crimes. and allow comparisons between different geographical areas over time. The survey is important as it provides data used to estimate probability of victimization for the population as a whole plus other interest segments like racial groups, geographical locations etc. NCVS also provides a national platform for victims to describe the effects of crime and profile violent offenders. These surveys are sponsored by the justice department through the Bureau of Justice statistics (Fisher& Lab, 2010).
c. International Crime Victims Survey (ICVS) .
The international victimization survey provides worldwide information on crime victimization, allowing for contrast and evaluation between countries. The survey is administered by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and aspires to set the standard for victimization reporting. The survey is conducted through computer-aided telephone interviews supplemented by personal interviews in a selected sample of people in a participant nation’s capital city (Fisher& Lab, 2010).
The survey is conducted in participating industrialized countries, which are required to bear the cost of fieldwork survey in their countries. The survey is organized from Netherlands and companies in participating countries are contracted to carry out fieldwork. The ICVS provides independent and reliable information from government agencies on transparency, corruption, and household victimization crimes. The information from this survey is important as it allows for cross country comparison as well as paint a true picture of the state of affairs, from a non-partisan body.
The objective of the UNCJS is to gather data on reported crime incidence and criminal justice systems operations and improve analysis and global penetration of the information collected. CTS, another acronym for UNCJS, captures only the incidences reported to local authorities, hence subject to the weakness of law enforcement crime data. The CTS survey is conducted annually with the member states required to report their criminal justice statistics to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, UNODC. The agency compiles the data from the member countries and compares criminal data between countries. The information provided has a deep scope as the UN has a global presence, thereby capturing crime data from almost all countries (UNODC, nd).
Although these sources serve scopes and usability, it is clear that the range of information from Uniform Crime Reports is superior. The method ensures continuous collection and dissemination of data unlike the others that are periodic. Moreover, Uniform Crime reports involve more agencies hence accurate and more detailed for a nation’s crime data.
US Department of Health and Human Sevices, HHS. (nd).Uniform Crime Reports (UCR). Retrieved from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/06/catalog-ai-an-na/UCR.htm
Federal Bureau of Investigation. (nd). Uniform Crime Reports. Retrieved from http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/ucr
Bureau of Justice Statistics, (BSJ). (nd) .National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Retrieved from http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=245
Fisher, B., & Lab, S. P. (2010). Encyclopedia of victimology and crime prevention. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications.
UNODC. (nd). United Nations Surveys on Crime Trends and the Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (CTS). Retrieved from http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/United-Nations-Surveys-on-Crime-Trends-and-the-Operations-of-Criminal-Justice-Systems.