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  • FBI UCR statistics

    I was glossing over FBI UCR stats, and it seemed odd to me that they report crime as arrests, not convictions and that it skews statistics towards showing higher crime rates. For instance, half of those accused of sex related crimes are found not guilty. Conviction rates of various crime categories nationwide range from 65 to 85 percent.

    Just wanting to hear what other's take is on this.

    Thanks.
    The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

  • #2
    The UCR is based on the collection of arrest information from LE agencies in the U.S. It doesn't necessarily show the "crime rate." You could have one dept that's not too proactive and make 100 arrests in one year, then a new chief comes along and wants everyone proactive. Then they make 200 arrests in the next year. Does that mean the crime rate went up? Nope. It means the dept simply made more arrests. That's not to discount the UCR. It helps in other ways.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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    • #3
      Hypothetically, if a person was arrested for burglary, assault, armed criminal action and resisiting arrest and the prosecutor cut a deal for dropping the last three in exchange for a guilty plea on the burglary, would that be a conviction rate of 25 percent? 4 charges, 1 conviction? It seems that would skew the data something awful.
      When you are dead, you don't know you're dead. It is difficult only for the others around you.

      It is the same when you are stupid.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by TheTick
        I will tell you that an agency that shall remain nameless that I am closely associated with oddly does not appear to reflect the actual crime rate in the UCRs. I've seen people hit in the head with a baseball bat not want to cooperate, so it gets flagged as Police Information or a Disturbance instead of an Assault or Homicide-Attempt
        Meh, no victim no crime.

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        • #5
          Actually UCR is a lot more complex than just arrests. Every crime is reported to the FBI. Even if no arrests are made. The crimes range from minor thefts to murders and everything in between. How the FBI chooses to release that information is their business.

          As for misreporting as someone mentioned. Keep in mind that the person doing UCR stats is often times making a judgement call based off a report. Just because the officer calls it something in a report, doesn't mean that's how it should be recorded in UCR. I used to do UCR for a small department in Missouri, nothing worse than getting dinged in an audit because an officer reported a crime one way, you take their word for it and mark it down. 2 years later, the state shows up, reads reports and decides you miscoded something.

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          • #6
            I know of agencies that would put multiple offenses (and sometimes multiple victims) under one complaint number. That's one way to decrease the crime rate when in fact it's either stayed the same or increased. You're just putting more info under one number (rather than several) that are eventually submitted to the UCR.
            I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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            • #7
              UCR's are statistics.

              Statistics can be interpreted different ways by different persons with different agendas

              .

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              • #8
                Wasn't it Mark Twain who said, "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics!"?
                "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post
                  Wasn't it Mark Twain who said, "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics!"?
                  Exactly

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                  • #10
                    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lano...fest-city.html

                    Irvine (Orange County, California) is safest U.S. city for eighth straight year, FBI says

                    Looking to avoid becoming a crime statistic? Move to Irvine.

                    In 2011, for the eighth year in a row, the Orange County city had the lowest violent crime rate of any U.S. city with a population larger than 100,000, the FBI said Monday.

                    Irvine -- population 214,872 -- reported only 120 violent crimes last year, the same number as the year before.

                    Among the crimes: two murders, 67 aggravated assaults, 11 rapes and 40 robberies. Random comparison: Similarly sized Modesto had more than 10 times the number of robberies.

                    “Eight straight years as the country’s safest city is truly something to celebrate,” Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang said in a statement. “Public safety is a commitment we do not take lightly.”

                    The data were part of the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report. Overall, reported violent crime in the United States declined 4% between 2010 and 2011, the FBI said.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TheTick
                      Add another one to the list. You could slash the tires and smash the windows on every single car in town= 1 number.
                      That can work in reverse too. I've seen some posts here where an LEO says attitude can be the difference between them charging for one thing, or multiple charges, even if the original intend was one charge.
                      The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

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                      • #12
                        Just because someone isn't convicted, doesn't mean a crime didn't occur.
                        For the cops out there: You are an adult. If you want to write someone, write them. If you don't want to write someone, then don't write them.

                        "Jeff, you are the best cop on this board"-Anonymous Post

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TheTick
                          That does not make much sense to me.
                          Example - A single event burglary. There are multiple charges which could apply (vary by state): burglary, breaking and entering, trespassing, criminal trespass, safe cracking, tampering, robbery, etc.

                          LEOs here have said things like being a jerk, a person with a criminal history, a lack of remorse and/or seriousness of the single event can be the difference between a single charge (for serious crimes to minor traffic infractions) and throwing as much as will stick, either by the officer or the da. One officer here in the case of traffic infractions went so far as to say there isn't a "contempt of cop" code in his state but he found other codes "which work."
                          The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheTick
                            Someone with more knowledge, please correct me if I'm wrong. It is my understanding that multiple charges of lesser included crimes does not effect UCRs. It is only the lead charge, as in what the incident is "carded" as, that effects the UCRs. Ie- The burglary code is the only one that shows and not a seperate code criminal tresspass, criminal mischief, etc.

                            Once again, my understanding, if the numbers are going to get fudged, it happens where the incident is carded. As in a Homicide- Attempt (0110) for a baseball bat to the head getting carded as a Service Call- Medical Emergency (3870).
                            If its done that way it makes sense, because it would seem to reduce redundancy in the reporting. Would, however, seem to make statistical breakdown by type a little more difficult, but I suppose there really is no "perfect" way to report.
                            The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground." - Thomas Jefferson

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                            • #15
                              The "Heirarchy Rule" in case reporting. The most serious crime (usually) is the one that is primarily classified on the report. Other crimes that occurred in that same incident would be documented in the report, usually the narrative portion.

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