FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)
Whenever available, actual crime rates are reported using data obtained from the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. The major sources of the data represented in these reports are the individual local enforcement agencies. these are approximately 16,800 city, county and state law enforcement agencies that contributes to these reports. The data is reported by cities and towns police departments. Unincorporated areas and rural areas that are not under city police departments are reported through other enforcement agencies such as Sheriffs, County Police or State Police department.
FBI Crime index:
- • Murder
- • Forcible rape
- • Robbery
- • Aggravated assault
- • Burglary
- • Motor vehicle theft
- • Larceny – Theft
- • Arson
- • Sex crime
Police departments use a supplementary police report when additional information is brought forward after the initial report was filed. Victims or witnesses usually come forward with information that is included in a supplementary report.
Crime reports help residents see and understand where crime is happening in their neighborhood and engage with their local law enforcement agencies. Police reports serve as the starting point of a law enforcement investigation, but they also provide crime victims with a legal document to use as evidence for court hearings and insurance claims.
Crime reports can also assist communities to deter criminal activity. These reports can be used to track criminal activity trends in different areas of a city. If many reports detail house break-ins at night in a certain neighborhood, the police can warn the residents to install better security. They can also patrol the area more frequently at night.
As anyone who has had their car broken into or vandalized knows, not every police report results in a suspect, let alone a conviction. But tracking down and prosecuting suspects is only one purpose of a police report. Even if a suspect is never found in a case, the victim requires some document showing what happened to process insurance claims and to present at court hearings.
For example, if your car is hit by a hit-and-run driver, you’ll need a police report to get the insurance company to pay for physical damage to the car and medical care for those inside the car.