Uniform Crime Reporting Program Data: National Incident-Based Reporting System, [United States], 2016 (ICPSR 37065)
Version Date: Sep 19, 2018 View help for published
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The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) is a part of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In the late 1970s, the law enforcement community called for a thorough evaluative study of the UCR with the objective of recommending an expanded and enhanced UCR program to meet law enforcement needs into the 21st century. The FBI fully concurred with the need for an updated program to meet contemporary needs and provided its support, formulating a comprehensive redesign effort. Following a multiyear study, a "Blueprint for the Future of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program" was developed. Using the "Blueprint," and in consultation with local and state law enforcement executives, the FBI formulated new guidelines for the Uniform Crime Reports. The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) was implemented to meet these guidelines. NIBRS data are archived at ICPSR as 11 separate data files per year, which may be merged by using linkage variables. Prior to 2013 the data were archived and distributed as 13 separate data files, including three separate batch header record files. Starting with the 2013 data, the FBI combined the three batch header files into one file. Consequently, ICPSR instituted new file numbering for the data. NIBRS data focus on a variety of aspects of a crime incident. Part 2 (formerly Part 4), Administrative Segment, offers data on the incident itself (date and time). Each crime incident is delineated by one administrative segment record. Also provided are Part 3 (formerly Part 5), Offense Segment (offense type, location, weapon use, and bias motivation), Part 4 (formerly Part 6), Property Segment (type of property loss, property description, property value, drug type and quantity), Part 5 (formerly Part 7), Victim Segment (age, sex, race, ethnicity, and injuries), Part 6 (formerly Part 8), Offender Segment (age, sex, and race), and Part 7 (formerly Part 9), Arrestee Segment (arrest date, age, sex, race, and weapon use). The Batch Header Segment (Part 1, formerly Parts 1-3) separates and identifies individual police agencies by Originating Agency Identifier (ORI). Batch Header information, which is contained on three records for each ORI, includes agency name, geographic location, and population of the area. Part 8 (formerly Part 10), Group B Arrest Report Segment, includes arrestee data for Group B crimes. Window Segments files (Parts 9-11, formerly Parts 11-13) pertain to incidents for which the complete Group A Incident Report was not submitted to the FBI. In general, a Window Segment record will be generated if the incident occurred prior to January 1 of the previous year or if the incident occurred prior to when the agency started NIBRS reporting. As with the UCR, participation in NIBRS is voluntary on the part of law enforcement agencies. The data are not a representative sample of crime in the United States.
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Starting with the 2012 data, some offense, location, bias motivation, race, and ethnicity codes have been added or modified to include recent Advisory Policy Board (APB) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) policy mandates to the UCR Program related to Human Trafficking, Hate Crime, and Race and Ethnicity information.
At the recommendation of the CJIS APB and with the approval of the FBI Director, the FBI UCR Program initiated the collection of rape data under a revised definition and removed the term "forcible" from the offense name in 2013. The changes bring uniformity to the offense in both the Summary Reporting System (SRS) and the NIBRS by capturing data (1) without regard to gender, (2) including penetration of any bodily orifice by any object or body part, and (3) including offenses where physical force is not involved. As a result of this decision, the program renamed the NIBRS sex offenses - Forcible Rape to Rape, Forcible Sodomy to Sodomy, and Forcible Fondling to Fondling.
Prior to the 2013 data, the Batch Header information was released as three segments. Due to the NIBRS data rapidly growing in size, the FBI has removed the B1, B2, and B3 sections. All information in these sections is now contained in a single batch header segment.
Data for the state of Maryland are excluded for 2016 due to technical issues.
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NIBRS is an incident-based reporting system which means data are collected on each single crime occurrence. NIBRS data are designed to be generated as a by-product of local, State, and Federal automated records management systems. Thus, an agency can build its own system to suit its individual needs, including all the information required for administrative and operational purposes. Only the data required by NIBRS are then reported to the national UCR Program.
NIBRS collects data on each single incident and arrest within 22 offense categories made up of 46 specific crimes called Group A offenses. For each of the offenses coming to the attention of law enforcement, various facts about the crime are collected. In addition to the Group A offenses, there are 11 Group B offense categories for which only arrest data are reported.
Central to NIBRS is the concept of a crime incident. An incident is defined for NIBRS reporting purposes as one or more offenses committed by the same offender, or group of offenders acting in concert, at the same time and place. "Acting in concert" requires that the offenders actually commit or assist in the commission of the crime(s). The offenders must be aware of, and consent to, the commission of the crime(s); or even if nonconsenting, their actions assist in the commission of the offense(s). This is important because all of the offenders in an incident are considered to have committed all of the offenses in the incident. If one or more of the offenders did not act in concert, then there is more than one incident involved.
The phrase "same time and place" means that the time interval between the offenses and the distance between the locations where they occurred were insignificant. Normally, the offenses must have occurred during an unbroken period of time and at the same or adjoining location(s). However, incidents can also consist of offenses which by their nature involve continuing criminal activity by the same offender(s) at different times and places, as long as the activity is deemed to constitute a single criminal transaction.
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Law enforcement agencies in the United States participating in the National Incident-Based Reporting System.
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2018-09-19 The documentation has been updated to correct the case counts.
2018-07-25 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Performed consistency checks.
- Created variable labels and/or value labels.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.