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Individual agencies classify criminal information that is compiled in a report as Uniform Crime Reporting. The Uniform reports are usually compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and they consist of criminal data that belongs to all the states that form United States of America. This program began in 1929. It was the idea of police commanders, who saw the need of creating a reliable criminal statistics for the country (Anderson and Dyson, 2002).
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Today, the reports form an important element of fighting criminal activities within United States of America. This is because they necessary information that law enforcement officers can rely on for purposes of fighting criminal activities. For instance, the reports provide the names of the most wanted criminals, and the patterns of crime within a certain locality (Anderson and Dyson, 2002).
The reports also help policy makers in the department of homeland security on how to develop policies that will help in making the country secure. The various law enforcement agencies within the country have the responsibility of collecting these reports, and thereafter present them to the FBI for compilation. Currently, there are three Uniform Crime Reports published by the FBI, namely;
Hate Crime Statistics 2011.
Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted 2011.
The Preliminary Uniform Crime report 2012.
Resources Available for Sheriffs and Police Chiefs:
One of the resources that public safety officials like police officers and Sheriffs have in classifying crimes in their locations is the fusion centers. A fusion center is an institution formed by the department of homeland security for purposes of receiving, analyzing, and disseminating intelligence information from to the relevant security bodies. These centers can therefore guide security officers and Sheriffs on how to classify the various crimes within their areas of jurisdiction.
They have the capability of identifying whether a crime falls under terrorism, or it is a murder/ homicide. The Central Investigative Agency is also another resource that police chiefs and sheriffs have that can help them in classifying and analyzing crimes (Dunn, 2012). The agency has the responsibility of collecting intelligence information, and provides it for assessment by senior policy makers in United States of America. On this note, Sheriffs and local police chiefs can benefit from their facilities and experience in analyzing and classifying the various criminal activities within their locality.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is another resource unit that the Sheriffs and local police chiefs can use to classify and categorize criminal activities. This is a Federal Agency that has the responsibility of fighting crimes within the United States of America. The department is well equipped to handle any forms of criminal activities. The department also has experts who can categorize and analyze various criminal activities within the state, and therefore Sheriffs and local police chiefs can use their experiences in analyzing the various criminal activities within their areas of jurisdictions.
Pros and Cons of UCR:
The Uniform Crime Reporting system is advantageous because people are able to know the crime rate of their locality. For instance, women who are concerned with the security of their children might know the crime rates of the schools in which they take their children to, or the surrounding environment where their children play or pass through. The report also provides information on the various crimes that occur within the state, and tries to project their occurrence in future (Dunn, 2012).
On this basis, policy makers can create a policy that can effectively address the security needs of its people. However, this reporting system also has some disadvantages. One such disadvantage is that it relies heavily on the information that comes from law enforcement agencies. Other civilian bodies can also have accurate and relevant information regarding security issues within a state. Therefore, there reports should also be incorporated in this system.
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Part Two: ANALYZING SPECIFIC CRIME:
How UCR can Help in Predicting Crime:
The UCR can help law enforcement officers prevent and predict future crime because it contains criminal statistics which are accurate and reliable. If law enforcement officers carefully analyze the report, they have a capability of predicting when, where and at what time a criminal activity will occur. These reports will also help law enforcement officers to identify and know the predictor factors of crime. On this basis, they will initiate more police patrols in the identified crime hotspots, and therefore preventing crime from taking place.
Criminal Forecast of the State of New York:
The criminal activity under consideration is forcible rape, for the state of New York. The FBI categorizes rape as an example of a violent crime. In 2011, the number of criminal activities related to rape stood at 2150, with the city of New York reporting the highest number at 1092. However, there are other cities where forcible rape was zero, or even 1. Cities such as Adams village, Akron Village and Allegany did not experience any acts of forcible rape. By analyzing this data, I can predict that forcible rape will still be higher in New York City in the coming years (FBI, 2013).
The city of Buffalo had the second highest number of the forcible rape crime. The figure stood at 121 reported incidents. Looking at this data, you will denote that the difference between the cities with a higher number of forcible rape rates, with the city that follows it is high. The difference in this case is 971. This trend is likely to continue in the coming years. The city of Buffalo is also likely to maintain the number two spot in relation to the crimes that involve forcible rape.
This is because the other cities have a low number of this crime, and to catch up with the crime rate of Buffalo, then their rates of this crime will have to increase by more than 100%. Take for instance the city of Albany. The number of forcible rape was 33, and for it to catch up with the crime number of Albany, then it has to increase by 200%, with the crime rate of Albany remaining constant (FBI, 2013). Looking at this data, it is impossible for this type of crime to increase by the margin in Albany. Therefore, for some time, Buffalo will remain the city with the second highest number of forcible rape crimes in New York.
Comparison in Crime Rate of 1950 and 2011:
In 1950, the forcible rape crime stood at a total of 2335 reported cases. During this period also, the city of New York had a reported number of cases involving the crime at 1025 cases. Looking at this data, with the information contained in the 2011 rape crime statistics of New York, the trends are similar. In the 2011 statistics, the city of New York had the highest number of rape case in the State; this is the same as the 1950 statistics, which was of the opinion that the city of New York had the highest number of forcible rape cases in the state.
Other cities such as Akron Village, Adams and Allegany had a lower number of forcible rape cases. For instance Albany had 1, while in 2011, Albany had zero. On this basis therefore, the similarities in the criminal acts continue. New York city still has a higher number of rape cases. Looking at this data, you will find that the higher the number of population in a city, the higher the number of reported forcible rape cases. This is the case of New York, which had a higher number of populations in the 1950s, as compared to other cities in the state of New York. This trend still continues, because as of 2011, New York had the highest number of population, standing at 8,211,875.
Statistics of 1970s and Crime Prediction:
To predict crime rate in twenty by using statistics of the 1970s, government officials should first analyze the population growth in the respective areas of concern. This is because the higher the population, the higher the number of crime rates in an area. A good example is in the state of New York where New York city has a higher number of crime rates, and this is because it is the most populated city in the state, and this is in comparison to the other cities of the state. Another example is Buffalo city which had a population of 262,484 numbers of people. Because of this number of people, the city had the second highest rate of forcible rape in the state of New York.
Reliability of UCR:
The statistics of UCR are reliable because they are collected by the law enforcement officers. In collecting these data, law enforcement officers follow the set up guidelines from the FBI. The FBI provides these organizations with a handbook that explains to them on how to classify offenses for purposes of Uniform Crime reporting (Catalano, 2006). The FBI emphasizes on the use of the guidelines they provide, and on this basis, the statistics by UCR are reliable. This is because law enforcement officers follow a particular guideline and format in the compilation and reporting of the crime statistics. However, law enforcement officers are not required to report their criminal incidents, they can only act in good faith.
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