Uniform Crime Reporting Program

What to know

The Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) collects information on a range of property and violent crimes that come to the attention of police, including rape against females and males of all ages. The FBI began administration of the UCR in 1930.

Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program – Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

The Program compiles data from monthly law enforcement reports or individual crime incident records transmitted directly to the FBI or to centralized agencies that then report the data to the FBI. The FBI thoroughly examines each report it receives for reasonableness, accuracy, and deviations that may indicate errors.

What UCR statistics represent

Through the Summary Reporting System (SRS), the UCR presents national crime counts, as well as counts for regions, states, counties, cities, towns, tribal law enforcement, colleges and universities, and other specialized law enforcement agencies. This includes counts of completed and attempted rape, defined since 2013 as "penetration no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." The UCR SRS does not cover sexual victimization that is not rape and excludes cases of consensual incest and statutory rape. Data on the characteristics of incidents and victims are also not available through the SRS.

National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)

Many local and state law enforcement agencies participating in the UCR Program also submit their data via the more comprehensive National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). While NIBRS data are available for a limited number of states and other jurisdictions, the NIBRS system collects information on a broader range of forcible and nonforcible sex offenses, as well as information about the nature of the incident and characteristics of the victim.

Strengths of the UCR

One strength of the UCR is the ability to examine subnational rates of victimization. The SRS permits analysis among neighboring jurisdictions and among those with similar populations and other common characteristics. The UCR Program also covers crimes occurring among populations that are beyond the scope of the household- or school- based surveys, such as persons who are homeless and young children. Additionally, the UCR can be used for analysis of trends over time in the number and rate of rape victimizations against females (in January 2013, the rape definition was revised to include male victims).

  • This content was written by Kathleen C. Basile, PhD Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lynn Langton, PhD Bureau of Justice Statistics, and Leah K. Gilbert, MD Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Findings and conclusions presented are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).