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Understanding How Crime Data is Classified and Recorded

Understanding How Crime Data is Classified and Recorded.

The intent of this paper is to have the students read a portion of the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting handbook so they can learn about the standards of data classification, scoring and reporting. The compiles data from over 17,000 law enforcement agencies every year. There has to be procedures so everyone is collecting and reporting information in the same way – hence the term “uniform”.

Each student will read and review Chapters 1 an 2 of the attached file and write a three page report. How does the FBI define, count, mandate reporting on crime? What rules or guidelines apply to various circumstances?

Make certain that you cover some basic definitions such as: Part 1 and Part 2 Offenses, Classification and Scoring, Hierarchy Rule, Time and Place Rule. Give examples from the document.

The FBI has more or less replaced the old data systems with a new reporting system that is “Incident Based”, it captures a lot of data about crime incidents – however, these basic rules still apply.

Crime Data collection and reporting has inherent flaws – but that is probably true about most all of our data in the social sciences. This is an introduction class – you need to know and understand the data collection and classification standards – then you can spend the rest of your academic and professional career critiquing any number of aspects about how and how well we go about gathering and reporting data.

Finally. all the information you need for the assignment should be in Chapters 1 and 2. I like assigning some government documents so you can get used to using them in your career. When I was in the military, we had a book shelf unit five feet tall and four feet wide that was filled with regulations and procedures. They were not always user friendly. No matter your chosen field, you will have to use reference books dealing with laws and regulations – it’s best to be somewhat familiar with them as soon as possible.

Understanding How Crime Data is Classified and Recorded.

 

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