It is obvious that the efficient functioning of the professional working in the sphere of the crime depends on numerous factors. However, credible and relevant data should be considered the most important aspects which impact the final result and promote the success of a certain case. In this regard, there are many various methods to collect statistical data and various data sources which present this very information to a specialist. Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) are the official source which suggests the information about crime in the USA. It collects statistics on the number of offenses known to law enforcement (UCR Offense Definitions, n.d.). There are two large groups (Part I and Part II offenses) which include crimes of various character such as murder and nonnegligent homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, and arson (UCR Offense Definitions, n.d.) and the main statistics related to them.
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It is obvious that the given source has a number of advantages which result from its nature. First, only credible and relevant data is presented to a specialist. That is why he/she is able to process the information and provide the authentic conclusion. Additionally, the existing pattern of the classification of crimes contributes to the improved efficiency of search. Besides, there is the historical perspective of crime which allows people to trace the evolution of society. However, there are certain weaknesses that result from the peculiarities of the data collection. The fact is that UCR reports only crimes known to the police. It means that it is difficult to obtain a clear image of the current situation. Moreover, UCR reports only the most serious and complex crime incidents. That is why data obtained with the help of the given tool could be incomplete.
However, numerous victimologists still use the given tool trying to acquire the knowledge needed to analyze a certain crime and determine its main peculiarities. Using UCR, victimologists are able to trace the evolution of a certain kind of crime which is essential for further predictions and prognosis. Additionally, it still remains one of the main sources to investigate the nature and extent of the criminality in the USA (Regoli & Hewitt, 2008). That is why, victimologists tend to use the given data source to create a clear image and highlight the most important tendencies related to the world of crime, its peculiarities, and evolution. Despite the fact that some data might lack relevance, UCR still remains important and popular among specialists because of its simple and efficient nature.
Investigating the ways to collect data needed for the analysis of a certain crime or some other aspects of the given sphere, the National Incident-Based Reporting system should also be admitted. It also provides data related to each crime o incident that attracted the polices attention. (National Incident-based reporting system (NIBRS), n.d.) It includes information about the nature and types of various offenses in the incident. The given tool also describes the most important characteristics of a victim and offender, types and value of the stolen property, etc. It becomes obvious that the given source tends to present comprehensive information for a specialist to be able to use it while investigating a certain crime or making a final report. The information is organized according to a special pattern which results in increased efficiency and great practical utility.
When investigating strong and weak aspects of the given tool, one should admit the fact that NIBRS is the component of UCR which could be characterized by the same problems and advantages (Regoli & Hewitt, 2008). As mentioned above, it also works with data about crimes that attracted the polices attention. It means that the relevance of the information might suffer from various factors. However, NIBRS differs from UCR in several important ways which condition its advantageous character and promotes its usage instead of UCR. Thus, the ability to collect the data on each single accident and arrest is a great advantage of the given tool. Moreover, it provides comprehensive crime data to local agencies which might use it to improve their functioning and guarantee the monitoring of the further evolution of crime in the area.
It becomes obvious that the given tool is also used by victimologists who want to obtain the relevant information about the crime tendencies and its evolution peculiar to certain area or city. At the same time, specialists of this sort appreciate numerous additional facts related to the character of the victim, offender, place, etc. provided by NIBRS. This information could be used to allocate the resources needed to respond to crime efficiently and create the new pattern which could contribute to the significant improvement of the current situation. Finally, NIBRS could also be used by numerous victimologists to guarantee the significant increase of their performance in terms of the investigation of a certain tendency or sort of crime conditioned by the existence of the relevant information.
Finally, there is another data source widely used nowadays to obtain the credible information and create the efficient strategy or solution. Besides, National Crime Victimization Survey is the survey which collects data related to personal and household victimization (Data Collection: National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), n.d.). It could be considered the primary source of information on the characteristics of criminal victimization and other crimes not reported to law enforcement authorities (UCR, NIBRS, and the NCVS, n.d.). Furthermore, NCVS provides victims with the opportunity to share their thoughts and emotions related to the impact crime or some other stressors had on them. The hierarchical pattern used to organize the data is one of the main peculiarities of the given sources as the majority of other surveys just provide the flat individual-level data set (UCR, NIBRS, and the NCVS, n.d.). The given pattern considers the variations in household composition and in the occurrence of incidents of victimization.
Nevertheless, this very hierarchical pattern could also be considered as a great benefit of the given system as it provides numerous opportunities for its analysis and processing. It also reduces the size and space needed to store the great amount of data related to various accidents. Moreover, the precise analysis of various data sets and the ability to provide the information related both to individual ad household levels contribute to the increased efficiency of the given tool in terms of the investigation of the impact and the main tendencies of the evolution of crime. Additionally, the provision of the opportunity to share experiences and emotions related to a certain accident is another great advantage which contributes to the improvement of the image of the given data sources. At the same time, the absence of the official statistics could be considered some disadvantage as it impacts the relevance of the provided data.
However, the given tool could be used by victimologists to analyze victims showings related to a certain crime and feelings and emotions related to it. Furthermore, NCVS helps to develop the detailed information about the victims and consequences of crime, estimate the number and types of accidents which were not admitted by the police, create the efficient tool to prevent the further evolution of crime and compare the crime statistics at various periods of time. In these regards, victimologists tend to use the given tool to accomplish these task and provide the credible information related to the given sphere. The tool could be considered efficient as it also provides the opportunity to evaluate the current performance by comparing showings at various periods of time.
Table 1. Comparison of UCR, NIBRS, NCVS.
|Details on incidents||No||Yes||no|
|Accounts for offenders attempted vs completed||No||Yes||no|
|number and types of crimes not reported to the police||No||No||yes|
In these regards, one should realize the fact that above-mentioned data sources are organized in accordance with various patterns which contribute to the significant differences in their peculiarities and functions. UCR and NIBRS are focused on the provision of data resting on the official reports related to the crimes admitted by the police. At the same time, NCVS provides the information which rests on victims showings and is evidenced by numerous real-life examples. Additionally, the given tool also uses data which are not included in official reports; This fact contributes to its increased importance. The different nature of these tools conditions the existence of various possibilities to analyze a certain crime and provide the efficient solution.
Therefore, all these data sources promote the better understanding of the basic trends peculiar to the modern society. The fact is that the precise analysis and investigation of the relevant official statistics results in the acquisition of knowledge related to the nature of a crime and its main peculiarities. That is why the usage of these very tools to analyze and investigate the modern situation could be considered the most efficient method to attain success and decrease the number of accidents of this sort. Besides, despite numerous efforts, the problem of criminal victimization remains topical as there is the growing tendency towards the increase of the number of crimes and the deterioration of the general situation. With this in mind, it is crucial to use the data provided by these sources to mitigate the negative effects of this tendency and attain success.
For these reasons, victimologists use the above-mentioned information and tend to trace the evolution of crime as it might help to predict the new outbreak of violence and stop its development. Furthermore, the usage of the given information might contribute to the creation of the efficient solution which might help to reduce the number of crimes and help society to get rid of numerous problems of this sort.
Finally, considering UCR, NIBRS, NCVS and their main advantages, I should admit the great practical use of the last one. The fact is that NCVS provides the information related to the crimes not fixed by the police, and it increases its practical use and results in the appearance of a number of new opportunities for the analysis of the current situation. In this regards, I accept NCVS as the best possible choice.
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National Incident-based reporting system (NIBRS). (n.d.). Web.
Regoli, R., & Hewitt, J. (2008). Exploring Criminal Justice. Ontario, Canada: Jones and Barnett Publishers.
UCR, NIBRS, and the NCVS. (n.d.). Web.
UCR Offense Definitions. (n.d.). Web.