Tag Archives: crime stats

Using UCR to Compare Your Department by Edward Claughton

Edward Claughton

Can a police department use its UCR stats to compare itself (productivity, efficiency, etc.) to other departments?  No!  When can UCR be used for comparative purposes? To compare itself from year to year.

First, lets see what the FBI says:

There are many variables affecting crime and the reporting thereof including the demographic differences between jurisdictions, the level of training received by agency personnel in UCR, report writing variations, and technology.

“The FBI discourages data users from ranking agencies and using the data as a measurement of law enforcement effectiveness.”

“The data user is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, counties, metropolitan areas, states, or colleges or universities solely on the basis on their population coverage or student enrollment. Until data users examine all the variables that affect crime in a town, city, county, state, region, or college or university, they can make no meaningful comparisons.” Continue reading


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Are Your Crime Stats Accurate by Edward Claughton

Are Your Crime Stats Accurate by Edward Claughton

Yes, crime stats and UCR are two very different things (more on that in a minute) and now more than ever it’s time to be sure yours are correct.  Has the media knocked on your door yet?  Have your numbers been called into question even when they were right?

While the accuracy of crime reporting and statistical figures have long been somewhat of an issue in law enforcement, now more so than ever it seems to be of growing concern.  The question is why?  Is accuracy truly problematic?  Is UCR and NIBRS misunderstood?  Is the increase in openness and transparency simply leading to more scrutiny?  Is Compstat’s ongoing controversy behind it all?

The headlines are everywhere and staying out of them is something you want to do.  The leader of the pack right now is the NYPD who is under attack by allegations of manipulated crime data. However,  departments large and small are often targets of the media and community watchdogs on the hunt for erroneous statistics.  No one is immune. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized