Statistical crime reports
The agencies contributing to the statistical data compiled by the FBI include local, state, federal, tribal, as well as colleges and universities (About the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, n. d.
). Robbery is an offense that is reported to the FBI through the UCR program, and demographic information is only tracked in the I-JCR system for arrested robbery suspects. Robbery is theft involving the use of or potential threat of violence to obtain someone’s property (Conklin, 2010).
Males between the ages of 25-29 are six times more likely than females to be arrested for robbery according to the I-JCR reports (Arrests, by age, 2011 : Table 38, n. d.
). Approximately 55% of those arrested and charged with robbery offenses are black males compared to 43% of white males (Arrests, by race, 2011: Table 43, n. d. ). Although the actual number of arrests for this offense have decreased from 2010 to 2011 the percentage of African Americans accounts for more than half of the charged offenses.
Robberies occur more frequently in metropolitan areas in the southern part of the United States including the “District of Columbia, South Atlantic, East South Central, and West South Central regions” (Crime in the United States by region, geographic division, and state, 2010-2011 [Table 4], n. d. ). The typical perpetrator of robbery offenses commit the crime due to financial difficulties, which could include addiction problems, gambling ebts, loss of income, inability to provide basic necessities, retaliation, or greed.
The number of arrests for robbery suspects occurring in metropolitan areas is higher due to accessibility and visibility with more people and property, and an increase in law enforcement patrols and resources. In rural communities, the opportunity to rob a victim is lessened because the proximity to a neighbor maybe an acre, or more, which can deter criminal activity because potential stolen property may not be visible to the perspective perpetrator.
Socio-economic factors contribute to the arrests of ndividuals suspected of committing a crime.
Unemployment causes a great hardship on individuals and families resulting in many criminal offenses being perpetrated. Individuals residing in areas with poor educational systems, high crime rates, and deplorable housing conditions leave few options to avoiding the criminal Justice system (Vermeire, Merluzzi, ; Ridolfi, 2010). Often local municipalities and/or state agencies do not have a systematic method of overseeing demographic information regarding minorities, which include races other than white and women, and the mpacts of socio-economic difficulties that may contribute to criminal activity.
Non- Caucasians have more charges, arrests, convictions, and harsher sentences in the criminal process than their Caucasian counterparts, and the arrest rate for women is increasing annually. Although the FBI’s I-JCR program provides a general estimation of the most serious crimes, it definitely has some significant problems with reliability and validity.
First, the IJCR only receives reports for the most serious offense even if multiple ottenses occur during a criminal act.
For instance, in the event ot a robbery t a convenience store occurs and the assailant rapes the female cashier the only offense that will be reported to the I-JCR is the rape because it is considered a more serious crime. Another flaw with UCR is that only with crimes involving murder or rape is demographic information recorded unless there is an arrest. The demographic information regarding the victim and the perpetrator should be compiled in the I-JCR reports in order to have a more accurate depiction of crimes, victims, and potential assailant’s characteristics.
This type of demographic information may help researchers, policy makers, and social programs find reemptive solutions to the criminal Justice bombardment that we are currently experiencing.
In addition, the I-JCR program does not take into account white-collar crimes, which are increasingly becoming a significant issue in our society. A major problem that occurs with the IJCR reporting process is that statistical information is voluntary, and may be submitted manually or electronically.
Some agencies continue to report crime statistics to the FBI manually due to lack of funding for technological updates; however, other law enforcement agencies alter the crime reports they ubmit to reflect a lower crime rate so the community perception is positive. Since the UCR generates reports on crimes that have been reported, many crimes that are not reported, but still occur are not accounted for in the crime rate statistical information. Therefore, the data regarding crime rates is not as reliable as many politicians, law enforcement agencies, and citizens believe.
The updated addition to I-JCR is NIBRS or “National-Incident Based Reporting System,” this system allows for tracking many more crimes, allows additional crimes to be added for data gathering, nd contains demographic information fields for victims and perpetrators. The likelihood of generating an exact statistical number of crime rates is unreasonable; however, determining a more accountable reporting system with detailed information may assist communities in focusing on efforts to improve areas of concern.
With the overload of the criminal Justice system, it would be imperative for the government to mandate the conversion to the NIBRS system within one year, and require all law enforcement agencies to participate in reporting criminal statistics through this system. Next, when reports are created for offenses it should utomatically link to the correct statistical gathering report in NIBRS, this immediate connection to the offense in the update UCR program will assist in preventing falsified reporting to the FBI.
Subsequently, if an arrest occurs for a specific offense and a Judgment is administered the court should close the case by responding to the NIBRS as to the verdict of guilt or innocence of the crime.
This information will also show whether there are significant disparities between offenders based on race and gender, and will hopefully lead toa more impartial Justice system that sentences criminals for their crimes not there characteristics.