The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) is a measure of crime by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) using reports from local police. The standard offers significant data on rates of general crime and provides an opportunity for comparison of crime rates (Michael &Earl, 2015). The UCR consists of two segments, known as the Summary Reporting System and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) (National Research Council, 2014). Uniform Crime Report has specific strengths and limitations that are dependant on the usage of the data. One of the advantages is that the final data depend on the population, and is usually available to the public in one year. In addition, UCR lays data on real crime in a consumable format. The report also allows people to view the historical outlook of crime while offering society a clear perspective of crime over time. UCR evaluates arrests and homicides in a consistent manner (Larry and John, 2017). One of the limitations of UCR is that it reports a crime, which is only discovered by police; hence, the report is not detailed since some crimes remain uncovered. Thus, it implies that UCR is not entirely accurate. Besides, there is a risk of information spikes by the local laws, leading to wrong information (Larry and John, 2017). Finally, the data from the Uniform Crime Report is slow and takes more time to be available. Hence, UCR has both strengths and weaknesses.
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) was started in 1973 to provide a specific picture of crime trends, victims, and incidents. The NCVS gathers information on crimes faced by households and individuals, especially if such crimes were not reported to any law enforcement. The survey collects data on personal crimes that are non-fatal such as robbery, rape, sexual assault, simple assault among others (Larry and John, 2017). One of the advantages of NCVS is that the survey gives information on unreported crime and offers an opportunity to learn precise criminal trends happening within society. Furthermore, the NCVS provides historical data that can be used for comparison. However, the survey is usually designed to offer only national estimates, which is a disadvantage of NCVS. Besides, the survey fails to track crime affecting youth since an age limit of above 11 years old exists. Moreover, for individuals to participate in NCVS, they must be living in a household, hence limiting the population coverage. Finally, the survey fails to collect all possible crimes and limits the report to specific criminal conduct (Connectus, 2019). Therefore, it is evident that even though NCVS has more advantages, the approach is quite limited in nature.
National Incident Reporting System (NIBRS) was created to improve the quality of data on crime composed of law enforcement. The system collects details of all crime incidents, including known offenders, victim’s information, the relationship of offenders and victims, property in crimes among others. NIBRS is deeper than UCR because it can offer context and circumstances for crime such as time of day, location, and if the incident was cleared (Michael &Earl, 2015). Some of the advantages of NIBRS are that analysts can generate national statistics that are not available in traditional systems. In addition, NIBRS offers a comprehensive outlook of crime in the country. Furthermore, the system provides flexibility during compilation and analysis of data (FBI, 2013). The disadvantages of NIBRS are that the definition of some types of crime differs from state to state, hindering the influence of the program in the provision of data in some areas. The NIBRS is also considered complex, making it a daunting task for enforcement officers to use it. The system also depends on crimes that are reported through police departments hence reducing the scope of information available to users (Leape, 2002). Therefore, even though NIBRS is comparable to UCR, the approach is better and more reliable than the traditional system.