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Data Collection - Assignment Example

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This is because not all crimes are documented and even if they are documented, not all records are kept for future reference. According to Crime and Criminal Justice (n.d.), crimes are difficult to quantify since…
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Data Collection
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Download file to see previous pages of the sources used by victimologists in USA include the Uniform Crime Report (UCR), National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS), and the National Crime Victimization (NCVS). This paper discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each of these resources and gives the similarities and differences of each. It also explains how official statistics can be used to indicate trends and how victimologists can utilize data from these sources.
The UCR is a national data resource that compiles crimes from local police departments on an annual basis (Karmen, 2010). According to Crime and Criminal Justice (n.d.), the UCR program collects statistics for the following crime statistics:
Data available from the UCR program is thoroughly examined before publishing. It compiles vast information of published tables, which are used to track crime trends across the states (Crime and Criminal Justice, n.d.). UCR carefully studies deviations that may result in errors since accuracy is critical component for any reporting.
Preliminary reports for the previous year are released in spring, and the Crime in the United States, which is a more comprehensive report, is released in the fall (Crime and Criminal Justice, n.d.). This report has data on number of crimes, trends, arrested people, cleared crimes, homicides and offender characteristics including the relationships and used weapons. This report is, therefore, readily available with all the necessary statistics one would require.
The UCR program provides data at different levels (Crime and Criminal Justice, n.d.). Many law enforcement agencies participate including the state, municipality, county, tribal and also universities and colleges.
The UCR reports crimes that are only known to the police. This is because most victims of crime do not document their experiences with the law enforcement agencies that participate in this program. There is, therefore, underestimation of both the prevalence and incidence of crime.
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