The North Carolina Uniform Crime Reporting also known as UCR is part of a national effort to provide criminal statistics that can be used by various law enforcement agencies, management and operation. It is administered by the FBI. The data provided by Uniform Crime Reporting program has become a social indicator at the national level. The people in America look at the statistics provided by UCR to understand the fluctuation in the crime level, on the other hand the data is used by law students, press, municipal planners, legislators, sociologists and criminologist for planning and research purposes.
The North Carolina Program
In the year 1968, the Governor’s Law and Order Committee did a survey which was prompted by the growing requirement of a centralized computer network for the information stored by North Carolina Criminal Justice. After going through the report provided by the survey, the general assembly effectuated a legislation in the year 1969, that created the Police information Network administered by the Justice Department.
In line with N.C.G.S. 114-10, the Police information network or PIN was given the power to capture and correlate data received from criminal law administrators. Police information network would do this to control access to information that directly affects the working of criminal justice and also to analyze and make comparisons using the information, in cooperation with the criminal justice agencies.
In the year 1985, the PIN was connected with SBI or the State Bureau of Investigation by the Attorney General. The PIN was then merged with the identification section of SBI, which created the DCI or the Division of Criminal Information. At that time the name Division of Criminal Information, sounded very appropriate since a major part of DCI’s work would be to capture, store and spread the history and statistics of crime.
As per the Uniform Crime Reporting Program followed by the whole state, the law enforcement agencies are required to create and submit crime reports to DCI. Trainings are extended to the law enforcement agencies by DCI, so that the uniformity and quality of the data received stays acceptable. These trainings are conducted by DCI training specialists. Every contributor for this data pool will receive the procedures for reporting arrest and criminal arrests, classifying and scoring.
The law enforcement agencies report the total number of offenses and the data of crime associated with it. This report is classified under arson, vehicle theft, larceny, burglary, aggravated assault, robbery, rape, non-negligent manslaughter and murder. This data which is also known as Part I Offenses is gathered from all the notification of crimes that is captured by various law enforcement agencies through under cover sources, officer who finds out infractions and victims.
Incase during further investigation of a notification or complaint of crime turns out to be false or unfounded, then record of it will be removed from the account of the agency. The total number of actual offenses known will be forwarded to DCI. This information is passed regardless of whether the stolen object or property is recovered, no one is arrested for the specified crime or no prosecution has begun.
Another important part of the data kept by the agency is the number of Part 1 offenses that got cleared. There are two ways in which a crime can be cleared. (1) At least one individual is charged, arrested and is taken to the court for prosecution. (2) In some exceptional cases where certain elements above the control of the law enforcement official does not allow it to arrest the suspect. North Carolina Law enforcement agencies will also inform about the cleared Part 1 offenses which were undertaken by individuals under the age of 18; the total value of the property that got stolen or recovered in relation to the offenses; information regarding arson, rape and criminal homicide.