The private sector is making innovations and improvements in how they conduct their business, and the public sector is definitely following suit. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that starting January 1, 2021 – they would halt the collection of Uniform Crime Report Summary Reporting System (UCR-SRS) data. The URC SRS is just one decade short of becoming a century-old system used by US law enforcement agencies. They will then migrate into the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) that promises more robust data tracking and analysis that aims to improve the field of policing.
To provide an overview on this transition is Dr. Sean Goodison from the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). He is the Deputy Direct and Senior Research Criminologist at PERF where he works on data and research, program evaluation, and police use of technology. He leads various research initiatives that is used to develop strategies, and has published and presented on different criminological topics. He previously worked for the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department.
Points he addressed in this webinar are:
- What NIBRS is – it’s history, function, and specifications.
- The key features of NIBRS that are expected to provide more insights into crime data.
- A look into the typical summary report being used by agencies juxtaposed into the level of detail a NIBRS report can generate.
- The technological, societal, and data-driven motivations for the need to transition from the UCR SRS to NIBRS.
- Comparing the charts available at the UCR SRS to the more exhaustive data analysis and visualizations with NIBRS.
- The National Crime Statistics Exchange (NCS-X)
- It’s history and role in pushing for the adoption of NIBRS and transitioning into its reporting system on a national level.
- The technical assistance that they provide through solutions, funding, training, coordination, and education.
- The common challenges and misconceptions related to the NIBRS transition and how to best overcome these.
- The expanse of the endeavor involved in data collection and aggregation as well as the resources needed for software and training.
- The technical components for vendors and agencies to be NIBRS-compliant.
- The idea that crime has increased due to improved data collection methods.
- The need for training on the new system to ensure complete and correct data entry.
- The benefits of utilizing NIBRS as seen in the return on investment in terms of transparency, safety, tactical and strategic planning, and program evaluation.
- Success stories and other areas of improvement seen in agencies that adopted NIBRS.
- Lessons learned in terms of stakeholder buy-in and aggregating disparate data and offense codes.
- Maintaining the momentum of the initiative by coordinating efforts, effectively communicating and demonstrating its benefits, as well as addressing concerns people might have on data security.
Audience questions were about:
- The changes that the transition may have on crime statistics required by the Clery Act.
- The benefits of having complete and correct data that improves law enforcement services.
- Concerns on the access to and security of data.
- Efforts from the FBI to educate the public on the impact of the NIBRS transition on crime data.
- “Great webinar. I liked the valuable information provided by a reliable source.” — Art
- Good background and discussions about the challenges associated with transition. — Jay
- Good to get a sense on what is happening around the country. — Joel
- overview was good. Quality assurance guidelines, evolution, and assessments will be a big part of the success of NIBRS — Lawrence
- As a researcher on crime and investigative data, it was helpful to have my hypotheses echoed about the potential usefulness of NIBRS data and more robust collection of crime data in general. — Amber