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YOU ARE HERE: Home Frequently Asked Questions Uniform Crime Reporting How can I compare the UCR Program's findings with that of the NCVS?

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Hitchcock Police Department: UCR Frequently Asked Questions

How can I compare the UCR Program's findings with that of the NCVS?

Author:
Sgt. Marcus Pitre
Date added:
Saturday, 24 July 2010
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Answer

Users should not compare crime trends in the UCR Program and the NCVS because of methodology and crime coverage differences. The programs examine the Nation's crime problem from different perspectives, and their results are not strictly comparable. Definitional and procedural differences can account for many apparent discrepancies in results from the national Program. For example, the NCVS includes crimes reported and not reported to law enforcement; the UCR Program includes only those crimes reported to police. The NCVS rates property crimes per 1,000 households, and the UCR Program rates these crimes per 100,000 inhabitants. Also, the BJS derives NCVS estimates from interviewing a sample and are, therefore, subject to a margin of error. The UCR Program bases its data on the actual counts of offenses reported by law enforcement agencies. Additional information about the differences between the two programs is in Appendix IV, "The Nation's Two Crime Measures" in Crime in the United States, 2003.

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