Drawbacks of the UCR Program

The UCR Program provides the official statistics about crime in this country, and those statistics are provided by more than 18,000 police agencies. Thus, the Uniform Crime Reports are the best official compilation of crime in this country. On the other hand, while they are a great resource for researchers, government officials on all levels, and citizens, they fail to provide a completely accurate picture of crime in the United States for the following reasons:

  • • The UCR Program only counts crime reported to the police; consequently, crime is most certainly underreported.
  • • The UCR Program counts and classifies crime and some characteristics of arrestees; still, it does not provide complete details about offenses.
  • • The UCR Program relies on the statistics given the FBI by local and state police departments. This suggests that for various reasons (e.g., manpower shortages and political considerations), crime in a particular location might be misrepresented either intentionally or unintentionally.
  • • The UCR Program counts only specific violent and property crimes and does not focus on corporate, occupational, or computer crimes.
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