Uniform Crime Reporting Program

Justice Programs' Statistical Analysis Center manages the state's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, which tracks crimes and arrests reported by 400 local law enforcement agencies, although some may submit data on behalf of multiple departments, in accordance with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) definitions. UCR data is used to calculate Wisconsin's Byrne JAG allocation and to meet other federal reporting requirements.

Wisconsin Statute 16.964(2) requires all law enforcement agencies and other criminal and juvenile justice system agencies to report Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) data to Justice Programs. Among the directives contained within Wisconsin Statute 16.964(1m)(g), Justice Programs collects UCR data to submit to the FBI for the purposes of its uniform crime reports for the United States.

UCR program data is the only statewide source of long-term crime and arrest data, law enforcement staffing levels information, and data on law enforcement officers killed or injured in the line of duty. Justice Programs validates reported data with local law enforcement agencies to ensure reported crimes/arrests are categorized according to the FBI's definitions and hierarchy rules. Accurate reporting of UCR data by law enforcement benefits many criminal justice interests including law enforcement.

The UCR program tracks arrests in crime categories established by the FBI. Examples of Violent Crimes tracked by the UCR program include murder, robbery, forcible rape, and aggravated assault. Examples of Property Crimes tracked by the UCR program include burglary, arson, motor vehicle theft, and drug sale and possession. Sex offenses, weapons offenses, driving under the influence, and arrests for other offenses are tracked in the Society or Other crime categories.

Law enforcement agencies report UCR data to Justice Programs using either Summary Based Reporting (SBR) or the more robust Incident Based Reporting (IBR) system. SBR aggregates crimes and arrests in accordance with the FBI's definitions and categories; there is little additional detail about individual crimes/arrests when SBR is used. IBR provides a more robust set of data and is designed to collect all components of a crime, including characteristics of the offense and its associated victims, offenders, property, and arrestees. Justice Programs has been working towards transitioning more law enforcement agencies from SBR to IBR reporting as local technology capacity improves and funds become available.

Page updated:  02/16/2015