UCR Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Updated October 13, 2006

Additional information is available in the NYS Supplement to the FBI UCR Handbook and the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook.

What is UCR?

UCR is an acronym for the national Uniform Crime Reporting Program. In New York State, it specifically refers to the traditional summary crime reporting method.

By 1929, the International Association of Chiefs of Police had developed a nationwide system for collecting police statistics on the number of criminal offenses known to law enforcement. These statistics would provide the most appropriate measure of the nation’s crime. Since 1930, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has managed the program.

Under the provisions of New York State Executive Law, the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) is authorized to operate the New York State UCR Program.

Which crime statistics are collected through the UCR Program?

The UCR Program collects data on offenses known to law enforcement and persons arrested by the police.

Which specific crimes are reported through the UCR Program?

In New York State, there are seven crimes classified as Part I offenses. These include: Murder and Non-negligent Manslaughter, Forcible Rape, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny-Theft, and Motor Vehicle Theft. Additionally, the program collects data on twenty-eight other offenses ranging from kidnapping to loitering.

Is participation in the program mandatory?

Participation is strongly encouraged; however, agencies that receive grant funding from DCJS may be required to participate in the crime reporting program as a condition of funding. Agencies seeking accreditation from the DCJS Law Enforcement Accreditation Program must report crime to be eligible for accreditation.

I know there have been some significant changes in law during the last year. How can I be sure that my agency’s Records Management System is up to date with the new laws and UCR classifications?

DCJS updates its law database as new legislation is signed and goes into effect. The DCJS Law Section Reference Table, traditionally distributed only in print form, has been updated and posted on the Crime Reporting webpage. It is in PDF format and is updated as new laws reach their effective dates or when old laws are repealed or sunset. The table lists New York State laws and their UCR classifications by law section. For example, section 100 followed by section 100.05, 100.08, etc.

In addition, the recently developed UCR Cross Reference Table, also available on the DCJS Crime Reporting webpage, provides a listing of New York State laws by UCR classification. This listing follows the UCR hierarchy of offenses beginning with Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter and cross references the classification with the applicable New York State statutes.