National Incident-based Reporting System (NIBRS) | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction

The National Incident-based Reporting System (NIBRS) is an incident-based reporting system developed by the FBI for crimes known to the police.

The National Incident-based Reporting System (NIBRS) is a comprehensive crime reporting system developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States. Unlike the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system, which collects data on aggregated crime statistics, NIBRS is an incident-based reporting system that collects detailed information on each crime reported to law enforcement.

NIBRS collects data on a wide range of crimes, including both traditional offenses such as homicide, robbery, and burglary, as well as modern offenses such as identity theft and computer crimes. For each crime reported, the system collects detailed information on the victim, offender, and the circumstances surrounding the crime.

Key Features of NIBRS

One of the key features of NIBRS is that it collects data on both attempted and completed crimes, as well as crimes that involve multiple victims or offenders. This makes it a more comprehensive and nuanced system for understanding crime patterns and trends.

NIBRS also collects data on the relationship between the victim and offender, as well as any weapons or drugs involved in the commission of the crime. This information can be used to develop targeted strategies for reducing crime and promoting public safety.

NIBRS is used by law enforcement agencies across the United States, and its adoption is encouraged by the FBI as a way to improve the accuracy and completeness of crime data. While NIBRS is more complex and resource-intensive than the UCR system, many law enforcement agencies have made the transition to NIBRS in recent years.

Benefits and Limitations of NIBRS

One of the benefits of NIBRS is that it allows for a more detailed analysis of crime data, which can help to identify patterns and trends that may not be apparent in aggregated crime statistics. This can be particularly useful for identifying emerging crime trends and developing effective responses.

However, NIBRS also has some limitations. For example, it relies on the accuracy and completeness of data reported by law enforcement agencies, which can be subject to errors or omissions. Additionally, the system can be resource-intensive to implement and maintain, which can pose challenges for smaller law enforcement agencies.

Learn More

On This Site

On Other Sites

  • Visit NIBRS on the FBI website.

[ Glossary ]

Last Modified: 06/27/2023


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