Home Crime in the U.S. 2015 Crime in the U.S. 2015 Additional Reports Human Trafficking Human Trafficking - Questions and Answers

Human Trafficking - Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers


Q: How long has human trafficking data been collected?

A: The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program began collecting human trafficking data in January 2013.


Q: What does it mean for an offense to be cleared?

A: An offense can be cleared by arrest or exceptional means.

An offense is cleared by arrest, or solved for crime reporting purposes, when at least one person is (1) arrested, (2) charged with the commission of the offense, and (3) turned over to the court for prosecution.

If an agency can answer all of the following questions in the affirmative, it can clear the offense exceptionally.

1. Has the investigation definitely established the identity of the offender?

2. Is there enough information to support an arrest, charge, and turning over to the court for prosecution?

3. Is the exact location of the offender known so that the subject could be taken into custody now?

4. Is there some reason outside law enforcement control that precludes arresting, charging, and prosecuting the offender?

Generally, an offense can be exceptionally cleared when it falls into one of the following categories. (This list is not all-inclusive.)

1. Death of the offender.

2. Offender is prosecuted by state or local authorities in another city for a different offense or is prosecuted in another city or state by the federal government for an offense which may be the same.

3. Extradition denied/In the custody of other jurisdiction.

4. The handling of a juvenile offender either orally or by written notice to parents in instances involving minor offenses such as petty larceny.

5. Prosecution denied (for other than the lack of probable cause).

Although agencies may administratively close a case, this does not necessarily mean that the agency can clear the offense for UCR purposes.


Q: Were agencies that submitted less than 12 months of data included in the human trafficking report?

A: Yes, all submissions were included.


Q: What is the cutoff age for juveniles and adults?

A: For UCR purposes, juveniles are individuals under the age of 18 years. Adults are 18 years of age and older.


Q: What is the difference between the Summary and NIBRS collections?

A: The FBI’s UCR Program administers two data collections—the Summary Reporting System (SRS) and the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). The general concepts for collecting, scoring, and reporting UCR data are applicable to both the SRS and NIBRS. Both systems collect information on crimes reported to law enforcement or crimes law enforcement have witnessed and include reports in which no one was arrested.

The SRS provides monthly reports on ten Part I offenses known to law enforcement and reports on persons arrested. The Part I offenses of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, human trafficking–commercial sex acts, human trafficking–involuntary servitude, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, and arson are considered indicators of the level of crime occurring within the United States. Data are collected at the aggregate level and lack incident-level details for crimes other than homicide. Within the SRS, the Hierarchy Rule governs multiple offense reporting. When more than one crime was committed by the same person or group of persons and the time and space intervals separating the crimes were insignificant, then the crime highest in the hierarchy is the only offense reported.

NIBRS is a more detail-oriented crime data collection system that captures specific details about crimes and offenders through incident-based reporting. These details include information such as the date, time, location, and circumstance of the criminal incident; the characteristics of the victim and offender (such as the age, sex, race, and ethnicity); victim/offender relationship; the involvement of weapons or drugs; property loss; whether the crime was motivated by bias; or if a computer was used to perpetuate certain types of crimes.


Q: What are the benefits of NIBRS?

A: NIBRS provides a more comprehensive view of crime in the United States and offers greater flexibility in data compilation and analysis. When used to its full potential, NIBRS identifies with precision when and where a crime occurred, what form it took, and the characteristics of its victims and offenders. Because it provides a broader depiction of the data, NIBRS provides LEAs with more exact information with which to address the concerns of its constituency regarding crime in their communities and to allocate resources. Likewise, legislators, municipal planners/administrators, academicians, sociologists, advocacy groups, and the public are provided with access to more extensive crime information than the SRS can offer. The data allow a better opportunity to study crime and criminal behavior. 

The FBI intends for NIBRS to become the law enforcement community’s standard for quantifying crime. Efforts are underway to assist states not yet certified as NIBRS contributors and expand NIBRS’ ability to provide national crime data management standards and services to inform, educate, and strengthen communities through Uniform Crime Reporting.