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2000 Bulletins

Developments in the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)

Note: The excerpts are presented as they were originally published in the UCR State Program Bulletin and therefore will include any additions, deletions, or clarifications released in subsequent bulletins. Readers are urged to read this document in its entirety before making any programming changes.


UCR State Program Bulletin 00-1, August 23, 2000

National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) Coordinator Designated

In an effort to provide more intense focus on the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) initiative, the national UCR Program has created and staffed a NIBRS Program Coordinator position. Mr. Christopher L. Enourato of the Education/Training Services Unit (ETSU) was appointed to this position. In general, his duties and responsibilities include the following: developing a strategic vision for NIBRS implementation, identifying and assessing resources that are available to support the NIBRS endeavor, developing a strategy that maximizes use of those resources, and monitoring and reporting progress. Mr. Enourato serves as a liaison with personnel both internal and external to the FBI for the purpose of coordinating NIBRS issues with the Regional Working Groups, the UCR Subcommittee, and the CJIS Advisory Policy Board. In addition, Mr. Enourato functions as an integral part of the NIBRS certification process, works with issues concerning the future publication of NIBRS data, and directs the joint effort among the Bureau of Justice Statistics, SEARCH Group, Inc., and the FBI to increase NIBRS participation.

Proper Segment Action Types Will Reduce NIBRS Rejections for Duplicate Submissions

The national UCR Program is experiencing an unusually high volume of duplicate NIBRS submissions. As a result, the incidents are being rejected, and the submitting agencies are receiving Error Number 056 and/or Error Number 759.

With regard to Error Number 056, NIBRS Volume 4: Error Message Manual (revised December 1999), states the following on page 82:

056
INCIDENT ALREADY ON FILE—PREVIOUSLY ADDED TO FILE ON [mm/dd/yyyy]




A Group "A" Incident Report was previously added to the FBI's database on the date shown within the error message and is presently on file. Another report was processed with the same ORI and Incident Number, resulting in this error.


When reporting changes/additional information for a particular Group “A” Incident Report, a segment action type of D = DELETE should precede an I = INCIDENT REPORT for a complete resubmission of the incident report. These guidelines are outlined on pages 120-126 of NIBRS Volume 2: Data Submission Specifications(revised May 1992).

Concerning Error Number 759, NIBRS Volume 4: Error Message Manual (revised December 1999), states the following on page 132:

759
DUPLICATE GROUP “B” ARREST REPORT SEGMENT ON FILE




The Group “B” Arrest Report (Level 7) submitted as an Add is currently active in the FBI’s database; therefore, it was rejected. If multiple arrestees are involved in the incident, ensure that Data Element 40 (Arrestee Sequence Number) is unique for each Arrestee Segment submitted so that duplication does not occur.


Again, as changes/additional information is collected in reference to a particular Group “B” Arrest Report, a segment action type of D = DELETE should precede an A = ADD ARREST Report for a complete resubmission of the arrest report. Also, M = MODIFY Report may be used “when adjusting previously submitted segments. All data elements within this segment must reflect the corrected and current values; do not just complete those that changed.” These guidelines are outlined on page 34 of NIBRS Volume 2: Data Submission Specifications (revised May 1992).

Review of NIBRS Error Number 470 Reveals Misuse of the “VO” Relationship Code

During a quality review of NIBRS data, it has come to the attention of the national UCR Program staff that some reporting agencies are misusing the VO = Victim Was Offender relationship code for Data Element 35 (Relationship[s] of Victim to Offender[s]). Therefore, the following information is offered for clarification.

NIBRS Volume 4: Error Message Manual (revised December 1999), page 114, provides the error message associated with Error Number 470 along with an explanation of the error:

470
WHEN “VO” RELATIONSHIP IS PRESENT, MUST HAVE TWO OR MORE VICTIMS AND OFFENDERS




Data Element 35 (Relationship of Victim to Offenders) has a relationship of VO = Victim Was Offender. When this code is entered, a minimum of two victim and two offender segments must be submitted. In this case, only one victim and/or one offender segment was submitted.




The entry of VO on one or more of the victims indicates situations such as brawls and domestic disputes. In the vast majority of cases, each victim is also the offender; therefore, every victim record would contain a VO code. However, there may be some situations where only one of the victims is also the offender, but where the other victim(s) is not also the offender(s).


The entry of VO on one or more of the victims indicates situations such as brawls and domestic disputes. In the vast majority of cases, each victim is also the offender; therefore, every victim record would contain a VO code. However, there may be some situations where only one of the victims is also the offender, but where the other victim(s) is not also the offender(s).

As originally defined, VO relationship codes should be used only when the police cannot distinguish the victims from the aggressors in crimes against persons or robbery (the only offenses to which relationships apply) and the participants are mutual combatants.

Since the collection of NIBRS data began, the number of domestic and barroom brawl incidents in which the assault victims are being reported under one incident, even though they have been arrested for other offenses, has increased. Though this may be a matter of practical application in local reporting procedures, current policy for the national UCR Program requires the submission of two or more separate incident reports for situations involving multiple incidents. Submitting these particular situations as two or more incidents is critical for accurate data analysis. The following scenarios demonstrate the importance of correct reporting.

Scenario 1

During a domestic dispute, a husband struck his wife in the face several times causing a severe laceration. After the wife called 911 to report the incident, police responded and placed the husband under arrest for Aggravated Assault. While in the home, the officers also saw illegal drugs in plain view on the kitchen table; the wife admitted they were hers. Consequently, after receiving medical attention, the wife was arrested for a Drug/Narcotic Violation.

If the data were recorded under one incident rather than two, the report would appear as follows:

Offense Segment #1 Data Element 6 (UCR Offense Code): 13A = Aggravated Assault
Offense Segment #2 Data Element 6 (UCR Offense Code): 35A = Drug/Narcotic Violation
Victim Segment #1

Data Element 24 (Victim Connected to UCR Offense Code): 35A = Drug Narcotic Violation

Data Element 25 (Type of Victim): S = Society/Public

Victim Segment #2

Data Element 24 (Victim Connected to UCR Offense Code): 13A = Aggravated Assault

Data Element 25 (Type of Victim): I = Individual

Data Element 27 (Sex [of Victim]): F = Female

Data Element 34 (Offender Number[s] to be Related): 01

Data Element 35 (Relationship of Victim to Offender): SE = Victim Was Spouse

Data Element 34 (Offender Number[s] to be Related: 02

Data Element 35 (Relationship of Victim to Offender): VO = Victim Was Offender

Offender Segment #1 Data Element 36 (Offender Sequence Number): 01 (male)
Offender Segment #2 Data Element 36 (Offender Sequence Number): 02 (female)
Arrestee Segment #1

Data Element 45 (UCR Arrest Offense Code): 13A = Aggravated Assault

Data Element 48 (Sex [of Arrestee]): M = Male

Arrestee Segment #2 Data Element 45 (UCR Arrest Offense Code): 35A = Drug/Narcotic Violation Data Element 48 (Sex [of Arrestee]): F = Female


From these data, one could erroneously conclude that the female also committed an aggravated assault against the male. It is also difficult to discern the evidence of domestic violence. Improper reporting such as this could adversely impact the validity of any domestic violence statistics compiled by state or local agencies.

Scenario 2

The police responded to a barroom brawl and arrested one subject for Aggravated Assault. Because he was intoxicated and became enraged, the victim of the assault was also arrested for Drunkenness.

Offense Segment Data Element 6 (UCR Offense Code): 13A = Aggravated Assault
Victim Segment

Data Element 24 (Victim Connected to UCR Offense Code): 13A = Aggravated Assaulted

Data Element 34 (Offender Number[s] to be Related): 01

Data Element 35 (Relationship of Victim to Offender): AQ = Victim Was Acquaintance

Data Element 34 (Offender Number[s] to be Related: 02

Data Element 35 (Relationship of Victim to Offender): VO = Victim Was Offender

Offender Segment #1 Data Element 36 (Offender Sequence Number): 01
Offender Segment #2 Data Element 36 (Offender Sequence Number): 02
Arrestee Segment #1 Data Element 45 (UCR Arrest Offense Code): 13A = Aggravated Assault (assault perpetrator)
Arrestee Segment #2 Data Element 45 (UCR Arrest Offense Code): 90E = Drunkeness (assault victim)

Again, the original intent of the code VO = Victim was Offender was to identify mutual combatants. From these data, one could mistakenly conclude that the victim was also involved in assaulting his attacker. One may also question why Arrestee #2 was arrested for drunkenness and not aggravated assault when the data suggest that he was involved in the aggravated assault.

The Crime Analysis, Research and Development Unit and the Education/Training Services Unit will continue to monitor these types of submissions for errors. Meanwhile, the national UCR Program staff requests that all state Program Managers disseminate this information in order to maintain the highest standard of data integrity. Should you have any questions, please contact Mr. Christopher L. Enourato, NIBRS Coordinator, at 304-625-2859.

Changes to Conversions of NIBRS Data to Summary Data

Three changes to the process of converting UCR data from the NIBRS to Summary format for the Supplement to Return A and the reasons for those changes are presented in the following material. Pages referenced are found in the publication Conversion of NIBRS Data to Summary Data (September 1999).

Additional Data Element Needed to Convert Property Recovered

The procedures and data elements used in arriving at figures for the Property by Type and Value section of the Supplement to Return A data presentation appear on pages 17-20. In order for information to be properly converted, Data Element 17 (Date Recovered) must be added to each list under the “Recovered:” heading for each data entry code.

Policy Change Made Concerning the Coding of the Theft of Bicycles for Conversion

Types of larcenies are listed on page 25 as they will appear in the Supplement to Return A data presentation. According to the Larceny Hierarchy Rule, the specific order was established “To obtain the larceny offense code for Summary purposes from a NIBRS incident report with multiple types of larcenies occurring . . . .” Currently, the hierarchy includes an exception in the case of bicycle theft. Specifically, when a bicycle theft occurs from a motor vehicle or from a building (and the category Theft from Motor Vehicle or Theft from Building are the highest form of theft according to the established hierarchy), the hierarchy is abandoned and theft of bicycle is recorded.

Based on the Crime Analysis, Research and Development Unit’s study and a discussion with the Unit Chiefs of the Communications Unit and Education/Training Services Unit, Programs Support Section Chief William C. Temple approved the modification of the rule for converting NIBRS larceny data to Summary as it relates to the theft of bicycles. Two of the bicycle exceptions should be deleted, and the Larceny Hierarchy Rule should be followed. Specifically, 23D and 23F in parenthetical phrase on page 25 of the publication Conversion of NIBRS Data to Summary Data under the category “Object Larcenies” should be removed.

Revision Required in Data Elements Used to Convert the Total of Locally Stolen Motor Vehicles Recovered

Although not all of the stolen automobile recovery categories found in the Supplement to Return A data presentation can be directly converted from the data collected in NIBRS, page 27 lists the data elements necessary for obtaining the total of locally stolen motor vehicles recovered under data entry code 90. However, in order for the correct information to be converted, Data Element 17 (Date Recovered) and Data Element 19 (Number of Recovered Motor Vehicles) should be added to the list, and Data Element 18 (Number of Stolen Motor Vehicles) should be deleted.

Hate Crime Reporting Procedures Clarified to Help Avoid Inaccurate Reporting

During the processing of hate crime incident reports, the Statistical Unit staff has discovered several reporting problems that should be addressed with both Summary and NIBRS contributors. The identified issues and a clarification of each respective reporting procedure follow.

Some contributors are reporting more than one bias motivation per offense code entry.

When the Hate Crime Program was established in 1991, the system was designed to accept only one bias-motivation code for each offense type. Therefore, when one offense type is reported, only one type of bias motivation can be reported. For incidents in which one offense type occurs but two or more bias motivations are identified, the state Program/agency should select and report only one bias motivation. For example, if two people are assaulted with clubs in the same incident, one because of racial bias and the other because of religious bias, one offense type (aggravated assault) and one bias motivation (either race or religion) should be reported. The reporting agency/state must decide which bias motivation is most appropriate based on the local investigation of the incident.

Participants are being reported as both victims and offenders in single hate crime incidents.

This is another instance of the incorrect use of the VO relationship code previously discussed. The Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook, NIBRS Edition (1992), states, “An ‘incident’ is defined for NIBRS reporting purposes as one or more offenses committed by the same offender, or group of offenders acting in concert, at the same time and place” (page 25).

The handbook further states, “‘Acting in concert’ requires that the offenders actually commit or assist in the commission of the crime(s). The offenders must be aware of, and consent to, the commission of the crime(s); or even if nonconsenting, their actions assist in the commission of the offense(s). . . . ‘Same time and place’ means that the time interval between the offenses and the distance between the locations where they occurred were insignificant” (page 25). Therefore, the agency must decide whether to report this type of scenario as a single incident with multiple victims and offenders or as multiple incidents.

Agencies are using “00” for the number of offenders on the Hate Crime Incident Report and for Data Element 36 (Offender Sequence Number) when auxiliary information such as the offender’s race is reported.

According to the Hate Crime Incident Report form, an entry of “00” indicates that nothing is known about the offender. Likewise, NIBRS Volume 1: Data Collection Guidelines (revised September 1996) states, “If nothing is known about the offender(s) -- i.e., no one saw the offender(s) and there were no suspects, so even the number of offenders is unknown -- then ‘00’ is to be entered . . .” (page 61). If an agency knows the race of an offender, the number “01” (or higher if applicable) must be entered for the number of offenders. Conversely, whenever “00” is reported as the number of offenders, the race of the offender, whether reported on the form or in a subsequent data element, should be blank.

Some agencies have reported hate crime incidents with the UCR Offense Code of 10 for Intimidation then subsequently identified the Victim Type as Business, Financial Institution, Government, Religious Organization, or Society/Public.

For UCR purposes, intimidation is considered a crime against persons, and therefore, the victim type must be “Individual.”

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