February 21, 2020
NIBRS was introduced in the 1980s by the FBI to improve crime data collection and reporting. NIBRS was meant to improve upon the data reported in the UCR Summary Reporting System (commonly known as UCR
reports), the only available reporting system available through the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program at the time.
UCR reports and NIBRS share general concepts such as jurisdictional rules of collecting and reporting, but NIBRS offers much greater detail. For instance, NIBRS includes 24 Group A/Part 1 crime categories versus the eight offered by UCR reports. The other two major issues that make NIBRS a better reporting system are instances where multiple crimes are committed by a single person or group of people within same basic time period and location, and crime categories. UCR reports only report the most serious offense committed, as opposed to NIBRS which captures them all. Additionally, UCR reports offer only two crime categories – Crimes Against Persons and Crimes Against Property, whereas NIBRS adds a third - Crimes Against Society.
In June 2016, the FBI announced to all state level UCR Program agencies that the federal UCR Program will be phasing out the UCR reporting system, and moving entirely over to the improved NIBRS system. What this means for state and local law enforcement agencies is that all agencies reporting crime data to the UCR Program must be prepared to submit NIBRS reporting data by January 1, 2021. Reports as of now show that only about a third of all law enforcement agencies participating in the UCR Program are submitting NIBRS data. This leaves a lot of work still to be done to bring agencies up to speed on uniform crime data reporting.
The good news for ProPhoenix Records Management software users is that your department is already one step ahead of the game. Our RMS program entirely supports NIBRS reporting and submissions, and training your personnel to NIBRS reporting is much easier with NIBRS supported software. The rules for NIBRS compliant reporting can be very overwhelming and time consuming, so agencies often require a software system that guides them through step by step with NIBRS reporting. ProPhoenix software does just that.
Our step by step reporting modules guide the officer in a user-friendly, intuitive way to complete reports with the proper NIBRS compliant fields at every step in the process. Officers can easily report the NIBRS data into the system along with any additional information that is pertinent to the situation or the department. In addition to the ease of reporting by the officer, our multi-step approval process eases the task of supervisors and administrators with obtaining the needed information from the officer. The department administrators have the option to set parameters within the system to prompt the officer to resolve all NIBRS errors prior to submission for approval, or allow the report to submit, and trained NIBRS personnel resolve all NIBRS errors. The 2nd option can be done without changing the officer’s original report for accuracy.
We certainly recommend taking part in the NIBRS reporting system to any agency. The advantages of proper data touch on many different aspects of public safety. The challenge is understanding the reporting system, properly reporting the data and submitting the data to the proper channels. The ProPhoenix RMS system makes this somewhat overwhelming situation much easier to handle.
Any users who have any question on NIBRS, using our software to properly report NIBRS data, or the deadline of January 1st 2021 for UCR reporting, always feel to reach out to us, and we will be happy to answer any questions.