National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
NIBRS is an incident-based reporting system which means data are collected on each single crime occurrence. NIBRS collects data on each single incident and arrest within 22 offense categories made up of 46 specific crimes called Group A offenses. For each of the offenses coming to the attention of law enforcement, various facts about the crime are collected. In addition to the Group A offenses, there are *10 Group B offense categories for which only arrest data are reported. (From the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook, NIBRS Edition, 1992)
In addition to expanding offenses from 8 offense categories and 16 offenses in summary-based UCR to 22 offense categories and 46 offenses in NIBRS, other data is collected in NIBRS which is unavailable in summary UCR. The additional data includes weapons or force used; injuries received; relationships between victims and offenders; crime locations; victim, offender and arrestee age, sex and race; victim and arrestee residency and ethnicity; victim type (such as individual, business, government, religious and financial institutions); use of alcohol, drugs and/or computers by offenders; and the circumstances of aggravated assaults and homicides. Specialized crime data can be generated from this data, such as on crimes against the elderly, crimes against women and domestic violence. Also, state and local agencies can add other data to address issues of importance to them for analysis.
NIBRS measurably strengthens the information arsenal of law enforcement in apprehending criminals and reducing crime. The common link of NIBRS provides a data backbone for data sharing in cross-jurisdictional crime fighting efforts.
*As of January 2011, the FBI no longer collects data on Runaways which was classified as a Group B Offense.
Since data collected by NIBRS are considerably more comprehensive than those of the traditional summary UCR system, agencies wishing to participate should have computerized data systems capable of processing NIBRS information. NIBRS was designed to be a byproduct of an existing automated law enforcement records system.
An indispensable tool in the war against crime is the ability to identify with precision when and where crime takes place, what form it takes, and the characteristics of its victims and perpetrators. NIBRS provides law enforcement with that tool because it is capable of producing more detailed, accurate, and meaningful data than produced by the traditional summary UCR Program.
Many individual law enforcement agencies have very sophisticated records systems capable of producing the full range of statistics on their own activities. NIBRS allows common denominator links among agencies. It will provide law enforcement agencies with extensive, specific crime information concerning similar jurisdictions, allowing the identification of common crime problems or trends. Agencies can then work together to develop possible solutions or proactive strategies for addressing the issues. (From the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook, NIBRS Edition, 1992)
New NIBRS video from the FBI: NIBRS 101.