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The Uniform Crime Reports Essay

The Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) is an annual FBI publication that summarizes the incident and crime rate of reported crimes throughout the United States. The UCR Program was designed to permit comparison over time through construction of a Crime Index. The Crime Index is an inclusive measure of the violent and property crime categories of the UCR. The Uniform Crime Reports also include information on what the FBI calls Part 1 Offenses. These offenses are also called major crimes. Part 1 offenses or major crimes are (1) murder, (2) rape, (3) robbery, (4) aggravated assault, (5) burglary, (6) larceny, (7) motor vehicle theft, (8) arson. Murder is the defined as the unlawful killing of a human being. This definition may include 1st and 2nd degree murder and manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and other similar kinds of offenses. Murder is the smallest numerical category in the Part 1 offenses. Over the years murder offenses have shown the highest clearance of any crime index. The second offense Rape is defined as the unlawful sexual intercourse, achieved through force and without legal consent.

The Uniform Crime Reports define forcible rape as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will”. Forcible rape is the least reported of all violent crimes. The third offense is Robbery. It is defined as the unlawful taking or attempted taking of property that is in immediate possession of another, by force or the threat of force. Robbery is sometimes confused with burglary. Armed robbery differs from unarmed robbery or strong-armed robbery with regard to the presence of a weapon. Aggravated assault is the forth offense that is classified in the Part 1 offenses. There are two types of assault, aggravated and simple. Assault is the unlawful, intentional inflicting, or attempted or threatened inflicting, of injury upon the person of another. Simple assault may involve pushing and shoving or even fistfights.

Aggravated assaults are distinguished from simple assaults by the fact that they either include the use of a weapon, or the assault victim requires medical attention. Burglary is the fifth offense. It is the unlawful entry of any fixed structure, vehicle, or vessel used for regular residence, industry, or business, with or without force, with intent to commit a felony or larceny. There are three classifications of burglary, (1) forcible entry, (2) unlawful entry where no force is used, (3) attempted forcible entry. Although, it may involve personal and even violent confrontations, burglary is primarily a property crime.

The sixth offense is Larceny. Larceny is another name for theft. It is defined as the unlawful taking or attempted taking of property other than a motor vehicle from the possession of another, by stealth, without force and without deceit, with intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Grand Larceny is usually defined as theft of valuables in excess of a certain amount, such as $200. Larceny is the most common of the eight major offenses. The seventh offense is Motor Vehicle Theft. It is the unlawful taking or attempted taking of a self propelled road vehicle owned by another with the intent to deprive the owner of it permanently or temporarily.

This is a crime in which most occurrences are reported to the law enforcement agencies. The eight major crime, Arson is the burning or the attempted burning of property with or without the intent to defraud. The intentional and unlawful burning of structures (houses, storage buildings, manufacturing facilities, etc.) was the type of arson most often reported in 1999. The arson of vehicles was the second most common category reported. Arson was not added to the Crime Index until 1979. Although the Uniform Crime Reports categories today parallel statutory definitions of criminal behavior, they are not legal classifications, only convenience created for statistical reporting purposes.

Schmalleger, Frank. Criminal Justice A Brief Introduction, p. 33, 34-35

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