CRIME IN NORTH CAROLINA

Uniform Crime Reporting Program

Purpose of UCR

North Carolina Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program is part of a nationwide, cooperative statistical effort administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While the program's primary objective is to generate a reliable set of criminal statistics for use in law enforcement administration, operation, and management, its data have over the years become one the country's leading social indicators. The American public looks to Uniform Crime Reports for information on fluctuations in the level of crime, while criminologists, sociologists, legislators, municipal planners, the press and other students of criminal justice use the statistics for varied research and planning purposes.


History of UCR

National Program
Recognizing a need for national crime statistics, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) formed the Committee on Uniform Crime Records in the 1920s to develop a system of uniform police statistics. Establishing offenses known to law enforcement as the appropriate measure, the Committee evaluated various crimes on the basis of their seriousness, frequency of occurrence, pervasiveness in all geographic areas of the country, and likelihood of being reported to law enforcement. After studying state criminal codes and making an evaluation of the record keeping practices in use, the Committee in 1929 completed a plan for crime reporting which became the foundation of the UCR Program.

Seven offenses were chosen to serve as an Index for gauging fluctuations in the overall volume and rate of crime. Known collectively as the Crime Index, these offenses included the violent crimes of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault and the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. By congressional mandate, arson was added as the eight Index offense in 1979.

During the early planning of the Program, it was recognized that the differences among criminal codes precluded a mere aggregation of state statistics to arrive at a national total. Further, because of the variances in punishment for the same offenses in different state codes, no distinction between felony and misdemeanor crimes was possible. To avoid these problems and provide nationwide uniformity in crime reporting, standardized offenses definitions by which law enforcement agencies were to submit data without regard for local statutes were formulated.

In January 1930, 400 cities representing 20 million inhabitants in 43 states began participating in the UCR Program. Congress enacted Title 28, Section 534, of the United States Code authorizing the Attorney General to gather crime information that same year. The Attorney General, in turn, designated the FBI to serve as the national clearinghouse for the data collected. Since that time, data based on uniform classifications and procedures for reporting have been obtained from the Nation's law enforcement agencies.

Providing vital links between local law enforcement an the FBI in the conduct of the UCR Program are the Criminal Justice Information Systems Committees of the IACP and the National Sheriff's Association (NSA). The IACP, as it has since the Program began, represents the thousands of police departments nationwide. The NSA encourages sheriffs throughout the country to participate fully in the Program. Both committees serve in advisory capacities concerning the UCR Program's operation.

To function in an advisory capacity concerning UCR policy and provide suggestions on UCR data usage, a Data Providers' Advisory Policy Board (APB) was established in August 1988. The board operated until 1993 when a new Board to address all FBI criminal justice information services was approved. The Board functions in an advisory capacity concerning UCR policy and on data collection and use. The UCR Subcommittee of the Board ensures continuing emphasis on UCR-related issues.

The Association of State Uniform Crime Reporting Programs and committees on UCR within individual state law enforcement associations are also active in promoting interest in the UCR Program. These organizations foster widespread and more intelligent use of uniform crime statistics and lend assistance to contributors when the needs arise.1

1Crime in the United States - 1997, United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation

North Carolina Program
The growing need for a central computerized network of criminal justice information for the state of North Carolina prompted an extensive survey by the Governor's Law and Order Committee in 1968. Following this committee's report, the General Assembly enacted legislation in 1969 creating the Police Information Network under the Department of Justice.

The Police Information Network (PIN) was given the authority under N.C.G.S. 114-10 to collect and correlate information regarding the administration of criminal laws; to maintain and control the access to such information that is required for the performance of criminal justice duties; and to make analysis and comparisons of this data in cooperation with local, state and national criminal justice agencies.

In 1985, the Police Information Network was made part of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) by order of the Attorney General and merged with the SBI's Identification Section creating the Division of Criminal Information (DCI). It was felt that the Division of Criminal Information was an appropriate name since a major function of DCI would be to collect, store and disseminate criminal history and criminal statistical information.


Crime Factors

The amount and rate of crime for a particular community can sometimes be quite deceiving unless several factors are taken into consideration. Some of the factors which are known to affect the volume and type of crime occurring from place to place are:

The Uniform Crime Reports give a statewide view of crime based on statistics contributed by law enforcement agencies. Population size is the only correlate of crime utilized in this publication. While the other factors listed above are of equal concern, no attempt is made to relate them to the data presented. The reader is, therefore, cautioned against comparing statistical data of individual reporting units from cities, counties, metropolitan areas, or colleges and universities solely on the basis of their population coverage or student enrollment.2

2Crime in the United States - 1997, United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation


Method of Data Collection

Reporting Procedures
In the statewide Uniform Crime Reporting Program contributing law enforcement agencies are responsible for compiling their own crime reports and submitting them to DCI. In an effort to maintain quality and uniformity in the data received, DCI Training Specialists provide training in crime reporting procedures. All contributors are provided procedures for scoring, classifying and reporting criminal offenses and arrests.

All crime reporting agencies report the number of offenses and associated crime data in the following crime categories: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson. This data, known as Part I Offenses, is taken from a record of all complaints of crime received by the law enforcement agency from victims, officers who discover infractions, or other sources.

Whenever complaints of crime are determined through an investigation to be unfounded or false, they are eliminated from an agency's count. The number of "actual offenses known" is reported to DCI regardless of whether anyone is arrested for the crime, stolen property is recovered, or prosecution is undertaken.

Another integral part of an agency's data is the total number of actual Part I offenses cleared. Crimes are "cleared" in one of two ways: (1) at least one person is arrested, charged, and turned over to the court for prosecution; or (2) by exceptional means when some element beyond law enforcement control precludes the arrest of an offender. Law enforcement agencies also report the number of Part I offenses clearances which involve only offenders under the age of 18; the value of property stolen and recovered in connection with the offenses; and detailed information pertaining to criminal homicide, rape and arson.

In addition to its primary collection of Part I offenses, the UCR Program solicits data on persons arrested for all crimes except traffic violations. The age, race and sex of arrestees are reported by crime category for both Part I and Part II offenses. Part II offenses include all crimes not classified as Part I crimes. Various data on law enforcement officers killed or assaulted are also collected. The number of full-time and part-part sworn and civilian personnel are reported as of October 31, of each year.

Verification Procedures
An obvious concern in the collection of crime statistics is the validity and uniformity of the data received. With the voluntary submission of crime reports from over 450 jurisdictions, the problem of attaining uniformity is readily apparent. Crime data submitted to DCI is reviewed for compliance with reporting standards to ensure accuracy and completeness. Data reliability is a high priority and noted deviations or arithmetical adjustments are brought to the attention of the submitting agency by contact through a DCI Training Specialist. A great deal of the success of North Carolina's UCR Program has largely been due to the Training Specialist staff assigned to assist local agencies in record keeping practices and crime reporting procedures.

DCI has also developed an audit program to assess and document the accuracy and integrity of the crime data reported to the UCR program. Although DCI makes every effort through audits, editing procedures, training practices and correspondence to assure the validity of the data it receives, the statistics' accuracy depends primarily on the adherence of each contributor to the established standards of reporting.

Field Representation
For Uniform Crime Reporting purposes, the state is divided into nine districts. A DCI Training Specialist is assigned to each district to assist local agencies in many areas including record keeping practices and crime reporting procedures. Education of contributors to the program must be a constant operational requirement, if continued system adherence and valid statistics are to be expected.

UCR Limitations
N. C. UCR Program -- Information currently collected by the North Carolina Program is generally the same as that gathered by the National system, and the methods of classifying and scoring (counting) offenses and arrests are the same. This readily enables comparisons with other states and the Nation, but the information gaps present in the National program are also inherent in the North Carolina's system.

Primary Purpose -- The Uniform Crime Reporting Program has been subject to much criticism during its history, and while many of these commentaries have been valid, at least some of the shortcomings are understandable when it is remembered that the program has been developed to furnish management information for use primarily by law enforcement agencies.

The Uniform Crime Reports are not a court or corrections statistical program. They are not designed to furnish an overview of the workings of our entire criminal justice system, nor are they able to give the complete picture of law enforcement activity. The main goal of the UCR Program is to furnish police administrators with a measure of their activities and operational problems as indicated by the number of reported offenses, arrests, clearances, and the like.

Therefore, much of the criticism of the UCR Program itself is weakened when its stated purpose is kept in mind. Uniform Crime Reports data are the best crime information currently available since they reflect the key events (criminal offenses) that set in motion the various phases of our criminal justice process. The number of arrests, prosecutions, or convictions, while capable of more precise measurement, nevertheless is less indicative of the amount and nature of crime because such data is further removed from the original event. But, because the Uniform Crime Reporting Program is the only recurring crime and arrest reporting program operating on a national level, of necessity it serves as the base for assessing the many significant information gaps at the input end of the criminal justice system.

Type Data Collected -- A first step in the control of crime is to ascertain the true dimensions of the problem. However, present statistics, as gathered by the UCR Program, measure neither the real incidence of crime nor the full amount of economic loss of victims. Information regarding the number of property stolen and covered data is requested only for property stolen in Part 1 offense categories. There is no calculation made for property damaged except in the arson offense classification.

For the Part 2 offenses (except simple assault), the only information submitted is the number of arrests for these crimes according to the age, sex, race, and ethnicity of the subject. Consequently, there is no record of the actual number of these offenses occurring.

Moreover, the broad categorization of this data does not allow an examination of the number of offenses reported nor the arrests made for such offenses as spouse abuse, the writing of worthless checks, and kidnaping. The number of these particular offenses or arrests, as well as others, are included in such general categories as Assault, Fraud, and All Other Offenses.

Although some victimization data is collected in the offense categories of Homicide and Rape, there is no record of the victims of Robbery, Assault, Burglary, and the remainder of the UCR Part 1 and 2 Offenses.

Degrees of Seriousness
The Crime Index does not explicitly take into account the varying degrees of seriousness of its components. Each crime receives the same weight as it is added to the Index. Consequently, an auto theft is counted the same as a murder, and an aggravated assault is weighted equally with an attempted burglary. Any review of crime must consider the volume, rate, and trend of each offense that comprises the Index and the relationship between these crimes.

UCR Classification and Scoring Procedures
The North Carolina and National Uniform Crime Reporting Programs are designed to measure offenses committed and persons arrested, and difficulty can arise if this distinction is not kept firmly in mind. Crimes relate to events, but arrests relate to persons. The classifying and scoring of one robbery, for instance, could involve several offenders, several victims, and even the commission of other offenses which would go unreported for UCR purposes . Even more of the total crime picture is lost when arrests are scored. UCR counts only the number of people arrested and not the number of charges per person. Clearly, one arrest could involve any number of different or similar charges against one offender.

Value of Property Stolen and Recovered
What effect the rate of inflation may be having on the report of these data along with other factors affecting these sums is impossible to calculate. The UCR methods of valuing stolen property involve the acceptance of the victim's evaluation in most instances, and exaggeration of these figures is quite possible.

Juvenile Crime Data
The accuracy of juvenile offenses and arrest statistics varies from department to department since the procedures for handling juveniles are not nearly as uniform as those for adults. Many juvenile offenders are handled informally and, as a consequence, inaccurate or incomplete recording of the event or action may result. Furthermore, the degree of juvenile involvement in solved offenses is probably seriously misunderstood because juvenile participation in clearances is recorded only when juveniles are exclusively involved. When both adults and juveniles are subjects in a clearance, the juvenile participation is not reported.

Reporting Variation
North Carolina now receives Uniform Crime Reports from over 450 law enforcement agencies monthly. Because the number of reporting agencies is so large, one must be aware that unintentional variations from UCR guidelines may occur and pass undetected affecting the validity of the data presented here. Municipal ordinances, local criminal justice administrative policies, efficiency and thoroughness of record keeping, and Uniform Crime Reporting proficiency and practices all affect the amount of crime and arrests reported. Furthermore, socio-economic conditions and the characteristics and attitudes of the local population influence the magnitude and nature of criminal behavior in a community.

Conclusion
The preceding comments should not be viewed as an indictment of the UCR Program which, admittedly, was designed to meet only the minimal operational requirements of a law enforcement agency. It is doubtful that those people tasked with creating this program some sixty years ago could ever have envisioned the informational demands now being placed on today's law enforcement. While current methods of gathering and reporting crime and arrest data provide a less than complete picture of criminality in our society, there is at present no other information system in general use that will more adequately perform this task.

The Index of Crime
The crime index offense table can be used to indicate the probable extent, fluctuation, and distribution of crime for the State of North Carolina as a whole, by geographic divisions, by individual counties and cities, and by standard metropolitan statistical areas. The measure used is a Crime Index and consists of eight important offenses which are counted as they become known to the law enforcement agencies. Crime classifications used in the Index are: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary-breaking and entering, larceny and motor vehicle theft. Arson was added as the eighth Index offense in 1979.

The total number of criminal acts that occur is unknown, but those that are reported to law enforcement provide the first means of a count. Not all crimes come readily to the attention of law enforcement; not all crimes are of sufficient importance to be significant in an index; and not all important crimes occur with enough regularity to be meaningful in an index.

Classification of Offenses
UCR divides offenses into two major classifications which are designated Part 1 and Part 2 offenses. This distinction is important to keep in mind because different information is collected for each. Part 1 offenses include the violent crimes of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault and the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson. All other offenses are classified as Part 2 offenses (see "Offense Definitions" in this section). The Part 1 offenses, excluding negligent manslaughter and arson, are used to calculate the Crime Index and Crime Rate.

All offenses are classified on the basis of law enforcement investigations in accordance with UCR offense definitions (which will not necessarily coincide with N.C. statute definitions). Because UCR identifies a law enforcement problem, offense classifications are not based on the findings of a court, coroner, jury or decision of a prosecutor.

Scoring of Offenses
Only the number of those offenses for Part 1 crimes and simple assault are scored for UCR. The method of scoring varies with the type of crime committed and it is important to remember that the number of offenders does not determine the number of offenses. For murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, negligent manslaughter, rape, and aggravated and simple assault, one offense is scored for each victim, regardless of the number of offenders involved. For example, three offenders could be involved in the murder of one victim, and in this case one murder would be scored.

For robbery and larceny, one offense is counted for each distinct operation which is separate in time and place. The number of victims in any one operation does not determine the number of offenses. For example, if ten people are robbed in a bar at the same time, only one offense is counted. However, if that robber then leaves the bar and holds up a passerby, a second offense has occurred and would be scored.

For burglary, one offense is counted for each "structure" which is illegally entered. For UCR purposes, a "structure" is generally defined as an enclosed, permanently occupied area. The illegal entries for the purpose of committing a felony or theft of such structures as dwelling houses, garages, offices, barns, and the like are considered burglaries, and one burglary is scored for each separate unit entered. The illegal entry of those structures used to house transients such as hotel rooms is scored as one burglary regardless of the number of these rooms that have been entered.

For motor vehicle theft, one offense is counted for each vehicle stolen. For UCR purposes, a motor vehicle is defined as any self-propelled vehicle that runs on the surface and not on rails or a body of water. Thefts of farm and construction equipment are excluded from this definition and are scored as larcenies. For arson, one offense is counted for each occurrence even if a more serious offense such as murder occurred as a result of the act. Additionally any attempts to commit any of the above offenses are also counted with the exception of attempts or assaults to kill which are classified and scored under aggravated assaults.

For multiple offenses that occur in one crime incident (at the same "time and place"), only the most serious offense is counted with the exceptions of arson (always counted) and a combination of larceny and motor vehicle theft (only the motor vehicle theft will be counted). Part 1 crimes are ranked according to seriousness and appear in order from most serious to least serious (See order of crimes in Offense Definitions in this section). For example, a robbery and an aggravated assault have occurred, but because robbery is considered by UCR to be more serious, only the robbery is scored. From one perspective, this method of counting seriously understates the crime problem, but from another, it prevents undue inflation of crime statistics. A Part 2 offense that occurs in combination with Part 1 offenses or by itself is not counted.

Clearances
An offense is considered cleared (solved) when at least one offender is arrested for a crime, even though several may have been involved. Offenses may also be cleared by exceptional means when some element beyond law enforcement control precludes the placing of formal charges against the offender. Examples of circumstances allowing exceptional clearances are the death of the offender (suicide, justifiably killed by police or private citizen, etc.); the victim's refusal to cooperate with prosecution after the offender has been identified; or the denial of extradition because the offender committed another crime in a different jurisdiction and is being prosecuted there. In all exceptional clearance cases, law enforcement must have identified the offender, have enough evidence to support arrest, and know the offender's location. Keep in mind that not all crimes are cleared within the calendar year in which the offense occurs.

Clearances are counted as either "adult" or "juvenile." A "juvenile" clearance is counted only when juveniles are involved exclusively in the commission and clearance of an offense. If the arrest of both adults and juveniles results in a clearance, it is counted as an "adult" clearance.

Property Stolen and Recovered
The figures for value of property stolen and recovered report the value at each point in time. Although property can increase in value over time, it is more likely that stolen property will be recovered in a damaged condition. Therefore recovery value does not necessarily represent a "clearance rate" for stolen property, and one cannot use it to determine law enforcement effectiveness in recovering stolen goods. Because stolen and recovered property figures indicate thefts and recoveries in the current year, it is important to note that recovered property may have been stolen in a previous year. In addition, the type and value of stolen recovered property is reported only for Part 1 offenses and does not include property losses suffered as a result of the commission of any Part 2 offenses such as fraud or embezzlement.

As was stated under "UCR Limitations," these values are affected by many variables and must be considered estimates at best. It is sometimes difficult to trace the recovery of some stolen property back to the offense or even the departmental jurisdiction in which the theft occurred. This coupled with the fact that the market value at the time of recovery is used instead of at the time of the theft should prompt cautious analysis of this data.

Arrests
Arrest information is collected for all Part 1 and Part 2 offenses according to the age, sex and race of the offender. It is not possible, however, to correlate race with sex or specific ages because the information is collected independently, thus limiting analysis. Furthermore, arrest figures cannot be directly related to the number of crimes cleared because arrest totals count all the offenders who have been arrested even if several were involved in the commission of a singular offense. Therefore, arrest and clearance totals will be equal only by coincidence.

It should be kept in mind that arrest totals are not indicative of the number of different people involved in the commission of crime. A total of three arrests may represent the arrest of three different people or the arrest of the same person on three different occasions. Moreover, arrest totals also do not indicate the number of charges placed against an individual at the time of arrest.


Offense Definitions

Offenses in Uniform Crime Reporting are divided into two groupings, Part I and Part II. Information on the volume of Part I offenses known to law enforcement, those cleared by arrest or exceptional means, and the number of persons arrested is reported monthly. Only arrest data are reported for Part II offenses.

Part I Offenses
Criminal Homicide:
a. Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter:
The willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. Deaths caused by negligence, attempts to kill, assaults to kill, suicides, accidental deaths, and justifiable homicides are excluded. Justifiable homicides are limited to: (1) the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty; and (2) the killing of a felon by a private citizen.
b. Manslaughter by negligence:
The killing of another person through gross negligence. Traffic fatalities are excluded. While manslaughter by negligence is a Part I crime, it is not included in the Crime Index.
Forcible Rape:
The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Included are rapes by force and attempts or assaults to rape. Statutory offenses (no force used victim under age of consent) are excluded.
Robbery:
The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.
Aggravated Assault:
The unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe bodily injury usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or other means likely to produce death or serious bodily harm. Attempts are included since it is not necessary that an injury result when a gun, knife, or other weapon is used which could and probably would result in serious personal injury if the crime were successfully completed. Attacks using personal weapons (part of the attacker's body) must result in serious personal completed. Attacks using personal weapons (part of the attacker's body) must result in serious personal injury to be classified as aggravated assault. Simple assaults are excluded from this count.
Burglary:
The unlawful entry of a "structure" to commit a felony or theft. The use of force to gain entry is not required to classify the crime as burglary. Burglary is broken down into three subclassifications: forcible entry, unlawful entry where no force is used, and attempted forcible entry. A "structure" is considered to include the following, but not limited to: dwelling houses, apartments, out buildings, public buildings, offices, factories, barns, cabins, etc.
Larceny:
The unlawful taking or stealing of property or articles without the use of force, violence, or fraud. This includes crimes such as shoplifting, purse snatching, pocket picking, thefts from motor vehicles, thefts of motor vehicle parts and accessories, bicycle theft, etc. This crime category does not include embezzlement, "con" games, forgery, and worthless checks. Motor vehicle theft is excluded from this category inasmuch as it is separate Part 1 offense.
Motor Vehicle Theft:
The unlawful taking or stealing of a motor vehicle, including attempts. This definition excludes taking for temporary use by those persons having lawful access to the vehicle. UCR defines a motor vehicle as a self-propelled vehicle that runs on the ground and not on rails. Examples included automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, mopeds, snowmobiles, etc. Thefts of farm and/or construction equipment, boats, and airplanes are not included in this category but are counted as larcenies.
Arson:
The willful or malicious burning of property with or without the intent to defraud. Includes attempts.
Part 2 Offenses
Other (Simple) Assaults:
An unlawful attack or attempted attack upon another which does not result in serious injury to the victim and which does not involve the use of a dangerous weapon.
Forgery and Counterfeiting:
The making, altering, using or possession, with intent to defraud, of anything false which is made to appear true. Includes attempts.
Fraud:
Fraudulent conversion and obtaining money or property by false pretenses. Includes bad checks, confidence games, illegal conversion of services, etc., except forgeries and counterfeiting.
Embezzlement:
Misappropriation or misapplication of money or property entrusted to one's care, custody, or control. Includes larceny from employer.
Stolen Property:
The buying, receiving, and possessing of stolen property, or the attempt to do so.
Vandalism:
The willful or malicious destruction, injury, disfigurement or defacement of real or personal property without the consent of the owner or person having custody or control. Includes attempts.
Weapons:
All violations of regulations or statutes that control carrying, using, possessing, furnishing, and manufacturing deadly weapons or silencers. Includes attempts.
Prostitution and Commercialized Vice:
Sex offenses and attempted sex offenses of a commercialized nature. Includes prostitution, keeping houses of ill fame, pandering, detaining women for immoral purposes, etc.
All Other Sex Offenses:
All other offenses against common decency and morals. Includes statutory rape (without force) and all other sex offenses not previously defined.
Drug Laws:
The unlawful possession, sale, use, growth or manufacture of controlled substances. For UCR purposes these offenses are broken down into four subcategories: a. Opium or cocaine and their derivatives (morphine, heroin, codeine), b. Marijuana, c. Synthetic narcotics -- manufactured narcotics which can cause true drug addiction, d. Dangerous non-narcotic drugs.
Gambling:
Promoting, permitting or engaging in illegal gambling. Includes bookmaking, numbers and lottery, etc.
Offenses Against the Family or Children:
All charges of non-support and neglect or abuse of family or children. Note: Most child abuse, especially that resulting in injury, has been classified as either simple or aggravated assault.
Driving While Impaired:
Operating any motor vehicle or common carrier while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Liquor Laws:
Violation of state or local regulator laws. Includes sale to minors and drinking on a public conveyance. This category excludes Driving While Impaired and Drunk and Disorderly violations.
Disorderly Conduct:
Breaching the peace or attempting to do so. Includes violations of disturbing the peace, unlawful assembly and drunk and disorderly.
Vagrancy:
Violation of state or local statutes pertaining to being a "suspicious character or person," vagrancy, etc.

All Other Offenses:

All violations of state or local regulatory laws except traffic offenses and offenses defined above or below. Includes kidnaping, extortion, trespass, etc.

Curfew and Loitering Laws:
Juvenile violations of local curfew and loitering ordinances.
Runaways - (Juveniles):
The unlawful truancy from a legal place of residence by a juvenile.

Additional UCR Collections

Hate Crime Reporting

In response to a growing concern about hate crimes, the President of the U.S. signed into law on April 23, 1990, the Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990. The Act required the U.S. Attorney General to establish guidelines and collect, as part of the UCR Program, data "about crimes that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, including where appropriate the crimes of murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault, simple assault, intimidation, arson and destruction or vandalism of property."

The enactment of Federal legislation requiring the collection and publication of nationwide hate crime statistics prompted the N.C. General Assembly to pass hate crime legislation. This legislation allows for stiffer penalties for crimes committed solely on the basis of hate and provided funding for the N.C. Justice Academy to train law enforcement agencies in hate crime reporting. The N.C. Justice Academy began training law enforcement agencies during the fall of 1992, and in 1997, DCI began conducting hate crime training. This training continues statewide.

DCI also provides assistance to agencies in hate crime reporting, such as providing forms, reporting assistance and statistical analysis. DCI has modified its crime reporting forms to allow for the collection of hate crime. From 1992 through 1994, DCI received a limited number of hate crime reports. In 1995, fifty-nine agencies reported 52 hate crime incidents to DCI; in 1996, eighty-three agencies reported 34 hate crime incidents; and in 1997, twenty-two agencies reported 42 hate crime incidents. While this limited participation is insufficient to generate meaningful trend analysis, these reports do offer perspectives on the general nature of hate crime occurrences. Hate crime incidents reported for 1997 are available in Chapter IV entitled Hate Crime Reporting.

Incident-Based Reporting

The Division of Criminal Information (DCI) has developed an Incident-Based Reporting (IBR) Program similar to the one developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Incident-Based Reporting is a less restrictive and more expansive method of collecting crime data as opposed to the current Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Summary Program from which the statistics in this publication have been drawn.

With Incident-Based Reporting, DCI has overcome most of the limitations on crime analysis imposed by the UCR Summary Program simply by changing the method by which crime data is collected and compiled in this state. Conversion to Incident-Based Reporting has eliminated the monthly completion of time-consuming and often error-filled summary reports by the contributing agencies. Instead, agencies submit crime data electronically to DCI in accordance with IBR specifications.

The advantages of such a reporting system are obvious: 1) less paperwork imposed upon participating agencies, 2) better overall uniformity and validity of crime data, and 3) a vastly enhanced crime data base for analysis purposes.

To fully appreciate the advantages of an enhanced data base, consider that statewide data for the following offenses is not available through the UCR Summary Program: 1) kidnaping; 2) white collar crime in its various forms; 3) the writing of worthless checks and other types of fraud; 4) spouse abuse; 5) child molestation, abuse and neglect; 6) non-support, and desertion or abandonment; 7) blackmail and extortion; 8) escape from custody and resisting arrest; 9) parole and probation violations; and 10) court related offenses such as perjury and failure to appear.

In addition to the above information, Incident-Based Reporting will provide the first valid analysis of the extent of juvenile crime and the criminal misuse of handguns in North Carolina, which would be invaluable in determining appropriate legislation for dealing with these problems. This program may provide limited examination of the modus operandi (M.O.) of crimes which could be studied and compared on a statewide basis.

Since Incident-Based Reporting began in 1980, DCI has converted over 430 agencies of the 460 reporting agencies to Incident-Based Reporting. With increased automation of law enforcement records, DCI hopes statewide Incident-Based Reporting will become a reality in the near future. Chapter IX contains Incident-Based offenses for those agencies that have submitted twelve months of data for 1998. In addition, 1997 data will be included if the agency submitted twelve months of data for that year.