Crime Information

How We Track Statistics

In this area, law enforcement agencies report their crime statistics under one of two reporting systems, either UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting) or NIBRS (National Information Based Reporting System). There are distinct differences between the two reporting systems. The FBI describes the difference as follows:

“In the (UCR) Summary reporting system, the “Hierarchy Rule” governs multiple offenses reporting. If more than one crime was committed by the same person or group of persons and the time and space intervals separating the crimes were insignificant, then the crime highest in the hierarchy is the only offense reported. Agencies do not use the Hierarchy Rule in the NIBRS. If more than one crime was committed by the same person or group of persons and the time and space intervals were insignificant, all of the crimes are reported as offenses within the same incident. For example, if a criminal burglarizes a residence and assaults the inhabitant, only the assault is reported as it takes precedence over the burglary (in UCR reporting) on the Hierarchy Rule. NIBRS reports all offenses involved in a particular incident (i.e. one burglary and one assault).”

These reporting differences can lead to significant discrepancies when accurately attempting to compare crime statistics where some report under UCR and some report under NIBRS.

In order to make an "apples to apples" comparison, the Bedford Police Department is now providing annual both violent crime and property crime data in both NIBRS and UCR formats on our website.