Strengths of the UCR The UCR

Strengths of the UCR The UCR is a popular and widely used measure of crime. Arguably, it is more useful for exam- ining trends among adults than juveniles; however, the data available on youth are also impor- tant. The UCR has several strengths:

• The longevity of the program is notable. The UCR program has been in existence longer than any other program of its kind. The amount of data collected through this program over such a long period of time allows us to examine crime trends from a more historical perspective that provides us with a bigger picture view of crime and crime trends.

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• The data collection is national in scope. The UCR coverage area includes 17,000 police departments from every state in the nation. So not only are we able to exam- ine rates and trends, but we also are able to examine how crime may vary by area.

• The source of the data included in the UCR appears to be a valid measure of serious crime (Gove, Hughes, & Geerken, 1985). The UCR collects data on crimes that are serious enough to warrant a call to the police, such as murder, motor vehicle theft, robbery, or burglary. So, for example, if we want to examine crimes known to the police, we know that the UCR includes data on crimes for which a victim or loved one would be more likely to contact law enforcement for help.











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