New Data Provides Better Information on Crime Victims and Offenders


The FBI released details on more than 5.4 million criminal offenses reported via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) in 2014 (latest data available).

The information is an example of the kind of  better, more comprehensive and complete crime data that the FBI is compiling.

NIBRS, 2014, provides a diverse range of information about victims, known offenders, and relationships. 

Unlike data reported via Crime in the United States (based on crimes reported from most law enforcement agencies) data in NIBRS, 2014 includes all offenses within an incident, as well as additional aspects about each event such as location, time of day, and clearances.

An Overview of NIBRS, 2014

In 2014, 6,520 law enforcement agencies, representing coverage of more than 93 million U.S. inhabitants, submitted NIBRS data.

While not yet nationally representative, this coverage represents 35.2 percent of all law enforcement agencies that participate in the UCR Program.

NIBRS agencies reported 4,759,438 incidents that involved 5,489,485 offenses, 5,790,423 victims, and 4,414,016 known offenders.

In addition, these agencies reported 3,099,779 arrestees.

Of the reported offenses, 63.6 percent involved crimes against property (i.e., those crimes in which the object is attaining property), 23.0 percent involved crimes against persons, (i.e., crimes whose victims are always individuals), and 13.4 percent included crimes against society (i.e., typically “victimless crimes” that represent society’s prohibition against engaging in certain types of activity, such as gambling).

Victim Data:

NIBRS victim types, collected for all reported offenses, may be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole.

Of the 4,032,600 individual victims reported in 2014, 24.0 percent were between 21 and 30 years of age.

A little more than half (51.0 percent) were female, 48.1 percent were male, and sex was unknown for 0.8 percent.

The majority (72.0 percent) were white, 21.1 percent were black or African-American, 1.3 percent were Asian, 0.6 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, and less than 0.1 percent were Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

Race was unknown for 5.0 percent of victims.

Offender Data:

In 2014, there were 4,414,016 known offenders, meaning that some aspect of the suspect—such as the age, sex, or race—was identified and reported.

Of these, nearly a third (32.3 percent) were between 16 and 25 years of age.

By gender, the majority (63.9 percent) were male, and 25.6 percent were female; gender was unknown for 10.5 percent.

By race, more than half (57.1 percent) of known offenders were white, 27.8 percent were black or African-American, and 1.7 percent were of other races.

The race was unknown for 13.4 percent of reported known offenders.

Known and Unknown Offenders:

Concerning the relationship of victims to known offenders, there were 1,273,602 victims of crimes against persons (e.g., murders, sex offenses, assault offenses) and of robbery offenses from the crimes against property category.

Of these victims, 52.7 percent knew their offenders (or at least one offender where more than one was present) but did not have a familial relationship to them.

Nearly a quarter (24.8 percent) of victims were related to their offenders (or at least one offender where more than one was present).




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