Statistics of Criminology

It is typically difficult to obtain accurate crime figures. The numbers are notorious for being inaccurate in instances where someone has been able to obtain the data. The instability of crime statistics can be attributable to a number of factors. The first is that crime evolves through time. A situation that would qualify as criminal activity in one jurisdiction might not in another or at a later date. The second reason why crime statistics are problematic and unreliable is because of these changes, which make it impossible to keep track of the number of crimes committed. To count the exact number of offenses committed would be quite difficult. This is true for both major crimes and minor crimes that individuals in the society commit. Lastly, reliable records of crime such as arrests, convictions, or the number of prisoners can be challenged as an index of crime on the assumption that these records maintain a constant ratio. The assumption is a result of interference on the recorded crimes by police officers, court policies, and in some cases public opinion (Mosher, Miethe, & Phillips, 2002). However, there are several sources of data which provide crime statistics that are reliable to a certain percentage. These sources are Uniform Crime Report by the FBI and the National Crime Victimization Survey.

Uniform Crime Reporting (FBI)

The FBI administers the UCR program. The program began in 1929, and it collects information on crimes which have been reported to law enforcement authorities. The data is collected by law enforcement agencies in the country then transmitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigations for compiling on a monthly basis. The crimes which are recorded include murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, burglary, and arson (UCR, 2017).

Several advantages can be identified when using UCR as a source of crime data. First, UCR program provides the crime count of the entire nation. The data is subdivided into regions, states, counties, cities, town, tribal law enforcement, and universities and colleges. The national wide count for crime enables an individual to study tends among various jurisdictions or those with common characteristics. Secondly, the report provides details about crimes such as those which were unlawful and those that were cleared by the Justice system (UCR, 2017). Lastly, the data reports on the profile of various crimes such as the perpetrator and weapons used.

However, the UCR program has several disadvantages that can be identified. First, it only compiles information on crimes which have been reported to law enforcement agencies. Some people tend not to report crimes committed against them. Hence, the program is unable to provide the real picture of crime in the nation. Secondly, crimes such as rape are only measured against women in UCR program. As a result, males who experienced this crime are not accounted in the report. Lastly, UCR data is prone to human error in recording (UCR, 2017).

People can impact on the validity of the data in the collection process. UCR program uses law enforcement agencies to collect data on reported crime. The person responsible for recording his crimes might make a mistake which may affect the credibility of the data collected. Therefore, human error can result to unreliable data being collected by UCR.

National Crime Victimization Survey

The NCVS is a program of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The program began in 1973 and provides a detailed picture of crime including crime incidents, victims, and trends. The BJS conducts surveys two times in a year using the U.S. Census Bureau personnel to interview household members in a nationally representative sample of around 43, 000 households (BJS, 2015). The statistics collected include frequency and nature of crimes such as rape, sexual assault, personal robbery, aggravated and simple assault, theft, household burglary, and motor vehicle theft.

The primary advantage of this sources of crime statistics is that it collects data on crimes which have been reported to the law enforcement agencies and those that were not reported. As a result, the survey can be able to provide a clear representation and data of crime in the nation. Secondly, NCVS provides details about people who are affected by various crimes in the society and how the criminal justice system. Lastly, supplements which are added in an NCVS data collection process provides detailed information on arising topics such as school crimes, and gun violence (UCR, 2017).

NCVS has several disadvantages which impact on its reliability. First, the sample household size is derived from estimates. These estimates are subject to a margin of error hence the data may not be the representation of the facts. Secondly, the household used for sample stays for three years, this does not take into account the changing nature of the crime (UCR, 2017). Hence, the data may be unable to account for various changes in crimes and the total population of the nation. Lastly, the data collected can be affected by human error.

In NCVS, people can impact of the data in two ways. First, a person can voluntarily lie or omit some information during the interview leading to the collection of partial or false data. Secondly, the interviewer might accidentally or on purpose record inaccurate data which will lead to the whole report being unreliable (BJS, 2015).

UT Arlington (Main Campus)

At the University of Texas Arlington, several crimes are reported and recorded every year. At the University the crimes which are recorded include statutory rape, murder, and non-negligent manslaughter, manslaughter by negligence, rape, fondling, incest, aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, domestic violence among others. In the past three years, there has been no case of murder or manslaughter by negligence that has been reported in Arlington. Cases of rape have decreased from 7 in 2014 to 4 in 2016 (UT Arlington Police Department, n.d.). For the past three years, there has not been a case of statutory rape that has been reported. Rampant crimes which have been reported in Arlington include drug law violations and liquor law violations. Arrests that have been made concerning drug laws violations are 32, 29 and 45 for 2014, 2015 and 2916 respectively (UT Arlington Police Department, n.d.).

Furthermore, there have been disciplinary referrals due to drug laws violations. The report indicated that in 28, 34, and 25 students had been faced disciplinary referrals in 2014, 2015, and 2016 respectively for drug laws violations. The number of individuals that have faced referrals for liquor laws violation has increased over the past three years from 17 in 2014 to 98 in 2016 (UT Arlington Police Department, n.d.). The factors which could be contributing to the nature of crimes that are being reported is mainly peer pressure. The overall image of crime in Arlington involves drugs, liquor, and sex. These are things which university students tend to pressure each other into committing. Therefore, peer pressure is the contributing factor to crime in University of Texas, Arlington.

UT Arlington (Automation & Robotic Research Institute [ARRI])

At the University of Texas Arlington, ARRI campus, crime is reported to the law enforcement agencies. Every year several crimes are reported and recorded. At the campus, the crimes which are recorded include statutory rape, murder, and non-negligent manslaughter, manslaughter by negligence, rape, fondling, incest, aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, domestic violence among others. In the past three years, the campus has not reported any case of murder, statutory rape, rape, manslaughter, or even fondling (UT Arlington Police Department, n.d.).

Other crimes which are common among university students such as drug and liquor law violations were also not reported in the past three years. At ARRI campus, there is no record of crime committed available. Compared to the main campus, ARRI seems to be a crime free environment (UT Arlington Police Department, n.d.). Several factors can be attributed to the lack of records on crime at ARRI. First, compared to the Arlington Main campus, ARRI has few students which reduce issues of theft, assault, and fondling. Furthermore, there are no residential facilities at ARRI. As a result, students are guided by their parent hence reducing the rate of crime.


A study of crime statistics at the University of Texas, Arlington main campus and the ARRI campus indicated a notable difference in the number of crimes. While the Main campus reports several cases of crime each year, no case has been reported in ARRI for the past three years. The main reason for this difference is the living arrangement and the number of students on each campus. ARRI seems to be the safer campus between the two due to lack of crime being reported for three consecutive years. Although it is difficult to get a reliable source of data on crime, human factors play a critical role in limiting access to this data. Accidental errors, lying and estimation are some of the factors which impact on the process of crime data collection. Therefore, addressing human errors and the need to lie can be helpful in ensuring that there is a consistent collection of reliable data on crime in the society.


BJS. (2015). Data Collection: National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Retrieved from:

Mosher, J.C., Miethe. T.D., & Phillips, D. M. (2002). The mismeasure of crime. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

UCR (2017). The Nation’s Two Crime Measures. Retrieved from:

UT Arlington Police Department. (n.d.) Clery Act Crime Statistics. Retrieved from:

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