Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) and Colorado Crime Statistics

The Colorado Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR) is a statewide, cooperative statistical effort of county, state, tribal, university and college law enforcement agencies (LEAs) reporting data on offenses, arrests, and recovered property. The Colorado UCR Program was designed in 1975 as an integral part of the Colorado Computerized Criminal Justice Information System and is administered by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The UCR Program was designed under the guidance of the CCIC Board of Executive Directors (BED). The Board is comprised of sheriffs, chiefs of police, and state level criminal justice administrators. The program began in January 1976 with the collection of monthly UCR Summary data from participating law enforcement agencies. In 1994, the CBI adopted the national incident-based standards. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), certified the CBI for the submission of the National Incident-Based Reporting Status (NIBRS) data in 1997. It is the responsibility of the CBI to collect and verify data submitted by local LEAs and forward all error-free data to the FBI.

Since 1930, the FBI has administered the national UCR Program and continues to assess and monitor the nature and type of crime in the nation. The program’s primary objective is to generate reliable information for use in law enforcement administration, operation and management. UCR data have become one of the country’s leading social indicators. Criminologists, sociologists, legislators, municipal planners, the media, special interest groups, and other students of criminal justice use the data for varied research and planning purposes.

The purpose of the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program is to identify where and when a crime takes place, what form it takes, and the characteristics of its victims and perpetrators. This data allows law enforcement to strengthen its case, to acquire the resources it needs to fight crime and to use those resources in the most efficient and effective manner. This data is used by CBI to produce Colorado Crime Stats, and by the FBI to produce the Crime in the United States and NIBRS publications, and to the Crime Data Explorer. The Colorado Crime Stats website is a compilation of crime statistics submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by Colorado law enforcement agencies through the national Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program. Per Colorado Revised Statute 24-33.5-412.(5), each Colorado law enforcement agency is required to submit their crime, arrest, stolen and recovered property data to the CBI. The data published in the Incident-Based pages is produced according to the FBI UCR NIBRS reporting and counting guidelines.

Crime Information Management Unit
Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program

(303) 239-4222
Fax: (303) 239-4661

 

 

Please do not use the contact information above to report a crime; contact your local law enforcement agency if you are in need of assistance.

Supervisor | UCR Program Manager

Darla L. Hackworth
Uniform Crime Reporting
(303) 239-4214
Email: darla.hackworth@state.co.us 

 

Please do not use the contact information above to report a crime; contact your local law enforcement agency if you are in need of assistance.

FAQs

What is the Colorado Crime Stats report?

Colorado Crime Stats are crime statistics reported by Colorado law enforcement agencies, as the state mandates that the CBI collect these statistics on an annual basis. Some may remember the Crime in Colorado report as the document to house this information. The CBI has retired the aging Crime in Colorado report because of the transition to the National Incident Based-Reporting System. The statistics in Colorado Crime Stats represent the total number of crimes reported by each agency using the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Previously, Crime in Colorado was published using the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Summary Reporting System (SRS) measurement. The difference is that the UCR Summary was just that, a summary. Each criminal incident was simplified to the single most serious offense. NIBRS counts every crime that occurred in a given incident. As a result, NIBRS statistics generally provide counts greater than UCR Summary counts. This is not necessarily an indication of more crime, only greater detail regarding the crimes committed.

Where do the Colorado Crime Stats numbers come from?

The totals in Colorado Crime Stats come directly from the reporting agencies who, by law, report crime statistics to the CBI. The CBI does not convert the data in any manner, as we used to do on the old Crime in Colorado report. If you notice a discrepancy in your data, please contact us and we will try to help you troubleshoot.

Why did the report change?

The transition to a NIBRS based public report allows the statistics collected by law enforcement agencies to be presented in the manner in which they were collected, without the CBI having to convert the data from NIBRS to Summary. Through a grant provided by the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority (CATPA), the CBI was able to fund a project to move to NIBRS public reporting in a report format that is widely used throughout the nation. It also allows law enforcement agencies to correct errors to their reported statistics as needed. The FBI migrated the nation to NIBRS reporting only January 1, 2021, and already provides NIBRS reports to the public. This change aligns the CBI with this FBI initiative.

How timely are these statistics?

Colorado Crime Stats NIBRS numbers are directly counted from the agency’s reports to the CBI and are up to date. A primary benefit to this new format is that if an error is found, it can be immediately corrected by the reporting agency. A corrected incident will be revised automatically on the Colorado Crime Stats site the following day. This was not possible with the former Crime in Colorado publication.

What are the statistics used for?

Law Enforcement and the communities they serve each have an interest in monitoring crime trends, upon which deployment and resource decisions can be made. The Colorado Division of Criminal Justice, as well as other academic, governmental, business, and media entities use NIBRS statistics in association with other measures to search for relevant connections between crime statistics and other factors.

I see a statistic of Cleared incidents. Does that mean an arrest was made?

Cleared, in most cases, means one or more arrests were made. However, there are exceptions where an incident has reached a conclusion from the law enforcement perspective. An incident is also cleared if the offender is found but not arrested, these are called "Exceptional Clearances." Exceptional Clearance occurs when the offender is a juvenile released to the parents, or if the offender is found to be deceased or if the offender is found to be in the custody of another jurisdiction. Also, an Exceptional Clearance may occur if the case cannot proceed by either prosecution declining the case, or the victim refusing to cooperate, the incident is counted as cleared. In all cases, "Cleared" means law enforcement has found the perpetrator of the crimes which occurred in the reported incident.