Interpreting data reported
Each year, through its Uniform Crime Report (UCR) program, the FBI collects and publicly disseminates voluntarily reported arrest and clearance rate data from the country’s 18,000+ police agencies. However, not all police agencies report their data to the UCR program. Reasons for this may include a lack of technology or analytic resources, different approaches to publicly distributing data that are unique to an agency, incompatible offense definitions, and/or fundamental disagreements between local and national agencies around data transparency and collection practices.
Furthermore, some agencies report only partial data by submitting arrest counts and clearance rates for fewer than 12 months in a year. Underreporting has severe consequences for the accuracy and availability of policing data across the country. Contact your local law enforcement agency to advocate for open arrest data using the template in the resources page.