Crime is defined as an act in which a person offenses or breaches the law and is liable to be punished by the law. There are many instruments that are used to measure crime in daily activities. In United States the crime is mainly measured by the police department or FBI. The FBI uses different mechanisms to measure crime such as The National Crime Victimization Survey, The Uniform Crime Reporting and the National Incident Based Reporting System. The National Crime Victimization Survey allows getting information about the crimes that are not reported to the law enforcement. The Uniform Crime Reporting provides information about the annual number of incidents and the reported crime rate in the United States. The National Incident Based Reporting System allows gathering information on every crime that occurs, and it expands the list of crimes that occur.
The major purpose of these mechanisms of crime measurement is to gather information about the crimes that are committed to counter the acts which cause crime. Also it helps in gather information about who is and where is the crime being committed. This is the way of keeping the records of crime statistics, so that the agencies of law enforcement can develop different ways to manage the crime in certain areas. Thus a successful crime reporting program is the one that has accurate information. For this when the crime are reported to the agencies they need to be reported into the program, which would then help in analyzing and giving results of the possible crimes.
However, there are certain issues with measurement of crime. This can deeply affect the governing mechanism of the system. Crime rate is basically the number of crimes committed in an area to the ratio of population per 1,000 a year. Crime rates can be deceiving based on different factors including the type of crime, the type of offender, and the place a crime is committed. Another factor leading to the deception of crime rates is the increase of juvenile crime and property crime. Furthermore, affecting the crime rate are change in policies and mandatory laws that take effect.
These data collection system in the United States does many things and is serving the country in its best ability. But even with these best systems there are methodological issues of surveying in general and particular problems are the deviance, measuring illicit and deleterious activities. These activities include the difficulties associated with asking the relevant questions, false reporting, non-reporting, sampling issue and many other factors involved in the surveying of individuals to implement the official data reporting system.
This mechanism of crime measurement certainly affects the public opinion as the data system of the crime has and continues to play a central role in the ability of the public to understand crime. There are however better ways of measuring crime since there are barriers in drawing information using these data systems. The classic survey sampling method has the issue of reposing and coverage. Also the various natures of the different types of crime suggest that the policy makers present a unique system of measuring crime. There needs to be more budget for data collection crime so that more effective data collection system and measurement of crime occurs.