Hitsory of the Uniform Crime Reporting

History of the UCR

The National Program

The Uniform Crime Reporting program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation grew from the need for a national view of law enforcement statistics. In the 1920's, the International Association of Chief's of Police (IACP) formed the Committee on Uniform Crime Records to develop a uniform system of police statistics. The IACP's voluntary national crime collection program began, in 1930, with the participation of 400 police agencies representing some 20 million citizens in 43 states. In that same year, the U.S. Congress authorized the Federal Bureau of Investigation to serve as the national clearinghouse for the crime statistical information collected by the program.

In UCR, crime reports are obtained from law enforcement agencies throughout the nation based on uniform classifications and procedures of reporting. In an effort to provide as complete a picture of crime in the United States as possible, the Committee on Uniform Crime Records of the IACP chose to obtain data only on offenses that become known to police. A meaningful overview of crime was made available through examination of the seven Crime Index offenses selected for their seriousness, frequency of occurrence and likelihood of being reported: murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft and motor vehicle theft. By mandate of the U.S. Congress, arson became the eighth index offense in 1979.

In the early planning stages of UCR, it was recognized that the differences among state and local criminal codes precluded the possibility of creating a national crime total based upon an aggregate of local statistics. To provide for national uniformity, the IACP adopted standardized definitions of crimes to overcome the problems posed by the variations in state and local definitions of crimes. Reporting agencies were required to interpret local criminal acts in the context of the standard national definitions before submitting their crime totals. Because of the differences among state codes, there is no possibility in a program, such as UCR, to distinguish between crimes by designations such as 'felony' or 'misdemeanor'.

The Texas Program

On January 1, 1976, the State of Texas adopted the Uniform Crime Report as its official statewide crime report. The Department of Public Safety accepted the responsibility to collect, validate and tabulate UCR reports from all reporting jurisdictions in Texas. To handle this task, the Uniform Crime Reporting Section was established within the Identification and Criminal Records Division (now Crime Records Service) to coordinate the collection, processing and publication of information regarding the extent of major crime in Texas.

Department Contact

1101 Dallas St
South Houston, Texas 77587

Phone: 713.944.1910
Fax: 713.944.0513