Disadvantages of the NIBRS

Disadvantages of the NIBRS

NIBRS reporting comes with its challenges. One of the major challenges of using NIBRS has to do with officer accountability. The data about a particular input is only as good as its input. Officers are responsible for writing the reports, and due to the complex requirements associated with NIBS, they sometimes struggle with coming up with accurate reports. Some of the requirements are also not officer friendly. Some of the mandatory requirements are not relevant to local agencies, which also makes it difficult for officers to accurately code reports. Correcting errors is also not so intuitive, and officers can have a hard time making changes.

The other challenge is NIBRS only reflects crimes reported to law enforcement agencies. A significant number of crimes are not reported. For example, only about half of all violent crimes are reported (“Crime Reports and Crime Statistics,” n.d.). When we look at crimes such as rape and assault, most of them are not even reported. This makes it harder to identify current crime patterns and emerging trends. NIBRS data can also fail to show a true reflection of the community due to manipulation.


(n.d.). Crime Reports and Crime Statistics. Criminal Justice. Retrieved from https://criminal-justice.iresearchnet.com/criminology/research-methods/crime-reports-crime-statistics/6/

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