Nothing endures but change.
~Heraclitus (540 BC-480 BC)
To many of the FBI's data users who are viewing this presentation for the first time and comparing it to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program's reports from prior years, the changes incorporated in this issue of Crime in the United States may appear to be sudden and unexpected. However, this electronic publication was not produced casually or without great thought and planning. The FBI's UCR staff has for the past several years been working toward the goal of publishing solely to the Internet, and what you are reading today is the culmination of those efforts.
Although some may find the idea of leaving printed media in favor of an electronic publication a welcome and much needed change, some may find it disconcerting. Notwithstanding, the benefits of electronic publication are incalculable. This type of presentation removes many of the limitations of a hard copy book without losing the value of the information. Data published in the electronic world effectively reach the largest audience, and, unlike printed copies, provide the benefits of navigable files (for quicker location of specific data) and downloadable information. These are the kinds of features that many of our data users have been requesting for years.
Within this new design lies the information that the American public and the criminologists, sociologists, legislators, municipal planners, and the media have come to rely on in their research and planning. To the law enforcement and criminal justice communities with whom we partner in combatting crime, these data present vital indicators about the scope and nature of crime in our Nation. The statistics in this report show us that in 2005 violent crime rose for the first time since 2001. Together, we must remain vigilant and continue to focus resources on protecting our citizens.
As the FBI launches this new presentation of the old standard, we gratefully acknowledge that the UCR Program's annual report to the Nation could not be possible in any form without the dedicated and concerted efforts of the law enforcement officers and personnel throughout the country. We rely on these data providers for complete and accurate crime information which we compile into the various UCR reports. It is our hope that our data providers and our data users find Crime in the United States, 2005, more in keeping with the ease with which our society now needs (and expects) information to be furnished. It is still the data upon which law enforcement administration, operation, and management have relied in the nearly eight decades of the UCR Program's existence; on the other hand, it is a modern rendition furnished in a format that uses the twenty-first century tools available to us. The only real difference is that the data are available with the click of a computer mouse rather than the turn of a page.
Robert S. Mueller, III