This year, one of the FBI’s oldest enterprises, the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, presents its 79th year of crime statistics to the nation. When the law enforcement community called for the creation of the UCR Program in 1929, it could not have foreseen the vast changes ahead for the United States or for the world. Technology and shifts in world politics have shrunk the globe from the massive and often insular proportions of 100 years ago.
The global economy, the need for international security, the effortlessness of travel among continents, and the scope and reach of the Internet make our world smaller—yet the threats to our safety have become greater.
The UCR Program has also entered an era of growth and change. The need to understand the nature of crime has become a global need. As we have always strived to do at the FBI, we aim to keep what works in the UCR but consistently move forward to embrace what will work better. Other nations look to the UCR program as a model of data collection, analysis, and communication. The stewards of the UCR Program have been collaborating with law enforcement in other countries that are making efforts to expand their abilities to measure and examine crime. Our goal is to share best practices so that all nations have a deeper understanding of crime at every level—local, regional, national, and international.
As the world becomes smaller, our challenges grow. The FBI rises to meet those challenges in every facet of our mission, including the data it collects and publishes. We hope this information will benefit all our partners, and that it will help us not only better understand crime, but better predict and prevent crime as a result.
Robert S. Mueller, III