Arrest—The Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCRP) counts one arrest for each separate instance in which a person is arrested, cited, or summoned for an offense. A single arrest may be for a single criminal incident or for many incidents that occurred over a long time period. Because a person may be arrested multiple times during a year, arrest figures do not reflect the number of individuals who have been arrested. Rather, the arrest data show the number of times that persons are arrested, as reported by law enforcement agencies to the UCRP. In the traditional UCRP1, the offense characterizing the reported arrest reflects the Hierarchy Rule, which requires that the most serious offense in a multiple-offense arrest instance be used to characterize the arrest. For example, assume a person is apprehended while stealing a car and the officer subsequently finds drugs in the offender's possession. The person would be arrested for motor vehicle theft and drug possession. However, following the Hierarchy Rule, such an arrest has been reported to the UCRP as an arrest for motor vehicle theft (the more serious charge).

Arrest rate—The number of arrests per 100,000 persons in the demographic group. For example, the burglary arrest rate for 30-34 years-olds is calculated by the following equation:

100,000 * (Annual estimated number of burglary arrests of persons ages 30 to 34)
(Resident population of the U.S. ages 30 to 34 in the year)

Juvenile—An individual under 18 years of age regardless of state definition. The Uniform Crime Reporting Program does not collect data regarding police contact with a juvenile who has not committed an offense, nor does it collect data on situations in which police take a juvenile into custody for his or her own protection, e.g., neglect cases.

Race—The traditional Uniform Crime Reporting Program captures race into four categories: White, Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander. There has been no allowance for multi-race coding. Each arrestee is coded into a single race group. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race; therefore, Hispanic arrestees will be found in each of the four race categories. The traditional Uniform Crime Reporting Program does not capture separately the Hispanic ethnicity of arrestees.

Offense Definitions

Violent Crime Index—Includes the offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Post-2012, the violent crime index excludes rape arrests.

Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter—The willful (nonnegligent) killing of one human being by another. Deaths caused by negligence, attempts to kill, assaults to kill, suicides, and accidental deaths are excluded. The Program classifies justifiable homicides separately and limits the definition to: (1) the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty; or (2) the killing of a felon, during the commission of a felony, by a private citizen.

Forcible rape—The carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will. Rapes by force and attempts or assaults to rape, regardless of the age of the victim, are included. Statutory offenses (no force used; victim under age of consent) are excluded.

Note: In December 2011, the UCR Program changed its definition of rape. In this table-building tool, rape statistics prior to 2013 have been reported according to the historical definitions, identified on the tool as "Forcible" Rape.

Starting in 2013, agencies can report rape data using either the historical definition, now identified by the FBI as "legacy rape" or the updated definition, referred to as "revised". Due to these inconsistencies in agency reporting, the estimation procedures used in this tool cannot be reliably applied to data on forcible rape after 2012. Accordingly, rape data post-2012 are not displayed in the tool or included in any of the national estimates.

Robbery—The taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.

Aggravated assault—An unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault usually is accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means likely to produce death or great bodily harm. Simple assaults are excluded.

Property Crime Index—Includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

Burglary (breaking or entering)—The unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. Attempted forcible entry is included.

Larceny-theft (except motor vehicle theft)—The unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Examples are thefts of bicycles, motor vehicle parts and accessories, shoplifting, pocket-picking, or the stealing of any property or article that is not taken by force and violence or by fraud. Attempted larcenies are included. Embezzlement, confidence games, forgery, check fraud, etc., are excluded.

Motor vehicle theft—The theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle. A motor vehicle is self-propelled and runs on land surface and not on rails. Motorboats, construction equipment, airplanes, and farming equipment are specifically excluded from this category.

Arson—Any willful or malicious burning or attempt to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.

Other assaults (simple)—Assaults and attempted assaults which are not of an aggravated nature and do not result in serious injury to the victim. Stalking, intimidation, coercion, and hazing are included.

Forgery and counterfeiting—The altering, copying, or imitating of something, without authority or right, with the intent to deceive or defraud by passing the copy or thing altered or imitated as that which is original or genuine; or the selling, buying, or possession of an altered, copied, or imitated thing with the intent to deceive or defraud. Attempts are included.

Fraud—The intentional perversion of the truth for the purpose of inducing another person or other entity in reliance upon it to part with something of value or to surrender a legal right. Fraudulent conversion and obtaining of money or property by false pretenses. Confidence games and bad checks, except forgeries and counterfeiting, are included.

Embezzlement—The unlawful misappropriation or misapplication by an offender to his/her own use or purpose of money, property, or some other thing of value entrusted to his/her care, custody, or control.

Stolen property: buying, receiving, possessing—Buying, receiving, possessing, selling, concealing, or transporting any property with the knowledge that it has been unlawfully taken, as by burglary, embezzlement, fraud, larceny, robbery, etc. Attempts are included.

Vandalism—To willfully or maliciously destroy, injure, disfigure, or deface any public or private property, real or personal, without the consent of the owner or person having custody or control by cutting, tearing, breaking, marking, painting, drawing, covering with filth, or any other such means as may be specified by local law. Attempts are included.

Weapons: carrying, possessing, etc.—The violation of laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, concealment, or use of firearms, cutting instruments, explosives, incendiary devices, or other deadly weapons. Attempts are included.

Prostitution and commercialized vice—The unlawful promotion of or participation in sexual activities for profit, including attempts. Includes soliciting customers or transporting persons for prostitution purposes; owning, managing, or operating a dwelling or other establishment for the purpose of providing a place where prostitution is performed; or otherwise assisting or promoting prostitution.

Sex offenses (except forcible rape, prostitution, and commercialized vice)—Offenses against chastity, common decency, morals, and the like. Incest, indecent exposure, and statutory rape are included. Attempts are included.

Drug abuse violations—The violation of laws prohibiting the production, distribution, and/or use of certain controlled substances. The unlawful cultivation, manufacture, distribution, sale, purchase, use, possession, transportation, or importation of any controlled drug or narcotic substance. Arrests for violations of state and local laws, specifically those relating to the unlawful possession, sale, use, growing, manufacturing, and making of narcotic drugs. The following drug categories are specified: opium or cocaine and their derivatives (morphine, heroin, codeine); marijuana; synthetic narcotics—manufactured narcotics that can cause true addiction (demerol, methadone); and dangerous nonnarcotic drugs (barbiturates, benzedrine). Drug abuse violations are divided into two categories: (1) Drug sale/manufacturing and (2) Drug possession.

Gambling—To unlawfully bet or wager money or something else of value; assist, promote, or operate a game of chance for money or some other stake; possess or transmit wagering information; manufacture, sell, purchase, possess, or transport gambling equipment, devices, or goods; or tamper with the outcome of a sporting event or contest to gain a gambling advantage.

Offenses against the family and children—Unlawful nonviolent acts by a family member (or legal guardian) that threaten the physical, mental, or economic well-being or morals of another family member and that are not classifiable as other offenses, such as Assault or Sex Offenses. Attempts are included.

Driving under the influence—Driving or operating a motor vehicle or common carrier while mentally or physically impaired as the result of consuming an alcoholic beverage or using a drug or narcotic.

Liquor laws—The violation of state or local laws or ordinances prohibiting the manufacture, sale, purchase, transportation, possession, or use of alcoholic beverages, not including driving under the influence and drunkenness. Federal violations are excluded.

Drunkenness—To drink alcoholic beverages to the extent that one's mental faculties and physical coordination are substantially impaired. Driving under the influence is excluded.

Disorderly conduct—Any behavior that tends to disturb the public peace or decorum, scandalize the community, or shock the public sense of morality.

Vagrancy—The violation of a court order, regulation, ordinance, or law requiring the withdrawal of persons from the streets or other specified areas; prohibiting persons from remaining in an area or place in an idle or aimless manner; or prohibiting persons from going from place to place without visible means of support.

All other offenses—All violations of state or local laws not specifically identified as Part I or Part II offenses, except traffic violations.

Suspicion—Arrested for no specific offense and released without formal charges being placed.

Curfew and loitering laws (persons under age 18)—Violations by juveniles of local curfew or loitering ordinances.

Runaways (persons under age 18)—Limited to juveniles taken into protective custody under the provisions of local statutes.


1 The arrest data used in BJS's Arrest Data Analysis Tool are based on the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program's traditional mode of reporting (i.e., aggregate counts of arrests). The reporting of aggregate arrest statistics has limited the detail that can be collected on these events. Partially in response to this concern, in the 1990s the FBI instituted a new UCR Program reporting option called the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Agencies that report their data in the NIBRS format can report multiple offenses per arrest, as well as other arrest attributes (e.g., arrestee ethnicity). To date, NIBRS data are not reported by a sufficient number of law enforcement agencies to enable the development of national estimates.