OverviewThe Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is spearheading the National Crime Statistics Exchange (NCS-X), a program designed to generate nationally-representative incident-based data on crimes reported to law enforcement agencies. NCS-X will leverage the FBI’s existing National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) by recruiting a sample of 400 law enforcement agencies to supplement the existing NIBRS data by providing their incident data to their state (or the federal) NIBRS data collection program. When data from these 400 agencies are combined with data from the more than 6,000 agencies that currently report NIBRS data to the FBI, NIBRS will be able to produce national estimates of crime that can be disaggregated by victim-offender characteristics, the circumstances of the event, victim-offender relationship, and other important elements of criminal events. When completed, nationally representative NIBRS data will increase our nation’s ability to monitor, respond to, and prevent crime by allowing NIBRS to produce timely, detailed, and accurate national measures of crime incidents.
NCS-X is a collaborative undertaking, supported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other Department of Justice (DOJ) agencies. BJS also needs the support of the law enforcement community to ensure its success. NCS-X will be designed to implement efficient and minimally burdensome processes to collect and extract incident-based data from existing records management systems. The NCS-X will be providing technical assistance and funding to the sampled 400 law enforcement agencies and to state UCR/NIBRS programs to enable them to report these additional data to the FBI. Other benefits may be provided to agencies to encourage participation in the program. These may include increased operational and analytic capabilities or resources, training, technical support, or other customized incentives.
A team of partner organizations—including RTI International, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the Integrated Justice Information Systems (IJIS) Institute, and the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics (SEARCH)—is responsible for developing the implementation plans for NCS-X. This includes coordinating efforts with local law enforcement, state reporting programs, and the software industry. An NCS-X Executive Steering Committee will review possible design and implementation options to ensure the maximum benefit to both participants and key stakeholders.
Related information about the NCS-X initiative
Resources for state and local agencies
Additional information about incident-based crime reporting
Currently over 6,000 agencies report their crime data to the FBI via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). Presently, NIBRS participants consist primarily of agencies that serve cities with fewer than 250,000 residents. It was determined that if a sample of 400 law enforcement agencies would agree to become new NIBRS participants, then data from these agencies, in combination with data from the current NIBRS participants, could generate statistically sound and detailed national estimates of crime known to law enforcement. The NCS-X sample design is a stratified random sample of all law enforcement agencies in the United States identified by the FBI as of 2011. This list of law enforcement agencies was divided into 12 groups (called strata) using three criteria: whether the agency participated in NIBRS as of 2011, the number of sworn officers in 2011, and government type (state, county or township, municipal, tribal, and other).
A 2013 joint statement issued by the FBI and BJS marked the launch of NCS-X. Over the past year, BJS has worked to build partnerships and support for the project, and to construct the NCS-X sampling frame.
In 2014, NCS-X activities were focused on assessing the viability and costs of the project. Tasks included (1) recruiting the selected sample of 400 law enforcement agencies for participation in NIBRS, (2) reaching out to stakeholders and existing state UCR/NIBRS reporting programs to gain their insight and support, (3) developing cost and feasibility guidelines for NCS-X implementation, and (4) identifying barriers and developing incentives and resources to encourage candidate agencies to participate in NCS-X. BJS is exploring a variety of options to assist agencies in participating in NIBRS, including potentially expanding reporting capabilities, technical solutions, analytic tools, and other incentives that will enhance the operational capabilities of the NCS-X agencies. The NCS-X project team has begun contacting candidate law enforcement agencies to introduce the program, provide background on the program, and gather information about each agency’s current operations and incident-based reporting capabilities.
The next major phase of the project began in the summer of 2014, when BJS started selecting and working with pilot agencies and states to become NIBRS reporters, and from this work, will develop overall cost estimates for implementing NCS-X in all 400 NCS-X sample agencies.
NCS-X Partner Agencies
A team of organizations—including RTI International, IACP, PERF, IJIS Institute, and SEARCH: the National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics—is working with BJS and the FBI to implement the NCS-X initiative.