CrimeRisk is a block group and higher level geographic database consisting of a series of standardized indexes for a range of serious crimes against both persons and property. It is derived from an extensive analysis of several years of crime reports from the vast majority of law enforcement jurisdictions nationwide. The crimes included in the database are the “Part 1” crimes and include murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft. These categories are the primary reporting categories used by the FBI in its Uniform Crime Report (UCR), with the exception of Arson, for which data is very inconsistently reported at the jurisdictional level. Part II crimes are not reported in the detail databases and are generally available only for selected areas or at high levels of geography.
In accordance with the reporting procedures using in the UCR reports, aggregate indexes have been prepared for personal and property crimes separately, as well as a total index. While this provides a useful measure of the relative “overall” crime rate in an area, it must be recognized that these are unweighted indexes, in that a murder is weighted no more heavily than a purse snatching in the computation. For this reason, caution is advised when using any of the aggregate index values.
The primary source of CrimeRisk is a careful compilation and analysis of the FBI Uniform Crime Report databases. On an annual basis, the FBI collects data from each of about 16,000 separate law enforcement jurisdictions at the city, county, and state levels and compiles these into its annual Uniform Crime Report (UCR). The latest national crime reports can be obtained from the FBI web site in Excel format. While useful, the UCR provides detailed data only for the largest cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.
Recently, some large cities have begun posting very detailed crime reports to their websites that are available for download. These data have very specific locations which is useful for matching against specific block groups. If the data is detailed enough and is available for the last five years, we use it alongside the FBI UCR data. Currently only data for Chicago and Baltimore fits this criteria, but hopefully more cities will qualify as time goes by.
The below variables do not sum, they are separately created indexes where 100= the National Average on each. The indexes for murder, rape, assault, and robbery are combined, then reindexed. The Burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft indexes are combined, then reindexed to 100. The resulting personal crime and property crime indexes are then combined and reindexed.
Motor Vehicle Theft