National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) 

Logo for the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)

Implemented to improve the overall quality of crime data collected by law enforcement, NIBRS captures details on each single crime incident—as well as on separate offenses within the same incident—including information on victims, known offenders, relationships between victims and offenders, arrestees, and property involved in crimes. Unlike data reported through the UCR Program’s traditional Summary Reporting System (SRS)—an aggregate monthly tally of crimes—NIBRS goes much deeper because of its ability to provide circumstances and context for crimes like location, time of day, and whether the incident was cleared.

Because NIBRS can provide more useful statistics to promote constructive discussion, measured planning, and informed policing, the FBI has made the nationwide implementation of NIBRS a top priority. Approximately 43 percent of U.S. law enforcement agencies currently participate in NIBRS. To increase participation, the UCR Program is partnering with the Bureau of Justice Statistics on the National Crime Statistics Exchange, working with advocacy groups to emphasize the importance of NIBRS data and its utility, and transitioning the UCR Program to a NIBRS-only data collection by 2021. In addition, the UCR Program has made resources available to help agencies address the cost of transitioning as well as the potential perception that an agency has higher crime levels when NIBRS actually establishes a new baseline that more precisely captures reported crime in a community.

The vision for NIBRS is for it to become the law enforcement community’s standard for quantifying crime, which will help law enforcement and communities around the country use resources more strategically and effectively. This will further supporting the mission of the FBI’s UCR Program to generate reliable information for use in law enforcement administration, operation, and management.

National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) transition graphic: NIBRS Transition. Richer Data. Reliable Results. NIBRS 2021. Are You Ready?

As recommended by our law enforcement partners and approved by the FBI, the UCR Program is retiring the Summary Reporting System (SRS) and will transition to a NIBRS-only data collection by January 1, 2021. In the interim, law enforcement agencies are encouraged to start now and implement NIBRS. The FBI remains committed to assisting all states and agencies in making the switch.

NIBRS Now 

Screenshot of National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) interactive state participation map taken from the Content Data Explorer (CDE) website.

Visit the Crime Data Explorer (CDE) website to view an interactive map detailing each state's current level of participation and its future NIBRS plans. You can also view trends, download bulk datasets, and access the Crime Data API for reported crime at the national, state, and agency levels.

The Benefits of NIBRS 

Infographic depicting why NIBRS is superior to SRS (provides greater specificity in reporting offenses, collects more detailed information, helps give context to specific crime problems, provides greater analytic flexibility).

When used to its full potential, NIBRS identifies, with precision, when and where crime takes place, what form it takes, and the characteristics of its victims and perpetrators. Armed with such information, law enforcement can better define the resources it needs to fight crime, as well as use those resources in the most efficient and effective manner. When compared to the Summary Reporting System (SRS), currently being phased out, NIBRS:

  • Provides greater specificity in reporting offenses. Not only does NIBRS look at all of the offenses within an incident, but it also looks at many more offenses than the traditional SRS does. NIBRS collects data for 52 offenses, plus 10 additional offenses for which only arrests are reported. SRS counts limited data for 10 offenses and 20 additional crimes for which only arrests are reported.
  • Collects more detailed information, including incident date and time, whether reported offenses were attempted or completed, expanded victim types, relationships of victims to offenders and offenses, demographic details, location data, property descriptions, drug types and quantities, the offender’s suspected use of drugs or alcohol, the involvement of gang activity, and whether a computer was used in the commission of the crime.
  • Helps give context to specific crime problems such as drug/narcotics and sex offenses, as well as modern crime issues like animal cruelty, identity theft, and computer hacking.
  • Provides greater analytic flexibility. Through NIBRS, data users can see many more facets of crime, as well as relationships and connections among these facets, than SRS provides.

Learn more about the benefits of NIBRS participation.

The Road to NIBRS 

Graphic depicting the road to NIBRS (National Incident-Based Reporting System)

Is your agency ready to transition to NIBRS? Here's how to get there.

  1. Procure NIBRS software/hardware
  2. Determine if FBI or state-specific tech specs will be used
  3. Map state statutes to NIBRS offense codes
  4. Establish a records management system (RMS) capable of capturing NIBRS
  5. Implement NIBRS RMS
  6. Pretest data against NIBRS validation rules
    1. NIBRS pre-certification tool for flat file submissions
    2. NIBRS XML Conformance Testing Assistant (XCOTA) Tool for XML submissions
  7. Attain NIBRS Certification
  8. Message NIBRS success

NIBRS Toolbox for Law Enforcement 

  • 05.08.2018

    Questions NIBRS Can Answer

    The National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), a more detailed and comprehensive crime reporting system, is replacing the Summary Reporting System (SRS) on January 1, 2021.

  • 12.11.2017

    2016 NIBRS Data Released

    The FBI has released details on more than 6 million criminal offenses reported by law enforcement agencies around the country to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) in 2016.

  • 12.06.2017

    The Texas Transition to NIBRS

    Texas law enforcement agencies and legislators recognize that more detailed crime statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) can benefit the state in several ways.

More

 

The transition to the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) will improve the accuracy and timeliness of our nation’s crime statistics, help identify crime patterns and trends, and aid in crime prevention.

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