Crime Rate Law and Legal Definition

Crime rate is a count of crimes complied to assess the effectiveness of a crime control policy, and the impact of the policy on the risk of crime victimization. Often the reported crime rates are not telling you anything useful about risk of crime victimizaion.. For example, burglaries/total population is the standard "crime rate" reported by the FBI and used by social scientists. In 1987 the burglary rate was 605 burglaries per 100,000 total population. Crimes/total population is a "gross" rate; it includes both children and adults. Children are much less likely than adults to be crime victims. Population-based rates fail to take into account variations in risk. To address these problems, criminologists have increasingly been developing measure of hazard rates, which are simply the number of events relative to the amount of time a population is exposed to the risk.

Since 1930, the F.B.I. has administered the Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR). The Uniform Crime Reporting Program. It is a nationwide, cooperative statistical effort of more than 17,000 city, county, and state law enforcement agencies voluntarily reporting data on crimes brought to their attention. During 2002, law enforcement agencies active in the UCR Program represented 93.4 percent of the total population as established by the Bureau of Census.