We’ve posted two updated datasets at the NICAR data library this week: FBI Uniform Crime Reports for 2013 and Small Business Administration Disaster Loans through February 2015. See below for details.
Law enforcement agencies around the country voluntarily submit reports to the FBI on what are known as “index” crimes: Murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor-vehicle theft and arson. These crimes are meant to serve as an index for gauging fluctuations in both the overall volume and rate of crime. The data include the number of crimes by agency and by month. Geographic information include region, state, county, city, and metropolitan statistical area (MSA).
UCR data can help you track different crimes in your community, as well as crime rates over time. Peruse IRE tipsheets for help:
- How to Investigate Police Crime Reporting and Statistics: a cookbook
- Telling Readers What They Want to Know About Crime
- The IRE Resource Center also sells the handy guide Understanding Crime Statistics by Kurt Silver and Ted Gest (also available as an e-book). Call 573-882-3364 or email [email protected] for more information.
The disaster loans program is the only form of SBA assistance not limited to small businesses; they help homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and nonprofit organizations finance their rebuilding. The data ha s information on the borrower, including name and address (although not necessarily the address of the damaged property); whether or not the damaged property is a home or business; the date and total amount approved for the loan; and the declared disaster that caused the damage.
Journalists use the data to follow money that flows into a community hit by a disaster, to track trends, to identify those who received loans in their community and find starting points to investigate disaster spending. You can also uncover what types of businesses had the most post-disaster loan approvals and determine how much rebuilding is planned. For historic disasters, find out what happened to the money and if the rebuilding happened.
Contact the NICAR data library
If you have any questions about this or any other data, call us at (573) 884-7711 or email [email protected] and we’ll be happy to offer our help.