This new forum (July 2017) is designed for you to network and share information regarding NIBRS and NCS-X grant information.  Its success is contingent upon participation so…invite your colleagues and other agencies to participate so you can maximize the value of sharing information!



Discussion boards for NIBRS related topics including:

  • Grant funding
  • Coding
  • Exceptional clearances
  • Time and Place rule
  • Report writing manuals
  • RMS and more!

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The first thing to know about exceptional clearances is that this case status can only be used for crimes.  You cannot ex-clear a non-criminal incident (such as a natural death). An exceptional clearance is when the crime has been solved but the offender cannot be arrested for reasons beyond the control of the officer/detective. To use this status the following 4 conditions must be present in the case:

  1. The offender has been identified.
  2. The location of the offender is known at the moment.
  3. There is enough information/PC to arrest, charge and prosecute the offender.
  4. There is some reason beyond the control of the agency/officer preventing an arrest of the offender.

Do a quick search in your RMS of any given UCR reportable type crime going back several months. Select the case status of “ex-clear” and review the cases.  Did the report/supp explain and justify ex-clearing the case?  

When an offender commits various crimes as part of an incident and there is a separation in the time and location of those crimes, then you have more than one incident.  If the offender changes location and there is a break in time between the crimes, each one should be written as a separate report. If however the investigation determines that the crimes were part of ongoing related criminal activity (i.e same offender and same victim) over the course of time (i.e. someone embezzling money from their employer over the course of several months), then the incidents may be written up as one.

This one is tricky.  When an offense occurs involving more than one crime and more than one offender (i.e. two robbers hold up a bar (robbery) and spray paint a gang tag inside (vandalism), and each offender participated or consented to the commission of each crime, then one report should be written.  If however one of the offenders did not know about, consent to or commit one of the crimes in the incident, then each crime should be written up separately.

This is important because in NIBRS, all crimes are counted in any given incident (no hierarchy rule). So, NIBRS considers all of the offenders in an incident to have committed all of the offenses in an incident. The arrest of any offender will clear ALL of the offenses in the incident. If one or more of the offenders did not act in concert, then you should report more than one incident.

Example: Two offenders robbed a bar. The robbers took money and jewelry from three customers. One of the robbers, in searching for more customers to rob, found a female customer in the rest room and raped her there without the knowledge of the other offender. When the rapist returned, both robbers left.  If you later make an arrest for the rape, and both the robbery and rape were on one report, then you would be indicating that both crimes were cleared instead of just the rape. Two reports are needed.

These are the 2 crimes where most of your classification errors will occur. For assaults, deciding whether it’s simple or aggravated can be a challenge. The solution is to ensure that for every assault report, officers start their narrative by including a description of three things:

  1. Weapon used, if so describe it:
  2. Describe the extent of the victim’s injury:
  3. Describe the intent of the offender: (i.e. minor harm or intent to kill or severely injure).

Agencies which have been accused of falsifying their crime stats are the ones who get assaults wrong.  And several agencies have been in the news in a very high profile manner because of it- unfortunately unnecessarily. Had they understood this issue better via report writing training and a manual, and had better quality control measures in place, it could have been avoided.

For burglaries, keep an eye out for reports getting classified as trespassing or vandalism when they should have been burglaries.

We provide the ultimate NIBRS training, online and onsite.  We teach from a practical perspective that is simple, relevant and clear.  Our former work as officers, supervisors, detectives and records personnel, and current work as subject matter experts to over 1500 agencies comes through in our training.  Ask around and you will hear- “PRI training is really good”.

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