Domestic Violence Cases: What Research Shows About Arrest and Dual Arrest Rates

Published July 25, 2008

Chapter 1. Nationwide Dual Arrest Study: Analysis of National Incident-Based Reporting System Data

Sidebar — Why Was NIBRS Developed?

The nation's first crime reporting system was developed in 1927 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and was called the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR). The UCR provide data on eight crimes — murder and non-negligent manslaughter, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, theft, vehicle theft and arson. The UCR is managed by the FBI. Data collection began in 1930.

The FBI revised the UCR in the 1980s. Their revision was called the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). NIBRS allows law enforcement to record case information from about 46 types of criminal activity. Data collection began in 1991.

How NIBRS Advances the UCR System
Uniform Crime Reports National Incident-Based Reporting System
Tracks eight crimes. Tracks 46 crimes.
Does not provide information on each reported incident. Provides only a tally of the incidents reported. Provides information on each incident reported to police, including:
  • Characteristics of victim(s) and offender(s).
  • Relationship between the victim and offender.
  • Crimes committed.
  • Injuries at the incident.
  • Weapons used.
  • Arrests made.
  • Incident location.
Does not provide information about simple assault, which is the most commonly reported domestic violence offense. Provides information about cases involving simple assault.
Reports only the most serious crime committed in a single incident (e.g., if a murderer has raped his victim, only murder is reported.) Requires officers to report multiple offenses, victims and offenders. This allows researchers to compare and analyze multiple incidents.
Does not account for whether an arrest was made in a specific incident Provides information about arrests in each incident.
Date Created: July 25, 2008