1. Criminal homicide:
a. Murder and non-negligent manslaughter
b. Manslaughter by negligence

2. Forcible rape:
a. Rape by force
b. Attempts to commit forcible rape

3. Robbery:
a. Firearm
b. Knife or cutting instrument
c. Other dangerous weapon
d. Strong-arm—hands, fists, feet, etc.

4. Aggravated assault:
a. Firearm
b. Knife or cutting instrument
c. Other dangerous weapon
d. Hands, fists, feet, etc.—aggravated injury

5. Burglary:
a. Forcible entry
b. Unlawful entry—no force
c. Attempted forcible entry

6. Larceny-theft (except motor vehicle

7. Motor vehicle theft:
a. Autos
b. Trucks and buses
c. Other vehicles

8. Arson:
a.-g. Structural
h.-i. Mobile
j. Other
The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program
determines the level of crime in America.  The
accuracy of that program depends directly upon the
way you, as a police officer, do your job.  There's
more to UCR than the eight Part I Crimes listed
above; however, these are the crimes that
determine just about everything when it comes to
spending money on law enforcement and discussing
issues related to crime.
When you become a police officer, you'll be issued a
lot of written material regarding your duties.  If a
Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook is not part of
that pile of paper, you'll know from the outset that
your department is not that interested in having its
police officers all that knowledgeable on the subject
of accurate crime reporting.  Since you'll be
interested in, and appreciative of, the importance of
accurate crime reporting, you'll obtain your own
copy if one is not provided to you.  Knowledge is a
wonderful thing, and you will be amazed at some of
the absolutely ignorant—and creative—ways police
officers, and supervisors, interpret crime

Crimes of violence are always the main topic, so the
four Part 1 Crimes: homicide; rape; robbery and
aggravated assault become the focal point for
society; politicians and police.  While homicide is
prone to very little manipulation, the remaining
three can easily be downgraded to Part II crimes, or
be just ignored altogether.

Of these four crimes of violence, robbery is the one
which potentially affects most people.  Anyone can
be a victim of robbery, and it has the potential to
escalate to homicide or rape or both.  So...you'd
think that every police department would want to
get its hands on every robber out there.  Well...yes,
one would think so.
You're a brand new police officer working patrol
in a large city...
Your district has been experiencing an increase in
street robberies, so your district commander
decides that every robbery should be investigated
to the fullest extent possible.  While it's a very
logical requirement, your commander doesn't trust
his patrol officers to conduct a thorough and
competent investigation.  He issues a directive to
have every robbery victim interviewed —whenever
possible—  by a robbery detective.

You're just a couple of hours into your 4x12 shift
when you receive a call for a report of an armed
robbery.  You arrive at the address where you're
met by a middle aged man who tells you he was
walking just two blocks from his home when he was
approached by a young man who pointed a gun at
him and demanded his money.

You interview the victim at length, and he describes
to you how he grabbed the suspect's gun in an
effort to disarm the suspect.  He describes a brief,
but desperate, struggle with the suspect until the
gun discharged.  When the gun went off, it so
startled the victim that he let go of the suspect.  
Now, in desperate fear, the victim describes how he  
pretended to be shot.  The victim fell to the ground
holding himself as still as possible.  His only hope
was that the suspect would run away without
shooting him…again.  The victim's ploy worked, and
the suspect fled.  The victim lost no money or
property, and he sustained no injury.  Overall…an
excellent outcome for such a potentially deadly

Following your commander's directive, you cart your
victim off to the station to be re-interviewed by a
robbery detective.  You meet with Detective Crystal
Ball [an alias but obviously appropriate].  The victim
repeats the details of the Attempted Robbery to the
detective.  At the end of the interview, the detective
decides to locate the crime scene.  So far, so good.  
You arrive at the crime scene where Detective Ball
begins searching the ground.  Now you're
impressed when her flashlight hits a shiny object
laying on the ground which you recognize as a shell
casing.  The casing is recovered exactly in the area
where the victim reported the struggle as taking
place, and the casing is shiny revealing no
prolonged exposure to the elements.  This is
obviously the casing discharged from the suspect's
weapon.  While you had no reason to doubt the
victim's report of the incident, the presence of the
shell casing certainly solidified the victim's account.  
Furthermore, the victim lost no property, so he
certainly wasn't trying to create an excuse for losing
his money in another manner.  He wasn't trying to
falsely implicate someone he simply disliked since he
had no idea of the suspect's identity.
As you begin your career as a police officer, you
probably think that fighting crime will be your major
responsibility, and you'll be correct.  What you
don't know is that you could very easily fall into
using one crime fighting technique which many
police departments find acceptable.

There are only two crimes in the United States
which are counted accurately.  The first is
homicide—for obvious reasons.  Of course, in some
jurisdictions, homicide numbers are so politically
critical that a homicide committed at year end might
have its official ruling delayed until the new year.  
Breaking homicide records is always of high news
value for the media, and the police department and
political leadership always take the heat.

Bank robberies can't escape the count, because
banks are insured institutions.  The numbers aren't
so great that some can be lost by accident, and
bank robbery is simply a big deal to the FBI.
Your favorable impression of Detective Ball's
investigative acumen changes when you read the
detective's report.  After describing the incident as
stated above, Detective Ball comes to a startling
conclusion: No Attempted Robbery occurred.  In
fact, the victim's entire report was fabricated.  The
detective goes on to describe why the victim was
lying.  She describes the difference between a
revolver and a semi-auto handgun.  If the gun had
been a revolver, no casing would be discharged
from the gun.  Since she found a casing, it was
clear the gun was a semi-automatic.  She does not
dispute that a gun had been fired, but here is where
it gets good.  She states that since the victim
grabbed the gun, he would have sustained an injury
to his hand from the movement of the gun's slide
action when the gun discharged.  Since the victim
had no injury—CASE UNFOUNDED.

Talk about a case of selective hearing.  She,
supposedly, disbelieved everything the victim had to
say expect the part about grabbing the gun.  The
only thing the absence of a hand injury proved is
that, during the struggle, the victim was not
grasping the top of the gun when it discharged.

The scary thing is, you're going to run into a lot of
police officers, or those described as detectives,
who make it up as they go along.  If those officers
put their own names to the official report, you don't
have to lose any sleep over it.  However, if you're
directed to write what you know to be a false
report, it's all going to be on you.  Remember,
everything you write as a police officer will be with
you for your entire career.

In the example described, the detective's report
was written as an in house report.  She directed the
officer to file the official report as UNFOUNDED.  In
this case, the department allowed the submission of
an oral code if the incident was UNFOUNDED.  Either
way, this incident produced two false reports by
two police officers when it was clear that no
evidence, whatsoever, existed for a determination

You know…that Murphy's Law thing about what can
go wrong will go wrong happens a lot in police
work.  Suppose this victim, after all that
interviewing, neglected to tell you that his sister is
the President of the City Council.  Or worse,
suppose the same suspect robs and murders a
victim the following evening, and your victim comes
forward and identifies the suspect in his attempted
robbery incident.  It comes to light that the only
police attention the first offense received was that
piece of useless crap written by Detective Crystal
Take this opportunity to download the FBI
Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook.  It's Free!
"Crimes of violence are always the main topic,
so the four Part 1 Crimes: homicide; rape;
robbery and aggravated assault become the
focal point for society; politicians and police."
~ Barry M. Baker
While no police department will publicly countenance
the downgrading of crimes, many will simply accept
the practice and claim crime reductions from this
lazy and incompetent way of doing business.
Copyright © 2019  Barry M. Baker