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A Vendor View of Crime Reporting

The FBI has been collecting crime statistics since the 1930s with the Summary Reporting System (SRS), which was phased out in 2021, and more recently with the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which started in 1988 and continues as the standard crime reporting system in the United States. Although many states are still moving away from SRS, only 19 states have fully transitioned to NIBRS, skewing crime statistics. Crime Reporting has always been challenging for Law Enforcement and normally requires additional resources and time, but those agencies that diligently report are usually eligible for Federal Grants.


Crime Reporting was completed with pencil and paper for years and submitted to the state or FBI via snail mail or electronically. The pencil-in-paper method was replaced by electronic tally sheets powered by spreadsheets and by state websites that would allow agency personnel to type in the required data for Crime Reporting. These intermediate systems worked well for SRS reporting but required agencies to tally and input data into systems manually. NIBRS is a much more versatile and beneficial system for viewing national and local crime activity and trends.