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NIBRS OFFENSE Segment Explained




NIBRS Offense Segment Explained


This month we will be diving into the Offense Segment, or Level 2 Segment. As we went over before, when NIBRS data is generated into an ASCII text format there are 8 segments in the NIBRS file (numbered 0–7). Each segment is represented in a single line in the text file. The segments are separated with newline character. NIBRS data that is in XML format follows the same rules but looks much different in format. A Level 2 segment is submitted for each offense and provides details on the offense such as the UCR offense code, whether the offense was completed, the location type, number of premises entered (only valid for burglaries), type of criminal activity and the type of weapon or force used in the crime.


Data Elements used in the Offense Segment:

· Data Element 1 – ORI

o The FBI provides nine characters to submit your agency's NCIC provided ORI number.

o Since an ORI uniquely identifies your agency within NIBRS it is highly recommended to verify its accuracy before you begin submitting.

o For most agencies the ORI is a setting in your RMS.


· Data Element 2 – Incident Number

o The incident number uniquely identifies a Group A incident report in NIBRS.

o An incident number is also referred to as a case number.

o Incident numbers must be unique for each incident and may only contain numbers, capital letters, or a hyphen.

o Except for a hyphen, special and blank characters are NOT PERMITTED within an incident number.


· Data Element 6 - UCR Offense Code

o This data element is used to report a single Group A offense to the FBI.

o A separate offense segment must be created for each reportable offense in the case.

o An offense can ONLY be reported once per case.

o When determining reportable offenses, keep an eye out for mutually exclusive offenses.

§ Mutual exclusion is an FBI concept that groups similar offenses together and defines which offense is reportable for the victim.

§ Any offense not reported for the victims in the case is deemed an unreportable offense for the case as whole.


· Data Element 7 – Offense Attempted/Completed

o Indicates whether this UCR offense was attempted or completed.

o It is possible to have a case where the UCR offense was used at least twice, with one offense attempted and another completed.

§ In this scenario, the completed status supersedes and is the reportable status.


· Data Element 8 – Offender Suspected of Using

o This data element indicates whether alcohol, drugs, or computer equipment influenced the occurrence of this offense.

o Remember, only send them if they influenced/contributed to the occurrence of the offense.

o If applicable, the FBI provides slots to send all three choices but only send each factor once per offense.



· Data Element 8A – Bias Motivation

o This data element indicates whether the occurrence of this offense was motivated by any of the following biasness factors:

§ race/ethnicity/ancestry

§ religion

§ disability

§ gender

§ gender identity

§ sexual orientation

o If applicable, the FBI provides slots to send five unique bias motivators per offense.

o Remember, any biasness not fitting within these categories should be submitted as none.


· Data Element 9 – Location Type

o This data element indicates the location of the incident.

o There are two items of caution when defining a location.

§ Despite being defined on the offense segment, the location should be the same for all offenses per the FBI.

§ When making a selection, slow down and evaluate the location. Sometimes there are better choices than the apparent one, as illustrated in this FBI example.

· A fight at a school playground during school hours uses an elementary/secondary school as the location. But if the fight occurs on the weekend, the school is closed, so a park/playground better describes the location and should be selected.


· Data Element 10 – Number of Premises Entered

o The FBI provides this data element to report the total number (up to 99) of individual rooms, units, suites, storage compartments, etc., entered during the commission of a burglary.

o Remember that this element is only sent when the offense is a burglary, and the location defined in the previous data element is either:

§ "Hotel/Motel/Etc"

§ "Rental Storage Facility".


· Data Element 11 – Method of Entry

o Use this data element to indicate whether force was used to enter the burglarized structure.

o The FBI defines force as "any degree or a mechanical contrivance of any kind (including a passkey or skeleton key)".

o Remember, only use this data element when the reportable offense is a BURGLARY.


· Data Element 12 – Type of Criminal Activity/Gang Information

o This data element indicates the offenders' criminal activity/gang involvement for certain offenses.


· Data Element 13 – Type of Weapon/Force Involved

o For applicable offenses, this data element permits the capturing of three types of weapons (or force) used by the offenders.

o With the weapon type selection, it is crucial to slow down and examine how the weapon was used.

§ For example, a rifle with a bayonet was used to stab a victim. In this scenario, the weapon type of cutting instrument will better illustrate the use of the weapon when compared to selecting a firearm as the weapon type.


· Data Element 13 – Automatic Weapon Indicator

o Utilize this data element to indicate if the firearm chosen as a weapon is FULLY automatic.

o The FBI defines a fully automatic weapon as "any firearm that shoots, or is designed to shoot, more than one shot at a time by a single pull of the trigger without manual reloading."


· Optional Bias Motivation Segments can be added to the end of this segment





Source: The FBI NIBRS Tech Specs


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