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Understanding NIBRS: The Arrestee Segment

Two police officers arresting a man

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, separated by a line break. character. NIBRS data that is in XML format follows the same rules but looks much different in format. We have already covered 5 of these segments, so next up is the Level 6 - or Arrestee - segment. This segment is used to report arrests involving Group A offenses and describe the arrestees and the circumstances surrounding their arrests). When filling in the arrest segment the following data fields are used:

Data Elements of the Arrestee Segment

· Data Element 1-ORI

o The FBI provides nine characters to submit your agency's NCIC-provided ORI number. Since an ORI uniquely identifies your agency within NIBRS it is highly recommended to verify its accuracy before you begin submitting. 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. An incident number is also referred to as a case number. Incident numbers must be unique for each incident and may only contain numbers, capital letters, or a hyphen. Except for a hyphen, special and blank characters are not permitted within an incident number.

· Data Element 40-Arrestee Sequence Number

o This data element assigns a unique number to each arrestee within the incident. Furthermore, this number is a reference to identify this arrestee throughout the submission.

· Data Element 41-Arrest Transaction Number

o The arrest transaction number is a unique number associated with each arrest report. Agencies commonly use incident numbers as the arrest transaction number, but any unique number will work. Note, to use an incident number in a case with multiple arrests, append a number or letter to each arrest number to make it unique. Besides being unique, the number must be 12 or fewer characters and composed of numbers, letters, or a hyphen. Special characters besides the hyphen are not permitted.

· Data Element 42-Arrest Date

o Use this field to submit the date of arrest for the arrestee. The FBI requires the date in the format YYYY/MM/DD. Ensure the date exceeds the incident date; otherwise, the case will be rejected.

· Data Element 43-Type of Arrest

o Arrest type is used to indicate how the offender was arrested. There are three possible choices for this field. The first choice is "On-View Arrest" used to indicate when the arrest is not based on a warrant or previously submitted arrest report. Next is "Taken Into Custody" which is an arrest based on a warrant or previously submitted arrest report. Lastly, is the choice of "Summoned/Cited" that is used when the arrestee is not taken into custody.

· Data Element 44-Multiple Arrestee Segments Indicator

o This field aims to ensure that the arrest of a single offender is reported correctly when the arrest clears other Group A arrests on separate cases/incidents. An example would be an individual committing fifteen separate vehicle vandalisms over six months before being caught on the fifteenth. The six-month period is important because it denotes the separation of time and place, making each instance its own case. Without this field, the act of entering this arrestee into all the past cases would trigger the reporting of fifteen vandalism arrests for this single arrest. With this field, the arrest only gets reported once, but the number of vandalism clearances is fifteen. To use the field is simple. Each of these fifteen cases would list this arrestee with the same arrest number. This is the one instance where entering the same arrest number for multiple arrests is okay. With the arrest number the same, select one arrest to be counted. For this offense, select a "Multiple Arrestee Segment Indicator" value of "Count Arrestee" and for the remaining arrests, select "Multiple". In the example listed, the value of "Multiple" would be associated with the past fourteen cases, with the value of "Count Arrestee" chosen on the fifteenth.

· Data Element 45-UCR Arrest Offense Code

o The field indicates the offense for which the offender was arrested. The offender might be charged with multiple offenses, but this is the most serious offense related to the arrestee. Determining the most serious offense is left to the reporting agency. Users of the In-Synch RMS, did you know that the topmost charge associated with an arrestee in Case Contacts is what In-Synch reports as the arrest offense? To change the topmost offense, use the ranking arrows next to the charges in Case Contacts to adjust an offense up and down.

· Data Element 46-Arrestee Was Armed With

o Use this field to indicate if the arrestee possessed a weapon at the time of arrest. The FBI provides space to indicate up to two weapons. Remember, "Unarmed" cannot be paired with any other value.

· Data Element 46-Automatic Weapon Indicator

o Utilize this data element to indicate if the firearm the arrestee was listed as possessing is FULLY automatic. 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."

· Data Element 47-Age of Arrestee

o Use this data element to report the arrestee’s age.

· Data Element 48-Sex of Arrestee

o Use this data element to report the arrestee’s sex.

· Data Element 49-Race of Arrestee

o Use this data element to report the arrestee’s race.

· Data Element 50-Ethnicity of Arrestee

o Use this data element to report the arrestee’s ethnicity.

· Data Element 51-Resident Status of Arrestee

o Use this data element to indicate if the arrestee was a resident of the reporting agency’s jurisdiction.

· Data Element 52-Disposition of Arrestee Under 18

o The purpose of this field is to indicate the nature of the arrestee's detention. There are only two choices with a disposition under 18. The first choice is "Handled Within Department". An example of an agency using this choice is when the juvenile is released to parents or released with warnings. The second choice is "Referred to Other Authorities". Examples of this choice are turning over to juvenile court, a probation department, a welfare agency, etc.

· Clearance Indicator-Place Holder / Clearance Offense Codes-Place Holder (Deprecated)

o Both these fields were utilized for time window submissions that the FBI deprecated. Time window submissions were once a method used by an agency to submit case updates outside the FBI's reportable time frame. This time frame was called the time window. The vast majority of updates to a case were not reportable outside the time window, but the FBI did list three case events that could be reported. Luckily, the FBI no longer restricts cases based on age, and we are only including it here in case you hear these fields mentioned elsewhere.

An arrest warrant document with handcuffs laid on top

With this information, you can now look confidently at your NIBRS Submissions and start to make sense of all the data. It may seem daunting at first, but with a little help, it's not that big of a hurdle. As usual, we at In-Synch Systems are here to help make sense of your day-to-day. Until next month we hope you stay safe and we look forward to seeing you back here to continue our NIBRS journey.

Source: The FBI NIBRS Tech Specs



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