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Understanding NIBRS: The Offender Segment



NIBRS Offender Segment Explained


This month in our NIBRS Explained journey, we will review the Offender Segment. You may also hear this referred to as the Level 5 segment, appropriately marked with a "5." The Level 5 – Offender Segment describes the Offender involved in the incident (e.g., his/her age, sex, race, and ethnicity). You will also see from the data collected in this segment how the data you submit for NIBRS can also be used to help determine your Hate Crime and other statistics without additional submissions.


Again, this segment begins with the segment length, followed by the segment level (5). Then we have the Segment Action Type, which tells it which action to take for this particular Offender (D for Delete, I for Insert, Etc.). This is followed by the month and year of submission and the city indicator. All of this standard information appears at the front of each segment line.


Data Elements of the Offender Segment
  • Data Element 1-ORI

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

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 36-Offender Sequence Number

This data element assigns a unique number to each Offender within the incident. Furthermore, this number is a reference to identify this Offender throughout the incident submission. If no identifying information is known about the offenders, including the number of offenders, then submit a sequence number of "00". The value of "00" indicates that offenders are unknown in this incident.


  • Data Element 37-Age of Offender

Use this data element to report the Offender's age. Don't submit an age if the unknown offender sequence number "00" is used. Remember, age can be reported as none or a range when age is not obtainable.


  • Data Element 38-Sex of Offender

Use this data element to report the Offender's sex. Don't submit sex if the unknown offender sequence number "00" is used. Remember, sex can be reported as unknown if it can't be determined.

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  • Data Element 39-Race of Offender

Use this data element to report the Offender's race. Don't submit a race if the unknown offender sequence number "00" is used. Remember, race can be reported as unknown if it can't be determined.


  • Data Element 39A-Ethnicity of Offender

Use this data element to report the Offender's ethnicity. Don't submit an ethnicity if the unknown offender sequence number "00" is used. Remember, ethnicity can be reported as unknown if it can't be determined.


The Offender Segment Layout

To help visualize the data elements, the FBI provides the table illustrated in Figure 2-5 below:


If you were to look at the actual data contained in your monthly submission file, here is what you may see:

00465I062023 PAVEND005230000006 0140 MWN



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