LEARCAT User Guide and Methodology
About The LEARCAT
The Law Enforcement Agency Reported Crime Analysis Tool (LEARCAT) dashboard enables you to examine crime information reported by participating law enforcement agencies to the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS). As of January 1, 2021, the FBI transitioned to NIBRS as the nation’s official law enforcement crime reporting standard. NIBRS collects details on crime incidents including the number and type of offenses that occurred, demographic information on victims, known offenders, and arrestees, relationships between victims and offenders, and property loss from crime. More information about NIBRS is available on the BJS NIBRS Program Page and from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program.
LEARCAT presents NIBRS data from 2016 to 2021 on reported crimes at both the incident and victimization levels and provides interactive data visualizations and filtering tools to explore crime and victimization metrics based on user-defined parameters. Using LEARCAT, users can generate incident and victimization counts, rates, and percentages by incident and victim characteristics.
Navigating The LEARCAT
LEARCAT has three primary functional areas to view, interact, and display NIBRS data:
- Topic – Incidents and Victimizations
- Analytics on Demand
- Rates on Demand.
To navigate these functional areas, LEARCAT also includes a dynamic count of incidents and victimizations, a menu of filters, a toggle to view results as a count, percent, or rate, and an interactive map of the United States to select specific geographic areas. Each of these components is described in more detail below.
- Dynamic Incident and Victimization Count: In the upper left corner of LEARCAT is a dynamic count of incidents and victimizations in view that changes as the user applies or removes filters or selects specific geographic locations. For example, when a specific state is selected, the dynamic incident and victimization counts will update to show only the counts for the selected state.
- Filters: Along the left panel, users have the option to filter by multiple data elements. Year, geography, crime, victim, and relationship filters are included. Multiple filters may be applied at one time and will affect all graphs and charts within the Crime and Victim View pages as they are applied. Filters can also be applied by clicking directly on chart elements. To reset all filters, select the “reset views” button at the bottom of the left panel. As filters are applied, a filter summary is visible under each chart title that specifies what filters are currently being applied to the chart.
- Interactive Map: A map of the United States is shown in the Topic view and provides an overview of the NIBRS reporting status of each state for the selected year. States in which 90% or more of the state population was covered by law enforcement agencies that reported crime data to NIBRS are considered “full reporters” for the purposes of the LEARCAT. Once a specific state has been selected, the user then has the option to select a specific County or Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) within that state. Users may also select the “Large Agencies” radio button on the map, to see which large agencies, defined as covering a population of 250,000 or more persons on the map, have reported NIBRS data.
- View Results As: Below the Filters menu is a set of radio buttons that allow the user to specify how to view the results—as a count, a percent, or a rate. Note that the rate option can only be selected for full reporter states—those states in which 90% or more of the population of the state was covered by law enforcement agencies that reported crime data to NIBRS in the selected year.
- Topic – Incidents and Victimizations: Organized around Incidents and Victimizations as the units of analysis, the Topic page allows the user to explore key crime metrics. On the Crime View page, pre-populated maps and chart elements show NIBRS population and agency participation by state, counts of crime incidents by crime type, offense category, offense, and clearance status. Under the offense category chart, there is a check box to “Show MOI View” which, when checked, will show the breakdown of those incidents that were Single Offense Incidents (SOI) or Multiple Offense Incidents (MOI). Each chart element can be rendered as a bar, pie, donut, or lollipop chart depending on the number of categories selected. Below each chart element is the option to download the data from the chart as a .csv file, download the chart element as a .pdf file, share a link to the chart, or show a table of the underlying chart data. Switching to the Victim View tab provides additional details on victim types and victim demographics are also included.
- Analytics on Demand: Provides the user the ability to create a customizable data table or crosstab which can also be exported. Users can define the unit of analysis as either Incidents or Individual Victims, filter elements (by using the “filter only” function), and further define up to two columns and two rows of data. The data can be exported as either a .csv or .pdf file.
- Rates on Demand: Provides the user with customizable data exports to explore crime and victimization rates. Only full reporter states are included in Rates on Demand, and a state must be selected prior to other data selections becoming available. Victim race, sex, and age are available filtering options, and one additional row and column may then be selected.
Units of Measurement
The LEARCAT offers three ways to view results:
- Counts—This is a dynamic count of the reported incidents or victimizations based on the filters and geographic selections that the user has applied. When interpreting counts please consider that these counts are not normalized to a population and are just a count of the reported incidents or victimizations. Also note that as some states are not full reporter states, their counts will not represent all agencies or jurisdictions in their state. Refer to the Interactive Map to gauge how much of a state’s population and law enforcement agencies reported NIBRS data for a given year.
- Percentages—Percentages show the portion of incidents or victimizations based on the filters and geographic selection that the user has applied. Similar to the counts please consider that these percentages are not normalized to a population and are just a percentage of the reported incidents or victimizations.
- Rates—Rates of incidents or victimizations are calculated by dividing the total number of incidents or victimizations by the associated population for the relevant year and then multiplying by 100,000.
Terms & Definitions
NIBRS-related terms and definitions are used throughout LEARCAT and are described below, including how crime type and offense groupings are defined within LEARCAT. For further information about the NIBRS reporting standard, please see the NIBRS User Manual at https://le.fbi.gov/file-repository/nibrs-user-manual.pdf/view.
- NIBRS Population Coverage—refers to the population that is represented by NIBRS-reporting agencies for a specific geographic area. Population coverage is displayed on the map in ranges of 0%, 1-20%, 21-50%, 51-89%, and 90+%. State population estimates used in LEARCAT come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates program for each year.
- Large Agencies—include those city-level agencies that serve a population of 250,000 or more persons. At present, large state- and county-based agencies are not included in this category. Note that not all Large Agencies shown on the map submitted a full 12 months of NIBRS data across the 2016-2021 data years shown in LEARCAT. The table below provides the number of months reported by year for the Large Agencies shown on the map.
NIBRS data reported by law enforcement agencies serving populations of 250,000 or more, by number of months
|Number of months of NIBRS data submitted|
|Albuquerque PD||New Mexico||0||0||12||12||12||12|
|Buffalo PD||New York||0||0||0||0||3||12|
|Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD||North Carolina||0||0||0||12||12||12|
|Chula Vista PD||California||0||0||0||0||0||12|
|Colorado Springs PD||Colorado||12||12||12||12||12||12|
|Corpus Christi PD||Texas||0||0||0||8||12||12|
|Durham PD||North Carolina||0||0||0||12||12||12|
|El Paso PD||Texas||0||0||0||6||12||12|
|Fort Worth PD||Texas||12||12||12||12||12||12|
|Ft Wayne PD||Indiana||0||0||0||0||4||12|
|Greensboro PD||North Carolina||0||0||0||12||12||12|
|Jersey City PD||New Jersey||0||0||0||0||0||12|
|Las Vegas Metropolitan PD||Nevada||0||0||0||0||12||12|
|Lexington-Fayette Urban County PD||Kentucky||12||12||12||12||12||12|
|Louisville Metro PD||Kentucky||12||12||12||12||11||12|
|Metropolitan Washington PD||Washington, D.C.||0||0||0||0||0||10|
|Nashville Metro PD||Tennessee||12||12||12||12||12||12|
|North Las Vegas PD||Nevada||0||0||0||0||11||12|
|Oklahoma City PD||Oklahoma||0||0||0||9||12||12|
|Newark PD||New Jersey||0||0||0||0||0||12|
|San Antonio PD||Texas||0||0||0||0||2||12|
|Raleigh PD||North Carolina||0||0||0||12||12||12|
|San Diego PD||California||0||0||0||0||0||12|
|Saint Louis PD||Missouri||0||0||0||0||0||12|
|Saint Paul PD||Minnesota||0||0||0||0||12||12|
|Virginia Beach PD||Virginia||12||12||12||12||12||12|
|Wichita Police Department PD||Kansas||12||12||12||12||12||8|
|Winston-Salem PD||North Carolina||0||0||0||0||7||0|
- Incident—is defined by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program as one or more offenses committed by the same offender or group of offenders acting in concert at the same time and place. NIBRS requires law enforcement agencies to count as offenders the person or persons who knowingly commit or assist in the commission of the offense(s) in the incident. For each incident, NIBRS captures information on up to 10 offenses, whether the incident was cleared, and whether the incident was cleared by an arrest or by exceptional means. Because NIBRS considers each offender in an incident to have committed or assisted in the commission of all offenses in an incident, an exceptional clearance, or the arrest of one offender clears the entire incident, even if there were multiple offenses, victims, and offenders present.
- Victimization—represents one or more NIBRS victim segment(s) connected to an incident. For crimes against persons, each victim in the incident will generate a separate victim segment, each of which contains information about the offense(s) committed against the victim, victim demographic characteristics, and the relationship of the victim to the offender(s). NIBRS requires that law enforcement agencies submit at least one victim segment for an incident in which a Group A offense was committed.
- Unit of Analysis—the reference point around which the data are organized. The two units of analysis included in LEARCAT are incidents and victimizations. With incident as the unit of analysis, all data are organized around the individual incident. With victimization as the unit of analysis, all data are organized around each victimization.
- Offense—refers to the NIBRS offense(s) recorded in an incident. An incident may have one or more associated offenses, so the total number of offenses will be greater than the total number of incidents. There are 52 unique Group A offenses in NIBRS that participating law enforcement agencies are required to submit. Incidents with 2 or more different offense types recorded are referred to as Multiple Offense Incidents (MOI).
- Crime Type—a high-level grouping of offenses. The four crime type categories are 1) violent crimes, 2) property crimes, 3) fraud and other financial crimes, and 4) crimes against society.
- Violent Crimes: Aggravated Assault, Fondling, Human Trafficking—Commercial Sex Acts, Human Trafficking—Involuntary Servitude, Incest, Intimidation, Kidnapping/Abduction, Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter, Negligent Manslaughter, Rape, Robbery, Simple Assault, and Statutory Rape
- Property Crimes: All Other Larceny, Arson, Burglary/Breaking & Entering, Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property, Motor Vehicle Theft, Pocket-picking, Purse-snatching, Shoplifting, Stolen Property Offenses, Theft From Building, Theft From Coin-Operated Machine or Device, Theft From Motor Vehicle, and Theft of Motor Vehicle Parts or Accessories.
- Fraud and Other Financial Crimes: Bribery, Counterfeiting/Forgery, Credit Card/Automated Teller Machine Fraud, Embezzlement, Extortion/Blackmail, False Pretenses/Swindle/Confidence Game, Hacking/Computer Invasion, Identity Theft, Impersonation, Welfare Fraud, and Wire Fraud.
- Crimes Against Society: Animal Cruelty, Assisting or Promoting Prostitution, Betting/Wagering, Drug Equipment Violations, Drug/Narcotic Violations, Gambling Equipment Violation, Operating/Promoting/Assisting Gambling, Pornography/Obscene Material, Prostitution, Purchasing Prostitution, Sports Tampering, and Weapon Law Violations.
- Offense Category—Offense Category groups the offense types into 23 offense categories. Some of the offense categories are comprised of multiple offenses, and others contain only one offense. The categories include:
- Animal Cruelty
- Assault Offenses—Aggravated Assault, Intimidation, Simple Assault
- Burglary/Breaking & Entering
- Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property
- Drug/Narcotic Offenses—Drug Equipment Violations, Drug/Narcotic Violations
- Fraud Offenses—Credit Card/Automated Teller Machine Fraud, False Pretenses/Swindle/Confidence Game, Hacking/Computer Invasion, Identity Theft, Impersonation, Welfare Fraud, Wire Fraud
- Gambling Offenses—Betting/Wagering, Gambling Equipment Violation, Operating/Promoting/Assisting Gambling, Sports Tampering
- Homicide Offenses—Murder and Nonnegligent Manslaughter, Negligent Manslaughter
- Human Trafficking—Human Trafficking-Commercial Sex Acts, Human Trafficking-Involuntary Servitude
- Larceny/Theft Offenses—All Other Larceny, Pocket-Picking, Purse-Snatching, Shoplifting, Theft from Building, Theft from Coin-Operated Machine or Device, Theft From Motor Vehicle, Theft Of Motor Vehicle Parts Or Accessories
- Motor Vehicle Theft
- Pornography/Obscene Material
- Prostitution Offenses—Assisting or Promoting Prostitution, Prostitution, Purchasing Prostitution
- Sex Offenses—Rape (comprised of the 3 NIBRS offense categories of Rape, Sodomy, and Sexual Assault with an Object), Fondling, Incest, Statutory Rape
- Stolen Property Offenses
- Weapon Law Violations
- Clearance Status—refers to the current outcome status of the incident. Incidents may be categorized into one of three NIBRS categories of “Cleared Through Arrest,” “Not Cleared,” or “Cleared Exceptionally.” Exceptional clearances include extenuating circumstances, such as if the offender has died, the prosecution has been declined, the offender is in the custody of another jurisdiction, the victim refused to cooperate, or the offender was a juvenile. The clearance status is indicated for each crime incident, not at the individual offense level. This means that all offenses within an incident are considered “cleared” if the incident is categorized as “cleared through arrest” or “cleared exceptionally.”
- Type of Victim—refers to the NIBRS victim types, which include: Individual, Business, Financial Institution, Government, Law Enforcement Officer, Other, Religious Organization, Society/Public, and Unknown. Note that Victim demographic information is only available where victim types are either Individual or Law Enforcement Officer.
- Race of Victim—refers to the NIBRS race categorization, which includes: White, Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native (abbreviated as AIAN), Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (abbreviated as NHOPI), and Unknown.
- Ethnicity of Victim—refers to the NIBRS ethnicity categorization, which includes: Hispanic or Latino, Not Hispanic or Latino, and Unknown. Victim ethnicity is an optional data element in NIBRS and is not always reported by the participating agency.
- Sex of Victim—refers to the NIBRS sex categorization, which includes: Female, Male, and Unknown.
- Age of Victim—is based on the NIBRS victim age field and is reported in ranges in the LEARCAT: 1-4, 5-14, 15-17, 18-24, 25-34, 35-64, 65 or Older, Unknown, and Not Reported. Age in NIBRS may be reported as an exact age, as a range, or as unknown. In instances where data are reported as a range, the average of the range is shown in the data (e.g., range of 16–19, the average is 17.5, and is recorded as 17 in the data).
- Relationship Status—is based on the NIBRS “Relationship(s) of Victim to Offender(s)” data element, which includes 27 distinct relationship types. In the dashboard, relationship types include: Intimate Partner, Other Family, Friend or Acquaintance Relationship, Other/Unknown, Stranger, and Victim Was Offender.
- Intimate Partner includes: Victim Was Boyfriend/Girlfriend, Victim Was Common-Law Spouse, Homosexual Relationship, Victim Was Spouse, Victim Was Ex-Relationship (Ex-Boyfriend/Girlfriend), and Victim was Ex-Spouse (NOTE: As of January 1, 2019, NIBRS no longer uses the category "Homosexual Relationship.")
- Other Family includes: Victim Was Child, Victim Was Grandchild, Victim Was Grandparent, Victim Was In-law, Victim Was Other Family Member, Victim Was Parent, Victim Was Sibling, Victim Was Stepchild, Victim Was Stepparent, and Victim Was Stepsibling
- Friend of Acquaintance Relationship includes: Victim Was Acquaintance, Victim Was Babysittee, Victim Was Child of Boyfriend or Girlfriend, Victim was Employee, Victim was Employer, Victim Was Friend, Victim Was Neighbor, and Victim was Otherwise Known
- Other/Unknown includes: Relationship Unknown
- Stranger includes: Victim Was Stranger
- Victim was Offender includes: Victim Was Offender
Please direct any comments or questions about the LEARCAT dashboard to:
Please include “LEARCAT” in the subject line of the e-mail.
Inquiries can also be directed to:
Bureau of Justice Statistics
U.S. Department of Justice
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531
When publishing data from BJS’s LEARCAT in any form, including graphics, the recommended citation is:
Bureau of Justice Statistics. (Insert table/chart title). Generated using the Law Enforcement Agency Reported Crime Analysis Tool (LEARCAT) at www.bjs.ojp.gov. (Insert date generated).
Please use the following information when citing the LEARCAT dashboard:
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Tool title: Law Enforcement Agency Reported Crime Analysis Tool (LEARCAT)
Data source: Bureau of Justice Statistics analysis of the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
Date accessed (or generated): [insert date here]