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FBI — Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual

March 31, 2015 Comments off

Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual (PDF)
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

On June 5, 2013, the CJIS Advisory Policy Board (APB) approved a motion to modify the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s Hate Crime data collection procedures to begin including all self-identified religions in the United States as listed in the Pew Research Center’s Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2008) and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract (2012). The APB also approved a motion to modify the UCR Hate Crime data collection procedures to include an anti-Arab bias motivation. The FBI Director authorized these motions on June 28, 2013. The FBI UCR Program, which collects and publishes information about crimes motivated by bias, has modified its data collection accordingly by defining the specific religions and the ethnicity/ancestry Arab, as well as providing corresponding examples. The UCR Program collaborated with members of the Arab, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh communities to develop the corresponding training scenarios, as well as Appendix F.

This publication is intended to assist law enforcement agencies in establishing an updated hate crime training program so their personnel can collect and submit hate crime data to the FBI UCR Program. In addition to providing suggested model reporting procedures and training aids for capturing the new bias motivations, the manual is written to raise law enforcement officers’ awareness of the hate crime problem. The FBI UCR Program is grateful to all who have assisted in preparing this publication.

FBI — Progress Report: Panel Conducts Review of FBI Since 9/11 Commission Report

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Progress Report: Panel Conducts Review of FBI Since 9/11 Commission Report
Source: FBI

A congressionally mandated panel charged with reviewing the FBI’s implementation of recommendations contained in the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004 today issued its findings.

The release of the 9/11 Review Commission’s report, The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century, followed 14 months of research, interviews, briefings, and field visits by commissioners and their 13-member staff. The commission—which included former Attorney General Edwin Meese, former Congressman Tim Roemer, and Georgetown University professor Bruce Hoffman—began its review in 2013 at the FBI’s request after Congress called for an appraisal of the Bureau’s progress since the 9/11 Commission issued its recommendations in 2004. A classified draft of the Review Commission’s report was sent to Congress and to other agencies mentioned in the report; the FBI released the unclassified version for the public.

That report, which can be found on FBI.gov, concludes that the FBI has “transformed itself over the last 10 years” and “made measurable progress building a threat-based, intelligence-driven national security organization.” The commission also makes recommendations on where the FBI can improve.

Ransomware on the Rise; FBI and Partners Working to Combat This Cyber Threat

February 6, 2015 Comments off

Ransomware on the Rise; FBI and Partners Working to Combat This Cyber Threat
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Your computer screen freezes with a pop-up message—supposedly from the FBI or another federal agency—saying that because you violated some sort of federal law your computer will remain locked until you pay a fine. Or you get a pop-up message telling you that your personal files have been encrypted and you have to pay to get the key needed decrypt them.

These scenarios are examples of ransomware scams, which involve a type of malware that infects computers and restricts users’ access to their files or threatens the permanent destruction of their information unless a ransom—anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars—is paid.

Social Media: Legal Challenges and Pitfalls for Law Enforcement Agencies

February 2, 2015 Comments off

Social Media: Legal Challenges and Pitfalls for Law Enforcement Agencies
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Current statistics regarding individuals’ use of social media are staggering. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) Center for Social Media website, Facebook users share approximately 684,478 pieces of content every minute, and the average user creates 90 pieces of content each month, including links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, and videos. Each day 1 million accounts are added to Twitter, and Instagram records approximately a billion “likes” for material posted on the site.

Given the thorough integration of social media into peoples’ lives and the ease with which users instantly share their thoughts, opinions, and “status” with family, friends, and strangers, not surprisingly, some users will post items that other people may find inappropriate. This becomes particularly problematic when an employee of a public safety agency posts or is depicted in such material. Because of the significant adverse effects public safety employees’ misuse of social media can have on them as witnesses, on agency operations, and on the department’s relationship with the community it serves, many police agencies have addressed their employees’ use of social media, whether proactively in the form of policy, reactively in the face of an incident, or both. A former chief of police in Smithfield, Virginia, and past president of the IACP stated, “This is something that all police chiefs around the country, if you’re not dealing with it, you better deal with it.”

See also: 2014 Social Media Survey (International Association of Chiefs of Police)
See also: Making Social Media Part of the Uniform: How policing solutions use #socialmedia to #buildcommunities and #fightcrime (PDF; International Association of Chiefs of Police)

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2014

January 28, 2015 Comments off

FBI Releases Preliminary Semiannual Crime Statistics for 2014
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Statistics released today in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report reveal overall declines in both the number of violent crimes and the number of property crimes reported for the first six months of 2014 when compared with figures for the first six months of 2013. The report is based on information from 11,009 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six months of comparable data to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program for the first six months of 2013 and 2014.

FBI Releases 2013 Crime Statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System

December 23, 2014 Comments off

FBI Releases 2013 Crime Statistics from the National Incident-Based Reporting System
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Today, the FBI released details on more than 5.6 million criminal offenses reported via the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) in 2013. The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s latest report, NIBRS 2013, provides a diverse scope of information about victims, known offenders, and relationships for 23 offense categories (including sex offenses). It also presents arrest data for those offense categories plus 11 more.

Unlike data reported via the Summary Reporting System in Crime in the United States, data in NIBRS 2013 include all offenses within an incident, as well as additional aspects about each event such as location, time of day, and clearances. NIBRS 2013 also provides agency-level offense data by state; however, there are no estimates for agencies that did not submit NIBRS data to the UCR Program.

In 2013, 6,328 law enforcement agencies, representing coverage for more than 92 million U.S. inhabitants, submitted NIBRS data. While not yet nationally representative, this coverage represents 34.4 percent of all law enforcement agencies that participate in the UCR Program.

NIBRS agencies reported 4,927,535 incidents that involved 5,665,902 offenses, 5,980,569 victims, and 4,517,902 known offenders. In addition, these agencies reported 1,533,671 arrestees.

Of the reported offenses, 64.7 percent involved crimes against property (i.e., those crimes in which the object is property), 22.8 percent involved crimes against persons, (i.e., crimes whose victims are always individuals), and 12.6 percent included crimes against society (i.e., typically “victimless crimes” that represent society’s prohibition against engaging in certain types of activity, such as gambling).

FBI Releases 2013 Hate Crime Statistics

December 8, 2014 Comments off

FBI Releases 2013 Hate Crime Statistics
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Today, the FBI released Hate Crime Statistics, 2013, the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s first publication to present data collected under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2009. Accordingly, the bias categories of gender (male and female) and gender identity (transgender and gender nonconforming) have been added to the other bias categories of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.

Other new aspects of the report include the presentation of age categories to indicate whether hate crimes were committed by or directed toward juveniles. In addition, the data for the 2013 report were collected and published in accordance with the U.S. Government, Office of Management and Budget’s revised categories for race and ethnicity, as well as the FBI UCR Program’s revised definition of rape in the Summary Reporting System.

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