The FBI released its national crime data for 2021 this week, but it lacks data from nearly 40% of police departments nationwide, including massive forces in cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
“I don’t think you could get national numbers, at least not useful national numbers, from this data,” Jacob Kaplan, criminologist at Princeton University, told the Marshall Project earlier this year. “It’s going to be really hard for policymakers to look at what crime looks like in their own community and compare it to similar communities.”
The FBI switched to a new recording program at the start of January 2021, called the National Incident-Based Reporting System. The new reporting method was rolled out to provide a more thorough snapshot of offenses, such as what weapons were used in an incident, types of property stolen, and more detailed demographic information on victims and perpetrators of crimes.