Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Ohio Incident-Based Reporting System (OIBRS)?
The Ohio Incident-Based Reporting System (OIBRS) is Ohio's version of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS). OIBRS is a voluntary crime reporting program in which Ohio law enforcement agencies can submit crime statistics directly to the state and federal government in an automated format. This process has replaced the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR)/Summary reporting process in many areas of the state. Ohio law enforcement agencies participating in OIBRS report their crime statistics to the Ohio Department of Public Safety's (ODPS) Office of Criminal Justice Services (OCJS). OCJS then forwards the crime statistics in the NIBRS format to the FBI.
Why are crime statistics important?
Crime statistics help determine planning and resource allocation needs for various public and private members of the community. Crime statistics help enable law enforcement to utilize resources in an efficient and effective manner. OIBRS, an automated crime statistics reporting system, allows Ohio law enforcement agencies and policymakers to speak the same "language" in discussing and analyzing crime.
Is OIBRS crime reporting mandatory?
No. OIBRS crime reporting by Ohio law enforcement agencies is voluntary. However, an eligibility requirement for Ohio law enforcement agencies to receive grant funding through OCJS is that they must report their crime statistics either through OIBRS to OCJS or through UCR/Summary directly to the FBI.
How many Ohio law enforcement agencies report their crime statistics through OIBRS?
It varies year to year. Participation has increased over the years as more agencies start reporting through OIBRS each year. Approximately 565 agencies covering about 81% of the Ohio population have reported crimes that occurred in 2017 and/or 2018.
Are the crime statistics on this site accurate?
The crime statistics available on this site are believed to cover the time periods each created report covers, but the accuracy of the crime statistics on this site is not guaranteed. The OIBRS reporting process involves the validation of incidents and translation of offenses to meet FBI NIBRS reporting guidelines. It is the responsibility of the local law enforcement agency reporting the data to make sure incidents with OIBRS reportable offenses are validated within their records management system and submitted to OCJS. Any verification on the crime totals from this site must be done through the reporting law enforcement agency.
Why did some crime totals change when I created the same report today compared to when I created it two months ago?
The crime data on this site is based on the information in the State's OIBRS database at the time the report is created by the user. Results for the same report may change over time based on any updated/new information reported by the participating law enforcement agency in future OIBRS crime data submissions to OCJS.
Why could there be differences in the crime totals provided through OIBRS compared to the totals provided by the local law enforcement agency and/or the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program?
The crime totals are based on a translation process from Ohio Revised Code (ORC) to the applicable FBI NIBRS crime category. Some ORCs translate to one of multiple possible FBI NIBRS offense codes. Other factors in reports with those types of ORCs help determine how the ORC is translated to the applicable FBI NIBRS offense code. For example, the ORC for Domestic Violence is translated to either Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, or Intimidation when OCJS sends the data to the FBI. The weapon used and injuries involved help determine the Assault category. Totals in the State OIBRS database may differ from local totals based on this translation process. Other factors where differences may occur between local and FBI crime totals include incident validations and the FBI conversion of the crime data to the UCR/Summary standard for publication purposes. Incident validations involve meeting data reporting standards for the offense(s) submitted. For example, if a completed theft offense is reported, stolen property must also be submitted. The UCR/Summary standard applies the hierarchy rule in which only the most serious offense in an incident is counted. The OIBRS and NIBRS programs count up to the 10 most serious offenses in an incident. Any verification on the crime totals must be done through the reporting law enforcement agency.
How often do local law enforcement agencies report their OIBRS crime statistics?
Most agencies report their OIBRS crime statistics on a monthly basis, but others may report less often.
Why are the crime statistics from the law enforcement agency in my city, township, or village not included on this site?
Only agencies that report their crime statistics through OIBRS and with what is considered by OCJS to be complete January-December, January-June, or July-December data for each available year are included. Agencies that do not report their crime statistics through OIBRS or agencies that report what is considered to be incomplete crime statistics through OIBRS to OCJS for a specific time period are not included on this site. Agencies that report through OIBRS but are not included on this site can contact OCJS to verify their statistics in order to determine whether their data should be included. To confirm whether your local law enforcement agency is reporting through OIBRS please send an e-mail to JFLuebbers@dps.ohio.gov.
Why are fewer law enforcement agencies included in the reports for the most recent time period available?
Depending when the law enforcement agency reports their crime statistics to cover the six or 12-month time periods will determine how soon they will be included in those reports. Thus, data for the most recent time period may not include as many agencies as previous reporting periods. As time goes on more agencies may be included in the reports for that time period.
Why did the Rape crime totals change for some agencies for a report I created before 2/2/2016 compared to today?
On 2/2/2016 an update was applied to this site to reflect the Rape crime totals based on an FBI updated definition of Rape. Before this update the crime totals were listed as Forcible Rape and only included the total reported through OIBRS based on the FBI NIBRS Forcible Rape crime category. This site’s Rape crime totals now reflect the total reported through OIBRS of the FBI’s Rape, Sodomy, and Sexual Assault with an Object NIBRS crime categories. The historical data on this site also reflects this update. Also, the reporting law enforcement agency may have reported additional incidents of Rape since the last time you created the report on this site.
Does OIBRS collect more crime data besides what is available on this site?
Yes. OIBRS collects additional statistical information such as victim and suspect/arrestee characteristics, property, weapon involvement, and other offenses. To find out the data elements and codes collected through OIBRS go to http://ocjs.ohio.gov/oibrs/ and click on the "Data Specifications Manual" link.
How can I obtain additional crime data that is available through OIBRS?