Entering Return A Data - Monthly Count of Offenses Known to Police

    The Monthly Count of Offenses Known to Police screen consists of three separate areas for data entry. These areas are the Zero Return, LEOKA Totals and Offense Counts.   

 Zero Return - On occasion, a small reporting agency will have no crime, arrests or recovered property to report for a given month.  In order to compute valid crime rates and trends, it is necessary that the FBI be able to identify months during which no criminal activity occurred.  The Zero Return is used for this purpose.  If you have no crime to report for the current reporting month, click the check box and the "Submit" button.  The system will generate your Zero Return, you are not required to complete any additional screens, and your submission for the current submission month is complete.

LEOKA Totals - L ine-of-Duty felonious or accidental killings or assaults of Law Enforcement Officers are reported in the statistics entered on Return A for 1.a Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, 1.b. Manslaughter by negligence, and Aggravated Assault.  Additional information is then reported on the LEOKA form (Law Enforcement Officers Killed or Assaulted).  Before entering statistics for each offense, enter the following information concerning any Law Enforcement Officers killed or assaulted during the current reporting month: Number of Officers killed by Felonious Acts, Number of Officers killed by Accidental or Negligent Acts, and/or Number of Officers Assaulted. You can reach the individual fields using the Tab key.

Offense Counts - After offenses are classified and scored, the monthly figures can be entered on Return A.  The data entry form for Return A follows the layout of the FBI standard paper return.

    The Monthly Count of Offenses Known to Police consists of several columns of information which must be entered. The data is entered by Offense. A line of information should be entered for each Offense for which there is data for the month.

     The "Offense " column contains a dropdown box listing all the Offenses applicable to Return A.  Select the first Offense for which you have statistics to report.  Tab to the "Reported" column.

     All actual and attempted offenses reported to an agency as occurring within its jurisdiction for the month, are entered in the "Reported " column.  (Attempted murder is scored as an aggravated assault.)  Also to be included in this column are any crimes committed in previous months but not reported until this month.  It is important that all known offenses, including those subsequently determined to be "unfounded", be entered in the "Reported" column.

     A department may receive a report of an offense from a citizen which, after preliminary investigation by officers, is determined to be false or baseless.  In other words, no crime occurred.  In this case, each unfounded complaint should be scored in the "Unfounded " column.  Remember that recovery of stolen property, failure of a victim to cooperate, or clearance of crimes does not "unfound" offenses.

     You will notice that Column 4 on the original FBI form (Number of Actual Offenses) is not present in this data entry line.  The system will automatically calculate this number and show it to you on the recap line.

     Offenses in Uniform Crime Reporting are cleared either by arrest or exceptional means.  In the "Clearances " column, one entry should be made for each offense that is cleared.  An offense is "cleared by arrest" or solved for crime reporting purposes when at least one person is:

  1. Arrested
  2. Charged with the commission of the offense; and
  3. turned over to the court for prosecution (whether following arrest, court summons, or police notice).  Although no physical arrest is made, a clearance by arrest can be claimed when the offender is a person under 18 years of age and is cited to appear in juvenile court or before other juvenile authorities.

     Remember that the number of offenses and not the number of persons arrested are counted in the Clearances that you record.  No more clearances than offenses can be reported in a given month unless clearances of offenses which were reported in previous months are being scored.

     Several crimes may be cleared by the arrest of one person, or the arrest of many persons may clear only one crime.  Further, if several persons are involved in the commission of a crime and only one is arrested and charged, the crime is listed on the Return A screen as cleared by arrest.  When the other persons involved in the crime are arrested at a later date, no record will be made of a clearance by arrest since the offense was already cleared following the arrest of the first person.

     In certain situations, law enforcement is not able to follow the three outlined steps under "clearance by arrest" to clear offenses known to them.  Many times all leads have been exhausted and everything possible has been done in order to clear a case.  If the following questions can all be answered "yes" the offense can then be cleared "exceptionally" for crime reporting purposes:

  1. Has the investigation definitely established the identity of the offender?
  2. Is there enough information to support an arrest, charge, and turning over to the court for prosecution?
  3. Is the exact location of the offender known so that the subject could be taken into custody now?
  4. Is there some reason outside law enforcement control that precludes arresting, charging, and prosecuting the offender?

See Examples of Exceptional Clearances for more information.

     "Clearances of Juveniles" is the count of offenses cleared involving offenders under 18 years of age only.  The number in this column can never be greater than the number reported in "Clearances".  If an offense is cleared by arrest or exceptional means and offenders include both adults and persons under age 18, the clearance should be scored only in "Clearances".  If a clearance involves only persons under age 18, the clearance is scored in both "Clearances" and "Clearances of Juveniles".  REMEMBER THAT PERSONS ARRESTED ARE NOT BEING COUNTED IN "CLEARANCES" AND "CLEARANCES OF JUVENILES".  COUNT ONLY THE NUMBER OF OFFENSES (CRIMES) CLEARED.  You can also score clearances for crimes which were reported in previous months, but not cleared until this month.

     After entering the statistics for the Offense selected, click on the "Add" button.  The data you entered will be displayed on a recap line, under the data entry area.

    Notice that the "Actual Offenses" column is displayed, and has been calculated as "Number Reported" minus "Unfounded" as per FBI guidelines.  This recap area provides a review area for Return A statistics, and the ability to change or delete statistics entered.  If during review it is discovered that erroneous statistics were entered for an offense click the "Change" link in the Action column.  The line will move from the recap area back to the data entry area, where the statistics can be corrected.  After correction, click the "Save" button, and the statistics will move back to the recap area. To delete a line from the recap area, select the line by clicking on "Remove" link in the "Action" column next to the offense to delete. You will be presented with a confirmation screen. Click the "OK" button to proceed with the delete or the "Cancel" button to stop the delete process.  The statistics will be removed from the recap area.

     Three links are available to allow you to control the data entry process. At any time during the data input, Help for the completion of Return A is available by clicking on the "Need Help?" link on the bottom of the page.  Clicking on the "Save Submission " link will save all statistics entered up to that point, in the event you are not able to complete entering all statistics for the current month's submission in one session.  Finally, clicking "Continue" link will signal the system that you have completed entering Return A statistics.  The system will verify the data that has been entered, and return any errors for correction before moving to the next screen.


See FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook for more information.