Nearly 40% of the 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the U.S. failed to report crime data to the FBI's national database in 2021 after the transition to a new collection system. The transition creates huge gaps in national crime stats sure to be exploited by politicians in this election year.
The missing data is not random — in some of the largest states like California, Florida and New York, most agencies did not report data.
Many criminologists fear the missing data means the nation would not get reliable crime data for years to come. If a local police department did not report crime data to the FBI, it would also mean scholars, policy makers and the public cannot compare what’s happening with crime in their community with other places.