The Cape Coral Police Department is in the process of implementing a new Incident-Based Reporting System that will allow the agency to collect more comprehensive crime data.

That detailed data will aid the Police Department in developing a more complete and transparent overview of various crime types occurring in the city of Cape Coral, in addition to helping to expedite identifying crime trends.

The transition is part of a major initiative nationwide to improve crime data collection by law enforcement, which is called NIBRS, or the National Incident-Based Reporting System. The Federal Bureau of Investigation oversees the collection of NIBRS data. Florida’s version is called FIBRS, or the Florida Incident-Based Reporting System. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will oversee the collection of FIBRS crime data.

Previously the Cape Coral Police Department and other law enforcement agencies throughout Florida used Summary-Based Reporting to collect and report crime data for the purpose of Uniform Crime Reporting data collection. The key difference is that Summary-Based Reporting only counts the most serious crime of a particular incident, while Incident-Based Reporting counts ALL crimes committed during an incident.

The new system will capture details on each single crime incident – as well as on separate offenses within the same incident. This includes information on victims, known offenders, relationships between victims and offenders, arrestees and stolen or recovered property involved in crimes.

Another advantage to the new system is how crime statistics are reported.

Summary-Based Reporting data was submitted twice a year to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Incident-Based Reporting data through FIBRS can be submitted monthly, or even daily if desired.

Incident-Based Reporting also allows for the collection of detailed drug offenses (up to three), where Summary-Based Reporting only allowed for one drug type to be reported per incident.

This new method of data collection will have a cumulative effect on combating crime issues and solving quality-of-life issues. Due to this change, crime statistics will initially appear to show increased numbers; however, this does NOT mean the crime rate is rising.

Even with the transition to a new Incident-Based Reporting system, the public will still be able to see long-term crime trends through the examination of historic crime data.

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