Name File Type Size Last Modified application/zip 42.6 MB 07/08/2018 01:44:PM

Project Citation: 

Kaplan, Jacob. Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program Data: Arson 2001-2016. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2018-07-08.

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Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary
Version 3 release notes:
  • Add data for 2016.
  • Order rows by year (descending) and ORI.
  • Removed data from Chattahoochee Hills (ORI = "GA06059") from 2016 data. In 2016, that agency reported about 28 times as many vehicle arsons as their population (Total mobile arsons = , population = 2754.
Version 2 release notes:
  • Fix bug where Philadelphia Police Department had incorrect FIPS county code.
The Arson data is an FBI data set that is part of the annual Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program data. This data contains information about arsons reported in the United States. The data sets here combine all data from the years 2001-2015 into a single file. The year 2006 is not available. Please note that the files are quite large and may take some time to open.

The raw data that I downloaded from NACJD has monthly data. The data here is yearly and was created by adding all the monthly columns together for each variable. The format is similar to the UCR's Offenses Known data where each row is an agency-year and columns are crime counts for various crimes. Instead of various crimes, here it is the type of arson such as arson of a single occupancy building, a storage building, or a motor vehicle. Like the Offenses Known data it has the number of reports found to have actually occurred ("actual"), be unfounded, cleared, and cleared with an arrestee under the age of 18. There are also columns for the total number of arsons reported to police, total number of arsons of uninhabited buildings, and estimated damage from the arson.

About 30% of the rows were from agencies that did not report any months of data. I removed these rows to reduce file size. I did not make any changes to the data other than the following: Change some column names, reorder columns, and spell out the month in the months reported variable (originally some months were abbreviated). Years 2001 and 2002 had "1" and "2" as their reported years which I changed to "2001" and "2002". I deleted the agency of Oneida, New York (ORI  = NY03200), since they had multiple years that reported single arsons costing over $700 million. I also added state, county, and place FIPS code from the LEAIC (crosswalk).

When an arson is determined to be unfounded the estimated damage from that arson is added as negative to zero out the previously reported estimated damages. This occasionally leads to some agencies have negative values for arson damages. You should be cautious when using the estimated damage columns as some values are quite large. Negative values in other columns are also due to adjustments (zeroing out the error) from month to month. Negative values are not meant to be NA in this data set.

All the data was downloaded from NACJD as ASCII+SPSS Setup files and read into R using the package asciiSetupReader. All work to clean the data and save it in various file formats was also done in R. For the R code used to clean this data, see here.

The zip file contains the data in the following formats and a codebook:
  • .csv - Microsoft Excel
  • .dta - Stata
  • .sav - SPSS
  • .rda - R

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please contact me at

Scope of Project

Subject Terms:  View help for Subject Terms arson; Uniform Crime Reports; crime; arrests; crime rates; law enforcement
Geographic Coverage:  View help for Geographic Coverage United States
Time Period(s):  View help for Time Period(s) 2001 – 2015


Unit(s) of Observation:  View help for Unit(s) of Observation Agency-Year
Geographic Unit:  View help for Geographic Unit Police agency

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