The FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program is the standard for information on crimes nationally, but, as this article from the Denver Post reports, sometimes mistakes are made, big mistakes.

An excerpt.

“The FBI on Monday released statistics that show violent crime in Denver fell last year while property crime rose, bucking national trends in both categories.

“But the Denver Police Department’s own data paint a less rosy picture of crime in the city, showing a 4.3 percent increase in crime overall in 2012.

“The FBI’s statistics were part of the agency’s Uniform Crime Report, which tracks only the offenses reported to police agencies. The numbers released Monday were preliminary; a final report on crime in 2012 is due out later this year and could more closely resemble Denver police data. Violent crime throughout the country rose 1.2 percent, and property crime nationwide fell .8 percent, according to the crime report.

“Denver police cautioned against relying on the federal statistics for a full portrait of crime in the city, as discrepancies between the FBI and department data are vast. For example, while the FBI report says violent crime in Denver fell 3.6 percent in 2012 from the year before — from 3,718 to 3,584 — data provided by the police department show a 9.3 percent increase — from 3,810 violent crimes in 2011 to 4,163 last year.

“The FBI numbers indicate a nearly 4 percent drop in aggravated assaults, yet Denver police show an 11 percent increase from 2011 to last year. There were 28 homicides in Denver in 2012, by the FBI’s count, and 38 by the police department’s.

“There were smaller discrepancies in property crimes such as burglaries, arsons and thefts. The FBI data show a 3.4 percent increase last year — from 22,493 offenses in 2011 to 23,249 last year, while Denver police reported a 3.5 percent increase — from 22,662 to 23,454.

“The process they use to collect data doesn’t capture everything,” Denver police spokesman Lt. Matt Murray said.”