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Reporting Crimes to the Police

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 1985
Based on National Crime Survey data, this report examines 1983 crime reporting levels for various crime types as well as reasons for reporting and nonreporting.

Crime reporting data are presented for rape, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault, purse snatching, pocket picking, larceny without contact, burglary, household larceny, and motor vehicle theft. Tabular data encompass whether the crime was reported, the proportion of completed and attempted crimes reported, the percent of violent crimes reported by degree of injury, and the percent of crimes reported by theft and damage monetary loss. Data also cover the percent of crimes reported by victim characteristics (sex, race, age, family income, and educational level). Distribution of crimes reported by the victim, other household member, the police, and someone else is indicated. Data are shown by crime type, injury existence, and value of loss. Reasons for not reporting by crime type are enumerated under the following categories: not serious, nothing could be done, the police would not do anything, reported to someone else, a private matter, inconvenient, and afraid of offender reprisal. The most important reasons for reporting by crime type are also enumerated. National Crime Survey methodology is summarized, and Bureau of Justice Statistics reports as of December 1985 are listed.

Date Published: December 1, 1985