CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Crime Is Worse Than You Thought -- Much Worse"

Bill Otis has this post at Crime & Consequences:

The crime figures I have been using (and almost all other bloggers and academics use) are taken from the Uniform Crime Reports compiled by the FBI.  That source, however, gives only reported crimes.  The number of unreported crimes is staggering. As you can see from the chart below derived from the BJS National Crime Victimization Survey (see here), almost all types of crime are massively under-reported.  The chart shows that theft  -- perhaps the most common crime  --  is under-reported by over 70%; rape and sexual assault by about 65%; simple assault by 60%; burglary by just over 40%; and robbery by just under 40%. Indeed, it would seem that the only crimes that routinely get reported are auto theft and (although the chart does not show this) murder.

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