"The Dimensions of the Dark Figure of Unreported Crime," Crime and Delinquency,
23 (January, 1977), 41-50.
A great deal of criminal activity in America goes unrecorded, largely because it is not reported
to the police. This pool of unrecorded crime has several consequences: it limits the deterrent
capability of the criminal justice system, it contributes to the mis-allocation of police resources,
it renders victims ineligible for public and private benefits, it affects insurance costs, and it
helps shape the police role in society. This report examines these problems in light of new
crime-victim data gathered in a national sample of the general population. The data suggest
that, compared with those incidents which were reported to the police, the reservoir of
unreported crime contains a disproportionate number of less serious incidents involving small
financial loss, little serious injury, and less use of weapons. Race, in particular, was unrelated
to the reporting of crime in the United States in 1973.
Crime Reporting