"Citizen Reporting of Crime: Some National Panel Data," Criminology, 13 (February,
1976), 535-549.
The decision to report criminal victimizations to the police is an important determinant of the
capacity of the criminal justice system to fulfill its mandate. This report analyzes the
individual-level determinants of crime reporting, using data generated by the 1973 National
Crime Survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census. It examines the impact of three
characteristics of victimizations upon their reporting probability: the attributes of their victims,
the nature of victim-offender relationships, and the seriousness of the offense. Only the latter
appears to be of major significance, although youthful victims are substantially less likely than
their elders to report their experiences to the police. The reasons that non-reporters give for
their inaction appear to be quite rational, reflecting the probability that anything will come of
their cooperation.
Crime Reporting