Sunday, April 13, 2014

Crime, statistics and underreporting

I keep on reading crimes not only from the United States but also sometimes around the world and it is interesting to note that different countries have different crime rates based on the geography and makeup of the population. In a homogenous country like Japan, Sweden, Norway, crime is low and in countries where there is multi culture ethnicities crimes tends to be high (here I am not saying that minorities are responsible for the high crime rate as the United States have been witnessing declining rates in recent years). But crime tends to be high where there are more than one ethnicity lives as tensions rise over jobs, discrimination or general attitude towards them lead to hopelessness and despair. And the crime you can call one is perceived differently by people who are desperate for financial help or justice. Then there are crimes which are financial in nature, petty crimes or major crimes. And sometimes if you have a hostile community who perceive the government and the police as their enemy even don’t cooperate with them. Hostility towards police and authority in general makes any kinds of government released statistics a suspect even if it has the best of intentions. Statistics are only as good as reported and if you don’t report a crime or a happening then the statistics will remain either incomplete or will not show the true picture of what is happening. And this is the case when some person is a victim of crime and they have either had a bad experience with Police, does not trust them or just believe that he/she will not get justice or it is just a waste of time or get into more trouble with them that they don’t report the crime and either suffer in silence, takes precaution for the next time or just take revenge themselves.

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