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Reporting crime

07-12-2006
The victims’ decision to report to the police is crucial for most subsequent actions of the criminal justice system.

Socio-ecological model of victims

Victim reports are the main source of information for the police regarding where crimes are committed, and also the basis for most subsequent actions of the criminal justice system. Therefore, the victims’ decision to report to the police is crucial. However, much criminal victimization is not reported and, consequently, many offenders are never prosecuted. Why are some crimes reported and others not? Substantial differences in reporting are found across crime locations, neighborhoods and countries. In this book, a socio-ecological model of victims’ decision-making is introduced which endeavors to explain these contextual differences in reporting.

Reporting behavior

To empirically test the main hypotheses derived from this model, several data sources are used and different research strategies are employed, with which the effects of crime, victim and contextual factors on victims’ reporting behavior are simultaneously analyzed. Factors constituting the context in which crime incidents take place (e.g. whether the location is in the private or public domain), as well as factors composing the neighborhood context (e.g. the neighborhood social cohesion) and – to a lesser extent – the country context in which victims reside, were found to play a role in victims’ decision (not) to report.

Complete text externe linkReporting crime : effects of social context on the decision of victims to notify the police


H. Goudriaan: Reporting crime : effects of social context on the decision of victims to notify the police. Leiden: Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR), Faculty of Law, Leiden University, 2006. ISBN: 9789090205624