Crime Statistics Do Not Reflect True Crime Rates Essay

1898 Words 8 Pages
Crime statistics are not what we are led to believe.
We hear a lot about the crime rates going up and down from the media and they tend to expand on specific types of criminal behavior that might be of interest to the public. When politicians are running for office we are told that the crime rates are down due to the tough crime policies that they have been implemented. Citizens seek crime rates for assistance in determining if the area they reside in is safe. Some people wish to get a general idea of the crime rates for a specific neighborhood where they are thinking of purchasing a house. But what is never explained is where do the crime statistics come from and were there any factors that could have had an effect on their
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By police agencies using this form of statistical classifying, there is a major loss in the data of the lower crimes on the scale. A complete total of certain crimes are not included in the statistics creating several inaccuracies in the totals. The UCR policy does not require all crimes to be reported to the state. Violations of the General City Ordinance and Vehicle and Traffic Law are considered too low for the hierarchy scale. These types of crimes are never included in the monthly submission and we generally never hear about them. Since crime statistics begin at the forefront of the police department, the police officer, this leaves a lot of room for unreliability. Police officers create crime data by completing and submitting crime reports and arrest reports. These reports include all of the pertinent information necessary for the committed crime(s) for a specific incident.

There are times when police officers fail to complete written reports of certain crimes or they downgrade the offense of a report to a less serious offense. Meanwhile, some police reports are over-rated in the seriousness of certain offenses. At the end of each officer's shift the reports and arrest records are submitted to the appropriate unit or division of occurrence. Within a day or two these records are then transferred to a central records department and maintained at this location. During the transfer from one unit to another these records…