The term “the dark figure of crime”
is a saying used by those in law enforcement. It represents a way of including
data of commited crimes that were never reported or revealed. What this does is
create a confidence issue in the official reporting of crime data. Therefore certain
areas that have reportedly low crime rates, may actually have higher incidences
of crime due to the dark figure of crime. One way to reduce this phenomenon is
to have Police Officers record every
crime reported to them in order to get the correct data.
The UCR Program has been
administered by the FBI and began in 1929. The UCR program gathers information
on all crimes reported to law enforcement. The program collects data monthly
from law enforcement reports or crime incident records. This information is
reported to the FBI. The UCR program is nationwide effort to collect the crime
data and evaluate how the law enforcement system can lower crime rates.
The Bureau of
Justice Statistics’ (BJS, began in 1973, this provides stats of crimes committed, and tendencies. Both programs were created for
different purposes. The main goal of the
UCR Program is to provide a standard set of statistics for law enforcement. The National Crime Victim
Survey supplies data that is not readily available about crime and perpetrators.
Further more, both programs measure overlying but nonidentical sets of crimes. The unique thing about the NCVS is that it includes crimes that have not been
reported to the police, this is why there is a lot more victim crime in the
crime statistics are valuable because, we can take the data from many different
angles of reporting. Then use the data to help spot trends and patterns in the
community. This allows us to create better strategies for policing.
Many cases tend to fall out as
they move along in the criminal justice funnel. Cases start falling out because
about half of serious crimes are either unreported on unsolved. This causes
about 40% of cases to be over looked. As the criminals go through the stages of
incarceration, less and less are found guilty or put on probation. After 100
people are arrested, only about 29 are sentenced and 20 are incarcerated. The
criminal justice system needs to stop over shadowing the crimes no matter what the circumstance.