The reporting of crime is the first step in the criminal investigation process. Most crimes are detected or discovered by private citizens who are either witnesses to or victims of a criminal offence. They report the crime to the police. Many crimes go unreported every year as victims or witnesses exercise their discretion about whether to report a crime or not.
Reasons that crimes go unreported:
– Reporting a crime may bright the victims own illegal acts to attention
– Victim knows the alleged offender
– Solutions can be found between the criminal and the victim
– The victim feels that reporting the crime will cause too much hassle/red tape
– The victim may feel humiliated or shameful
– The victim may believe that reporting the crime will not lead to arrest/conviction
Extract from Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2009 Board of Studies NSW.