Reporting Crime

Reporting Crime

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.