Oct 24, 2016
The Reason 40% Of Property Crimes Go Unreported
Did you know that approximately 40% of property crimes go unreported by victims? Though it might shock you now, the reasons why some people opt out of reporting crimes against their property will not.
What Is Property Crime?
The FBI defines property crime as the taking or destruction of one’s property. The offences categorized as property crimes include “burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.”
Why Wouldn’t You Report Property Crime?
Unfortunately, a large portion of victims refuse to report property crimes for a variety of reasons, including:
Belief the crime wasn’t important enough
I think most of us reading this have been the victim of some sort of crime but didn’t report it because we believed it wasn’t a big enough one to bother the police with. So it’s unsurprising that this is one of the main reasons property crimes have been going unreported for years.
Like the BJS says, failure to report a crime puts other people at risk by allowing offenders to rome without facing consequences and you don’t receive the adequate services you might need to be able to fully cope with what happened.
Dealt with it personally/Fear of getting them in legal trouble
In some cases of property crime, victims had a previous relationship with their offenders, whether it’s a relative, ex-spouse, ex-friend, ex-roommate, et cetera. Because they know the person, they don’t get law enforcement involved for fear of getting them in legal trouble.
Fear police couldn’t/wouldn’t help
I’d guess that a large reason people believe police can’t help in their property crime situations is because they don’t have video evidence of the ordeal or because they may have ‘contaminated’ the crime scene by touching door knobs, counter tops, etc.
Crime discovered too late
Sometimes the items people lose in burglaries are heirlooms or just plain things they don’t use too often. We all have some items in our homes that we wouldn’t notice right away if they went missing, and unfortunately that is quite often the case with victims, who then simply assume it’s too late to go to the police about the offence due to a lack of video footage, and fear of already ‘contaminating’ the crime scene by carrying on business as usual for weeks or months after the fact.