Police Recording of Crime Incidents

Karin Wittebrood, Social en Cultural Planning Office

This paper focuses on victims of crime who report their crime to the police. Although the police must always take down the report, it is known from survey research that the police do not always register the reported crimes. Police decisions to record or not record incidents as crime are an important but neglected aspect in criminology. The police decision not to record an incident is especially important because it is the first decision within the system and thus the first decision over which the system maintains control. This paper combines earlier research using individual and incident characteristics to explain the recording of crime, and research examining the role of neighborhoodcharacteristics and will answer the question: to what extent can recording of crime by the police be explained by individual, incident and neigborhood characteristics? To answer these question data will be used from the Police Monitor, a biannual national crime victimization survey in the Netherlands. This survey is carried out since 1993 and it contains information on about 300,000 respondents across 3,500 neigborhoods. The individual and incident data will be matched with information on the neighborhoods, such as poverty rate, percent minorities, and residential mobility. The data will be analysed with multilevel analysis.

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Updated 05/20/2006