Factors in the underreporting of crimes against juveniles.
This analysis of 1995 to 1996 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data finds substantial underreporting to police of violent and property crimes against youth (age 12 to 17) compared with the reporting of such crimes against adults. This underreporting is not explained by the crimes involved being less serious, being committed by juvenile perpetrators, or by any other aspect of the crimes for which NCVS information is available. Counting reports to nonpolice authorities (in lieu of police) equalizes the level of reporting for property crime but not for violent crime. Law enforcement should undertake a variety of policies to try to encourage the police reporting of juvenile crime victimization, including steps to emphasize the criminal seriousness of such offenses, to undermine the code of silence, to provide incentives to report, to make reporting easier, and to work with schools about policies concerning when to involve the police.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Finkelhor, D. Factors in the underreporting of crimes against juveniles. (2001) Child Maltreatment, 6 (3), pp. 219-229.
© 2001 Sage Publications.