Sociology Index E-Books

DARK FIGURE OF CRIME

Dark figure of crime is the amount of crime which is unreported or unknown. There is a dark figure of crime which is committed, but does not appear in the criminal statistics. The total amount of crime in a community consists of crimes which are known or recorded and the dark figure of crime.

Criminologists have used differing methods (like victimization surveys) to try to decrease the amount of unknown (dark figure of crime) or unrecorded crime. Considering the notion of a dark figure of crime is based on a positivist approach to criminology and assumes that crime is real or objective.

The 'dark figure' in the dark figure of crime is not some sinister character but a theory that postulates that we do not know how much crime is out there and with current methods of studying the phenomenon of crime we have no way of knowing the truth.

The Uniform Crime Report and the National Crime Victimization Survey are widely known sources of crime statistics, offering an analysis of crime data to figure out the dark figure of crime. But, there is no equivalent measure of campus crime at the national level. Therefore, campus crime is known as the dark figure of crime or the unknown crime.

Research Strategy for Bringing to Light the Dark Figure of Campus Crime: Journal: Campus Law Enforcement Journal Volume:34 Issue:6 Dated: November/December 2004 Pages:32-34, to 36
Giuseppe M. Fazari Ph.D. - Editor(s): Karen E. Breseman National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Abstract: The Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) are two widely known sources of crime statistics, offering an analysis of crime data. However, there is no equivalent measure of campus crime at the national level. Campus crime is known as the dark figure of crime or the unknown crime. This research article attempts to develop a methodology in examining campus crime to mitigate a previous failure (the Jeanne Clery Act) to account for campus crime. It demonstrates the consequences of such a void by examining the differences between undergraduate incident reports and survey responses of theft victimization (a prevalent campus crime). First it begins by reviewing existing literature which substantiates the need for a methodology examining the dark figure of crime in Campus.