Criminal law can be quite a fascinating field. If you aspire to become a criminal lawyer, then things like the dark figure of crime are something that you should know. Do you often think about how crime statistics are found out and whether the information gathered is even accurate or not? These are quite great questions to ask actually. However, in order to know the answers to these questions, you first need to know about the dark figure of crime.
What is the dark figure of crime? Let us read on to find out.
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Definition of a dark figure of crime
The dark figure of crime is a term used by criminologists and other professionals to point out the amount of perpetrated crimes that are neither recorded or ever found out. This leads to us doubting the validity and effectiveness of even the criminal data that is recorded.
Amid all the criminal activities that occur at any specific place or at a certain time period, some of them are not reported to the police, while some that are reported are never recorded by the police officers. Thus, making you question the authenticity of the data that is already present.
Furthermore, crimes are not usually reported due to a couple of different reasons. The people might be afraid of the police or they might just be afraid of reporting the incident. Regardless of whatever the reason is, if you do not report these criminal activities, it only puts a big question mark on the veracity of crime statistics and the entire police system.
According to the dark figure of crime theory, the crime statistics does not consist of the dark figure of crimes that go unreported. Thus, in all honesty, we really are not aware of the little details regarding the intensity and the type of crimes that are committed. All in all, this means that the statistics are actually unreliable and incorrect.
Statistics of the dark figure of crime
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Preliminary 2013 Semiannual Uniform Crime Report showed a 5.4% decrease in the rate of violent criminal activities for the initial six months of the year. Furthermore, property crimes during the initial six months also showed a 5.4% decrease in property crimes rates. Lastly, crimes such as intentionally setting up a place on fire almost had 15.6% decrease.
Measuring the dark figure of crime
The Bayesian theory was actually created in the 18th century by Thomas Byes, a mathematician and theologian. Together with educated guesses, judgements, and formulas regarding probability, he figured out the chances of specific events to occur.
The Bayesian Statistics are mostly used to measure the dark figure of crime. Studies show that the Bayesian statistics can fill the gaping hole in the data between criminal activities that are formally reported and those that are either never recorded by or reported to police, or not revealed by law enforcement authorities.
This rift is known by criminologists as the dark figure of crime and has resulted in heated arguments over crime rates. Moreover, it has also led to the presence of crimes that are frequently lost in official values. These crimes include those such as domestic abuse and violence.
In a paper he recently presented, Refat Aljumily talks about how a lot of criminal activities, regardless of whether they are serious or not, are not reported to the police and/or other law and justice enforcement authorities. He also states that the crime statistics do not tell you of the rate of criminal activities taking place.
An example that is frequently used to explain this theory is that of gambling, such as a gambler trying to decide the probability of a rolling dice. Commonly, it is assumed that after six rolls of the dice, it will come up only at least once, on an average basis. However, when using a Bayesian theory, an individual might observe that the number 6 is turning up quite frequently than what was expected. Therefore, it may be deduced that other elements are also at work. These are factors such as the possibility that the dice are loaded. Thus, the gambler and/or any other individual may even alter his/her expectations and may even decide that he/she should quit the game.
A few mathematicians have even used the Bayesian theory to find out the probability of harsh weather conditions or even the popularity of new drugs.
By using this technique to the world of crime, a statistician connects both previous assumptions and current proof regarding the prevailing criminal activities in a specific region to try to find out the exact figure of crime rates.
Aljumily also sated that although the Bayesian theory was not great, it did help to unveil the accurate criminal activities that go unreported in formal statistics such as sexual violence (crimes against women), and driving while intoxicated.
Governments in different nations are putting into action some arrangements that will help advance the recording of criminal activities and help moderate violations at the societal level. The members of a community have been placed in charge of the social equity where they will manage a few criminal activities which take place in the local areas as well as the ones that don’t reach the authorities that oversee law enforcement. The misconducts and offenses against the law that have been severally recorded every now and again have also been built upon extreme measures. The people living in the area are also presented with data regarding the things taking place at the ground level. This will assist them with identifying criminal offenses when they are being perpetrated, and will make sure that they can be reported. Correspondence between the individuals from the network and the police bodies is also being exceptionally supported.
The rate of dark crimes have decreased due to attempts being made by law enforcement authorities to make sure that they eradicate all the problems and the fears that lead to individuals not reporting a crime. The people within a society together with others who witness crimes will then be motivated to report them to the police. The surveys and polls conducted by different government and private authorities indicate that the number of dark crimes have decreased over the few recent years.