Factors Influencing Police Crime Statistics

1268 Words 5 Pages
Chief Bill Blair of Toronto made a claim that there has been a dramatic drop in crime from July 26 to September 9th 2012, due to the increased amount of police officers who worked overtime to prevent crime in some of the city’s most victimized areas. The Chief is making his claim using police crime statistics but one can question if police crime statistics are truly reliable and credible. We cannot be confident that crime really decreased summer of 2012. One must first look at and evaluate the factors that influence the making of these police statistics on crime. One factor that influence police crime statistics is reporting to the police. In order for there to be police crime statistics in the first place, an act has to occur and the victim …show more content…
This is important as at times, even if they do acknowledge the occurrence of a crime, because they cannot keep up with the demand of paperwork and/or workload pressures they will not fill out a report. Aside from the pressures of work, unfortunately they are just some crimes that the police do not take seriously enough although members of the community may see it as a serious crime. One example are hate crimes and racially motivated crimes. The police are not as diligent with documenting them. Another factor that influences the crime statistics is when numerous crimes are committed and only the most serious offence or the top four offences are reported. What this does is it overemphasizes the most serious crimes and ignores the less serious crimes. If six offences were committed and only four were noted that leaves two crimes that are not in the system and minor or not, that shows that the crime statistics are not that accurate especially if one wants to know exactly what is happening in their communities. So while police crime statistics may be somewhat helpful in generally knowing what is going on one should not fully trust it because police discretion, underreporting and underrecording, creates a big dark figure of hidden criminal activity that is actually …show more content…
We see this in the article when the chief says “When we announced this initiative, we talked about saving lives, we talked about making an investment in community safety” he is basically talking about proactive policing, and taking preventive measures. On the other hand, reactive policing is the reaction to criminal activity by responding to the complaints and concerns of the general public, and it is the traditional way of policing. How these types of policing styles impacts the police crime statistics is when proactive policing is being done the police find more crime and in response, allowing there to be a spike in the statistics. When the crime detection and police resources has been increased for a short period of time, it makes it hard to believe the general statement that Chief blair made about crime decreasing the summer of 2012. Obviously it may look like crime is decreasing because there were more officers present to help prevent it in the first place, and one has to be careful because we cannot make that conclusion using only crime statistics numbers we can only safely conclude that the police have been looking out

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