Reporting crimes to the police: The status of world research

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Since the mid-1960s there has been a great deal of interest around the world in the use of sample surveys of the general population to study crime. The advantages of doing so have been discussed in detail many times (National Research Council, 1976; Biderman, 1967). Crime surveys have been conducted in many nations, a practice that is continuing despite their heavy cost. Large-scale national surveys have been conducted in the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, Great Britain, and Sweden. Smaller but regular national studies have been carried out in the rest of Scandinavia, and there has been a national survey in Spain. There have been large surveys of victimization in individual cities in Germany, Switzerland, and England. Statistics Canada has completed very large studies of seven major cities, including two surveys of Vancouver, and the Israeli Census Bureau has added victimization questions to a national survey. In addition, small but useful city studies have been conducted in Mexico, Colombia, Israel, and Belgium. The four islands that make up the Dutch Antilles also have been surveyed. The findings of these surveys have accumulated to the point where it is possible to perceive cross-national regularities—or clear inconsistencies—in what they reveal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-137
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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