Reporting Crime to the Police: Does What the Police Do Make a Difference?
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to closely examine the reasons victims call the police. Few studies have explored both satisfaction and crime reporting in the same model with police interactions. Understanding whether legitimacy or the cost-benefit analysis approach is more influential on reporting crime will help inform police policy. The study used a cross-sectional victimization sample (N=4,598) from the 1997 Law Enforcement and Administrative Statistics Survey and the 1998 Criminal Victimization and Perceptions of Community Safety Survey. Findings supported the hypothesis that having direct experiences with police were associated with increased reporting of crimes. Contrary to hypotheses, satisfaction with police had no significant relationship with reporting crime and community policing tactics were negatively related with reporting crime to the police, although this relationship may not be causal. Crime seriousness had the greatest significant association with reporting. Limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.