According to official estimates crime is down in Minnesota, but according to a new survey a significant amount of crime goes unreported in the state. As a result, the true crime picture and the need of criminal defense in Minnesota may be distorted. Crimes that tend to go unreported in Minnesota include theft and burglary, sex crimes and domestic violence.
The survey of unreported crime shows the police record does not capture all crime. Unreported crime is common and people choose to report crimes or not report crimes for various reasons. Some types of incidents can be humiliating or painful to report such as sexual assault or domestic violence. Other types of crimes are more frequently reported like theft or aggravated assault. Aggravated assault and car theft are more frequently reported crimes because a police report is needed to file an insurance claim.
According to the Ramsey County Sheriff, people sometimes do not believe reporting a crime is worth their time because they do not believe the crime will be solved. For property crimes, people sometimes accept their loss and move on. Neighborhoods also influence whether a crime will be reported. Neighborhoods that tend to report all suspicious activity or small incidences tend to be places where less crime occurs.
Six thousand people who live in Minnesota participated in the survey. Different crimes had different rates of being reported. Almost 75 percent of people who experienced motor vehicle theft reported the crime. In comparison, only 19 percent of people who reported being stalked reported the incident. Even though the number of unreported crimes is in opposition to the number of reported crimes, the number of unreported crimes reported in the survey is comparable to previous surveys.
Source: MPRnews, “Unreported crime presents incomplete picture for police,” Dan Olson, Aug. 22, 2011