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NCJ Number: 67911 Find in a Library
Title: VICTIM'S WILLINGNESS TO REPORT TO THE POLICE - A FUNCTION OF PROSECUTION POLICY?
Author(s): J J M VANDIJK
Corporate Author: Netherlands Ministry of Justice
Research and Documentation Centre
Netherlands
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Netherlands Ministry of Justice
2500 Eh the Hague, Netherlands
Publication Number: 30
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: THIS DUTCH PAPER DEALS WITH THE SIDE EFFECTS OF RESTRICTIVE PROSECUTION POLICIES ON THE WILLINGNESS OF VICTIMS TO REPORT CRIMES TO THE POLICE.
Abstract: DATA FROM THE ANNUAL VICTIM SURVEYS (1974-78) OF THE RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION CENTER OF THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE (THE NETHERLANDS) REVEALED THAT POLICE WERE NOTIFIED OF LESS THAN HALF OF THE SELECTED TYPES OF OFFENSES (55 PERCENT IN 1975 AND 44 PERCENT IN 1978). THE OFFENSES INCLUDE CAR THEFT, MOTORBIKE THEFT, BURGLARY, BICYCLE THEFT, THEFT FROM CARS, PICKPOCKETING, HIT AND RUN, INDECENT ASSAULTS, AND THREATENING/ASSAULT IN PUBLIC PLACES. THE DATA ALSO SHOWED LARGE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE NOTIFICATION PERCENTAGES OF THE VARIOUS TYPES OF OFFENSES AND SHOWED A STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT DECLINING TREND IN THE NOTIFICATION OF SOME TYPES OF OFFENSES (E.G., SEXUAL ASSAULTS IN PUBLIC PLACES). FOR MANY CATEGORIES OF CRIME, LARGE PERCENTAGES OF THE CASES RECORDED BY THE POLICE ARE DISMISSED BY THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC PROSECUTOR (NOT BROUGHT TO TRIAL) AFTER A SUSPECT HAS BEEN ARRESTED. ALTHOUGH IN THE NETHERLANDS THE POLICE FORMALLY HAVE NO DISCRETIONARY POWER, POLICE OFFICERS INDIVIDUALLY ANTICIPATE IN THEIR RECORDING PRACTICES THE PROSECUTION PRACTICE THEY PERCEIVE IN THEIR DISTRICT BY NOT EVEN RECORDING CRIMES THEY THINK FAR BELOW PROSECUTION STANDARDS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE RESULTS OF A TABLE THAT SHOWS THAT PERCENTAGES OF NOTIFYING VICTIMS WHO REMEMBER HAVING UNDERSIGNED A FORMAL REPORT (1976-78) INDICATE THAT ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF ALL NOTIFICATIONS OF CRIMES ARE PROBABLY NOT FORMALLY RECORDED BY THE POLICE. IT IS CLEAR THAT A RESTRICTIVE PROSECUTION POLICY -- EVEN WHEN NOT EXPLICITLY STATED -- SETS A LIMIT TO THE RECORDING AND REPORTING PRACTICE OF THE POLICE. THE PUBLIC, HOWEVER, WILL REACT TO THIS WITH A DECREASED WILLINGNESS TO REPORT CRIMES TO THE POLICE. EVENTUALLY A RELATIVELY HIGH THRESHOLD FOR REPORTING CRIMES TO THE POLICE IS GENERATED AS AN INDIRECT EFFECT OF A RESTRICTIVE PROSECUTION POLICY. FOOTNOTES, TABULAR DATA, AND NINE REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED)
Index Term(s): Netherlands; Police reports; Prosecutorial screening; Victimization surveys
Note: PAPER PRESENTED AT THE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON VICTIMOLOGY, 3RD, SEPTEMBER 3-7, 1979
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67911

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