Under-reported crimes

7 months ago (7:40 PM)
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There are a number of contributing factors to such crimes being under-reported. This usually involves fear of what will happen once they report a crime.

For example; most women are raped and sexually abused by someone known to them. Domestic violence of course occurs with one's partner. Now if someone is to report this crime, they will be worried that the offender and his/her family and/or friends may then start to threaten or abuse them. Many women are afraid to report crimes when children are involved as they worry about how they will look after their children (generally financially) if her partner is jailed etc. There is still a lot of stigma attached to men suffering from domestic violence - this must also affect the rates of reporting as I can not imagine many men doing so.

When it comes to hate crime, I guess there is concern again over what happens once the crime is reported. If you are being targeted by a group of people, then if you report one...the rest will come after you. I also wonder if there is distrust in the system around dealing with hate crime. It would probably have to be quite serious (in the eyes of the law, not the victim) - i.e. severe physical violence, for it to be taken seriously. There are also things around freedom of speech and the use of slang words. I.e. calling someone 'gay/batty' or targeting people based on faith (something which the media does not help in for Muslims - constant bad press - what do they think will happen?) .

Just a few thoughts but I think it comes down to the fear of the unknown post reporting and distrust in the system. People need to feel that they will be listened to, believed, and truly helped.


Whilst the police are under - reporting in their statistics there is not a lot of point in drawing any meaningful connclusions from the figures.


It isn't only that victims don't report, in Lewisham the police and Council have repeatedly refused to record incidents as 'hate' - either they are unaware of the CPS and ACPO agreed definition - http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/d_to_g/disability_hate_crime/#a40 - or they willfully ignore it.


I agree with the above comment. I found that police were not interested in recording my hate crime though I had reported it. I received no phone call, nothing though it was reported online, As a result the offenders who are my supervisors and investigators who are the police have all the powers to perpetuate hate crime.


We need an change in the reporting of crimes. Police should have no authority to decide whether to record an crime or not. An crime should be reported, recorded and investigated and only the prosecution authority should be able to make decisions about prosecuting or not based on the evidence gained from the investigation.




Using the Self Evident app (developed by our charity,Witness Confident), you can capture, log and safeguard evidence and report it directly to the Met. This helps give you confidence that the police will understand what's happened. Your report cant be lost - it's downloaded onto the police system. You can choose to categorise it as a hate crime. This addresses some of the points made below. www.witnessconfident.org


I am in the middle of a long running Homophobic hate campaign – and yes I have reported to the met police -and it have been made very clear to me by them that they are not going to do anything about it.

The authorities know who I am, but they think it is acceptable for a group of people to run a homophobic hate campaign.

Not only do I say I am suffering from a hate campaign – but when other people take time to look at the evidence they come to the same conclusion.

See :-



I am a victim or a hate/racist crime and went through the court process. Did get superficial support. After the incident got verbal abuse from the police during the process of recognising the culprits. The gang even intimidate us during the court room during the trial and judge and jury just watched. They got just 6 months probation away from home. Didn't feel safe in my home for a long time, concerned about my kids as well. There is a big issue in U.K in terms of discrimination and racism. White is racist/discriminatie against black. Black is racist/discriminating against white people. Being a Muslim is another handicap for day to day life as well. ? Who I am : I am Turkish Muslim and an NHS consultant since 2003 and British from birth...

Heather Longman

1. PEOPLE NEED TO BE EDUCATED ABOUT WHAT CONSTITUTES THESE CRIMES - What the three crimes above have in-common is there's a lot of grey areas - eg is it a hate crime if someone calls a black person the n word? What if that person themselves is black? Is it rape if a man takes advantage of a woman when she's drunk, (apparently not if you’re Ched Evans?) Is it domestic violence if he only hit his girlfriend once and not that hard? These crimes need to be more clearly defined in law and then on-top of that clearly communicated with the public as a lot of people don't really understand what's legal/what isn't when it comes to those three crimes

2. POLICE NEED MORE TRAINING ON HOW TO TREAT VICTIMS OF CRIME WITH RESPECT AND KINDNESS - They need to be less jaded/cynical. I've been a victim of crime three times and each time my dealings with the police rivalled the crimes themselves in how much they disturbed and upset me. I'll never forget the third time I was a victim of crime when I was sexually assaulted on a train and the policeman who took my statement made a snarky comment asking me if I 'regretted' sitting next to my attacker? Because apparently some victims of crime DON’T regret being in the wrong place at the wrong time?!

3. MORE EMPHASIS NEEDS TO BE PUT ON CATCHING THE CRIMINAL AND LESS EMPHASIS PUT ON PREVENTING THE VICTIM BEING A VICTIM - A typical example is when I saw the man who assaulted me a few days later on the same train and reported it to the police. Their response? I was advised to take another route to work so as to avoid bumping into my attacker again... Great, so not only was I sexually assaulted, but now I ought to take a longer route to work to avoid being sexually assaulted again, thanks a lot Police for your invaluable advice! Not sure I’ll bother letting you know if I see him again. What’s the point?

4. REPORTING CRIMES NEEDS TO BE MADE EASIER AND COURT CASES NEED TO BE SIMPLER AND QUICKER – Often it’s just not worth the time and effort to report a crime. When I was mugged I had to go to the police station to make a statement then and there despite it being 10 pm and my having an important college exam the next day. I didn’t get home until 2 am… Also I then had to go and book an appointment with the police to point out my attacker in a line-up of photos. I had to take time off work to do this and then when I got there the man’s defence lawyer had been allowed to put my attacker’s brother’s photo in the line-up and they looked near-identical. I ended up picking out the wrong man’s photo. So I lost my purse, my phone, my cash (from the mugging) and then I lost my evening, my sleep, failed the exam and lost more money from losing my work shift (from the reporting). And then after all that the case was dismissed anyway. Why bother? In retrospect it was a lucky escape (for me) that the case was dismissed, as if I’d picked out the right brother I’d have had to devote more time and energy to a long drawn-out court-case only for him to most likely be found not guilty anyway or get a fine. What’s the point?

5. THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE SUCCESSFUL CONVICTIONS – Most crimes don’t go to court and even when they do most people are found not guilty and even when they are found guilty they’re mostly given weak sentences and even when they’re given a strong sentence most people get let out early. It feels like reporting crime is more hassle than what it’s worth.

6. MORE CONSISTENCY IN RESULTS OF CRIMES – SENTENCES SHOULD FIT THE CRIME NOT THE VICTIM - The way the law stands at the moment far too much emphasis is put on the victim’s personal experience. Take a scenario where two criminals break a nose of one person each and they both do it deliberately to cause pain and suffering to their victim. Victim A views their broken nose as one of bad luck and an unpleasant inconvenience, Victim B views it as a tragedy, where they have lost a lot of confidence. In a fair society both criminals would get exactly the same jail sentence for causing the same level of damage and for having the same level of criminal intent, but in reality too much power (and with this too much responsibility) is put on the victim’s shoulders to present the seriousness of the crime. This puts a lot of people off reporting crimes because they know that so much attention and responsibility is put on them to to get the conviction.


I completely agree!

Eric G

Great contribution, I agree with everything you've said.


Agree with all of this.


Also, it's great that the Mayor has a hate crime strategy and gives importance to the victims. But, there are barriers to reporting. I'm a public sector employee and I'm unable to report mate crime and hate crime that I've experienced for 23 months now since police are my employers, offenders or perpetrators my supervisors and I'm the victim. It makes reporting hate crime impossible. When I did report one hate crime incident online through true vision which directs the report to police nothing came of it. I'd like to hear the Mayors views on this. I've sent an email to the Deputy Mayor of Policing and Crime.


I also stated a petition to bring to light the issues of bullying, harassment and hate crime in the workplace. I found that my employers breached Data Protectuon Act 1998 and started looking at my work account. Since, when was it a crime for a British Citizen to start a petition ?



I also stated a petition to bring to light the issues of bullying, harassment and hate crime in the workplace. I found that my employers breached Data Protectuon Act 1998 and started looking at my work account. Since, when was it a crime for a British Citizen to start a petition ?



Are speeding , using a mobile phone when driving and road traffic offences crimes?


no, and they shouldn't be


MPS disagrees :-) Traffic and CJU Teams
Our traffic teams are here to protect you from traffic related crimes and offences


There needs to be a change in attitude with the way these reports are handled. They are not taken as seriously as they should and get bumped down to low priority. Hate crime, rape and domestic violence is way more prevalent, now more than ever, so the communities and even the NHS should provide some sort of support for victims. The Police should take these reports more seriously and provide more protection for those who feel like they could be targeted again.
I completely agree with Heather Longman and Anton V down in the comments


its a real pain reporting a crime. so many police stations being closed. just how can we report a crime and find out what has been done to investigate it?


Make better punishment system. It's no point to report a crime if you know they'll just go free and do a revenge on you.


I can only speak in the capacity for racial hate crime. Once reported you are fortunate if the police/CPS prosecute. If you don't have numerous independent witnesses or have the incident on tape, you are lucky if the perpertrator gets a verbal warning. If it is in your neighbourhood, the neighbours will then turn against you. Everyone denies being racist even when it is obvious and witnessed. This is how people/victims are bullied into silence, and simply put up with it. There is no real sense or recourse or justice for victims. Just raising the subject of racism in the UK makes people so uncomfortable you will get a largely negative reaction for even mentioning it.

Eric G

'Hate' crimes can range from name calling to murder. Therefore penalties and resources deployed should reflect that. Clearly, many 'hate' crimes are not serious offences. When the crime is trivial, it should be treated as such. This seems to be what's happening with the police, CPS and Courts and to reflect the law. The idea that all 'hate' crimes are very serious offences and justify extreme punitive treatment is ridiculous. A basic principle of UK law is that punishment should be proportional, there's no reason why 'hate' crimes should be treated any differently.

Furthermore, any crime which is defined merely by the perception of any individual, devoid of any defining parameters, is likely to be viewed with alarm and concern by any rational person. What is the position at law when a group of people witness the same incident and half believe it to be a 'hate' offence, and the other half don't?


If the 'offender' is whit it is a hate crime, if other, it's not.

Eric G

I'd be interested to know what figures show that these crimes are going under reported. If they're not reported, surely there's no record of them.