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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: The Meaning of Government Gathered Crime Statistics

Criminal statistics are based on recorded criminality. This criminality consists of offenses which, having come to the notice of public authorities through complaints lodged by private citizens or directly as a result of police patrol, etc., are registered by such authorities. This recorded criminality is only a sample of the total criminality, the latter being an unknown quantity. [Police agencies are notorious for fudging local crime statistics to make it appear they are preventing crime and the jurisdiction is much safer than it really is. Official crime statistics are almost worthless.]

Thorsten Sellen, "The Significance of Records of Crime," in The Criminal in Society, Leon Radzinowicz and Marvin Wolfgang, Editors, 1971 

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