Why Report Crimes?
Crime reporting is important for us to learn more about what is going on in a community as we can take crime reports to gather information about crimes that are being committed.
Hate crimes are a serious issue in cities across the United States and with crime reporting we can see what groups are being targeted in hate crimes. An example of this would be if a religious group is being targeted for practicing their beliefs. A hate crime report would let us see the location of the crime, the number of victims, the bias motivation, the victim type (i.e. individual, business, religious organization, etc.), and if the victims were under or over the age of 18. We can also see if the offenders were over or less than 18 years of age as well as potentially seeing their race and ethnicity if reported. It is important to have these crimes reported because it allows us to help protect individuals who are potential targets to these crimes and those who have been targeted. If similar people are the constant offenders and these crimes are happening at an alarming rate we can potentially help relations between these two groups of people to potentially lower the amount of hate crimes towards a certain group of people.
Communities want to have a safe and secure feel to them. With crime reporting community leaders can help solve issues that their communities face. We can take a look at yearly totals to see if there are any alarming trends as well to see if any new policies placed have led to an improvement in crime rates. A potential example of this would be if we look at crime reports over a three year span from 2010-2012. If we saw an increase in drug related crimes we can see trend that a community would like to reduce. Law makers and other community leaders can address this issue as they can see an increase over a three year span. Let’s say in 2014 there is a new law in place to reduce these drug related crimes in this example. If crime reports from 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 were taken and looked at we can see a whole variety of answers based off the reports. One outcome could be that the law decreased drug related crimes every year since it was implemented. A different outcome could be that drug related crimes went down in 2014 and 2015 but went back up in 2016 and 2017 which shows that the law slowed drug related crime rates down initially however it did not have the effect that was desired long-term.
Drug related crimes can be a pretty big blanket term. What drugs are we talking about? Are we talking about possession or sales and manufacturing? NIBRS can see what type of drugs are in question, if the person was in possessing or they were arrested for sales and manufacturing, the age of the offenders along with race and ethnicities if reported. If we see white males ages 18-22 being arrested for cocaine we can work on seeing if we can reduce those rates with not only laws but with educating people who could potentially fall victim to a bad trend.
Crime reporting is very important for our communities. We want to help those in need and prevent alarming trends. Crime reporting statistics can give us an inside look at what is really going on in our communities. Saying that crime has gone up or down is really general. There may not be murders in a community but there are crimes being committed that do not gain news coverage. We can be living in a nice part of town where we don’t see crime, but crime reporting can show that there are civilians being arrested for drugs across town. Knowledge is very important. If we do not have reports on a drug that is popular in town we cannot educate our youth about the dangers nor can we help prevent a trend from growing. Crime reporting is very important for all of us.