Meaning of DARK FIGURE OF CRIME:
Before a possibly criminal event appears in official government crime statistics it must be observed, reported to, and taken seriously by, the police and recorded as a crime. Each of those represents a considerable hurdle. In many cities, police forces are too stretched to do anything about minor thefts and robberies, hence there is little incentive to report such crimes. Victims of some serious crimes (rape or fraud, for example) may be reluctant to report them because they fear any investigation, prosecution or publicity could be almost as damaging as the original crime. Police forces and government agencies have been known to manipulate crime statistics for public effect. The dark figure of crime is an estimate of the gap between the official statistics and the real crime rate calculated from surveys that ask people about their experiences as victims of crime.