Skip to content
Home » Blog » Skogan (1974) describes crime severity reduction

Skogan (1974) describes crime severity reduction

  • by

I’ve finished reading through Skogan (1974). Now, I’m just working through my annotations, adding quotes and notes to my slipbox. Here’s a quote I thought worth sharing:

It is at the classification stage where organizational pressures to reduce the apparent incidence of serious crime will first be evident. There, robberies may be ‘reduced’ to larceny, grand larceny to petty larceny and auto theft to unauthorized use of an automobile. As one Chicago police officer recently noted [in the Chicago Tribune on March 30, 1973], ‘It is impossible under the present system to write factual and honest official reports and stay out of the commander’s office very long.’

Skogan, Wesley G. (1974) “The Validity of Official Crime Statistics: An Empirical Investigation”, Social Science Quarterly, 55(1), 25-38.

Mind you, this was 50 years ago. Things have changed in many ways, though I can’t say in what ways. There’s value in looking at old research and asking how it’s still relevant and using it to inform how we look at the present.