dark figure

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dark figure (plural dark figures)

  1. The estimated number of unreported criminal cases.
    • 1977: US Congressional House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Crime, Suspension of the National Crime Survey, page 15
      In exploring the dark figure of crime, the primary question is not how much of it becomes revealed but rather what will be the selective properties of any particular innovation for its illumination.
    • 1992: Hisao Katoh, Louise I. Shelley, Hisao Katō, Hans-Günther Heiland, Crime and Control in Comparative Perspectives, page 49, Walter de Gruyter
      The dark figure concerning these criminal offences, is very high and the attitude towards reporting such cases is not constant.
    • 2000: Piers Beirne, James W. Messerschmidt, Criminology
      By definition, they ignore the unreported “dark figure” of crime. We turn now to a second source of official crime data.