Law and Order Statistics in the Third World
This paper is about the unreliability of crime statistics in developing countries. There are many operational, technical, institutional, social and cultural reasons for these inaccuracies. What the police do when an offence is reported and whether they treat it as a crime is the most critical factor determining the nature and extent of law and order records. Much crime goes unreported because of distance, environmental conditions, diffidence, fear of retribution and distrust or lack of confidence in the police. Many other offences, though reported, are never recorded because of incompetence, corruption and an unwillingness on the part of the police to become embroiled in domestic conflicts. And many crimes are not considered as crimes because the offences relate to traditional customs that form part of long accepted tribal and religious codes of behaviour. At the same time minor infringements of the law and petty contraventions are actively pursued by the police. The resulting crime statistics thus provide a dubious and inadequate basis for the formulation of policies of social development and reform.
CitationTanner, R.E.S. (1983) Law and Order Statistics in the Third World, IDS Discussion Paper 189, Brighton: IDS.
Is part of seriesIDS Discussion Paper;189
Library catalogue entryhttp://bldscat.ids.ac.uk/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=158960
Rights holderInstitute of Development Studies
- IDS Research