Property Crime Down

The U.S. crime rate continues to fall, according to the latest FBI’s release based on Uniform Crime Reporting from police departments, but researchers say those numbers, which have been on a downward slide since the 1990s, don’t tell the whole story.

That’s because the federal report does not track online property crime, credit card fraud or identity theft, all of which are increasing, according to researchers at the University of New Haven and the State University of New York at Albany.

The researchers, Maria Tcherni, an assistant professor of criminal justice at the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at UNH, the lead researcher, and Andrew Davies, Giza Lopes and Alan Lizotte, all of University at Albany School of Criminal Justice, contend that it is extremely difficult to estimate the cost of online theft and that in some cases, for example, when intellectual property is stolen, the direct cost may not even be in dollars.

Yet, although counting cybercrime can be complex, it is clearly a growing problem and “whether it is incorporated into the crime index or not, criminologists would be wise to be circumspect before declaring that crime has dropped as radically as traditional measures appear to reflect,” the researchers said.

The researchers suggest counting online property crimes not only because they seem to be increasing, but also because they have great potential for harm.

“Internet usage has increased dramatically in the U.S. in recent decades with 81 percent of American adults and 95 percent of American teens accessing the Internet,” they said in their paper, “The Dark Figure of Online Property Crime: Is Cyberspace Hiding a Crime Wave?” that was recently published in Justice Quarterly. “The potential harm from this type of crime is unknown but it clearly affects millions.”

In fact, each of the 12 largest domestic incidents of security breaches against major corporations included hacking into the records of tens of millions of users. Sadly, the paper says, more than half of the victims of these crimes don’t even know that their data has been compromised.

Losses from cyber crime are not recorded by the FBI and, in fact, may not even be reported to police, the paper says. Often, the crime is handled by private corporations rather than police, and so it does not make its way into official crime statistics. Moreover, a lot of the organizations affected by cyber attacks and online theft (financial institutions and other corporations) are reluctant to report their losses for fear of compromising their reputations and losing customers.

“But the financial losses attributable to identity theft appear far in excess of the damage inflicted by traditional property crime,” the researchers say.

“There is a glaring gap in crime reporting,” Tcherni said.  “Yet even though we were able to demonstrate that online and identity theft is costing thousands of dollars, we are not able to obtain reliable data to quantify the size of the losses.”

Crime reporting has to be updated for the cyber-era, said Lizotta, dean of the UAlbany School of Criminal Justice. "Property crime that remains underreported because it's online crime shapes our response to it, particularly the response of law enforcement -- what's hidden stays hidden, yet continues to be a real, growing threat."


  • 12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    Understanding crime statistics in your industry and area is crucial for making important decisions about your security budget. With so much information out there, how can you know which statistics to trust? Read Now

  • Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    In alignment with the state of Mississippi’s mission of “Empowering Mississippi citizens to stay connected and engaged with their government,” Salient's CompleteView VMS is being installed throughout more than 150 state boards, commissions and agencies in order to ensure safety for thousands of constituents who access state services daily. Read Now

  • Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    This year’s Live From GSX program was a rousing success! Again, we’d like to thank our partners, and IPVideo, for working with us and letting us broadcast their solutions to the industry. You can follow our Live From GSX 2023 page to keep up with post-show developments and announcements. And if you’re interested in working with us in 2024, please don’t hesitate to ask about our Live From programs for ISC West in March or next year’s GSX. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX
  • People Say the Funniest Things

    People Say the Funniest Things

    By all accounts, GSX version 2023 was completely successful. Apparently, there were plenty of mix-ups with the airlines and getting aircraft from the East Coast into Big D. I am all ears when I am in a gathering of people. You never know when a nugget of information might flip out. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • FEP GameChanger

    FEP GameChanger

    Paige Datacom Solutions Introduces Important and Innovative Cabling Products GameChanger Cable, a proven and patented solution that significantly exceeds the reach of traditional category cable will now have a FEP/FEP construction. 3

  • Mobile Safe Shield

    Mobile Safe Shield

    SafeWood Designs, Inc., a manufacturer of patented bullet resistant products, is excited to announce the launch of the Mobile Safe Shield. The Mobile Safe Shield is a moveable bullet resistant shield that provides protection in the event of an assailant and supplies cover in the event of an active shooter. With a heavy-duty steel frame, quality castor wheels, and bullet resistant core, the Mobile Safe Shield is a perfect addition to any guard station, security desks, courthouses, police stations, schools, office spaces and more. The Mobile Safe Shield is incredibly customizable. Bullet resistant materials are available in UL 752 Levels 1 through 8 and include glass, white board, tack board, veneer, and plastic laminate. Flexibility in bullet resistant materials allows for the Mobile Safe Shield to blend more with current interior décor for a seamless design aesthetic. Optional custom paint colors are also available for the steel frame. 3

  • Luma x20

    Luma x20

    Snap One has announced its popular Luma x20 family of surveillance products now offers even greater security and privacy for home and business owners across the globe by giving them full control over integrators’ system access to view live and recorded video. According to Snap One Product Manager Derek Webb, the new “customer handoff” feature provides enhanced user control after initial installation, allowing the owners to have total privacy while also making it easy to reinstate integrator access when maintenance or assistance is required. This new feature is now available to all Luma x20 users globally. “The Luma x20 family of surveillance solutions provides excellent image and audio capture, and with the new customer handoff feature, it now offers absolute privacy for camera feeds and recordings,” Webb said. “With notifications and integrator access controlled through the powerful OvrC remote system management platform, it’s easy for integrators to give their clients full control of their footage and then to get temporary access from the client for any troubleshooting needs.” 3