Did you know that NOT reporting a crime, even if quickly resolved, is in fact a crime?
That’s right, it’s considered obstruction of justice. Consider the following examples:
A vehicle of yours is stolen. You then recover it prior to a case being opened. That’s great for you, BUT you’re still under obligation to report it.
A vehicle of yours is stolen, and then subsequently recovered by a private security firm (like ours) prior to a case being opened. Still great for you but you’re also still under obligation to report it. In an instance like this one, we of course will be on hand to assist.
Why though, shouldn’t it be problem solved, case closed (before its even opened)? Unfortunately its not that simple.
To adequately fight crime, we all need as much data as is available. This is built up by opening cases and documenting incidents. So, even if your vehicle is recovered quickly, it still offers a mine of information that can be used. For instance, your recently un-stolen vehicle can be lifted for fingerprints. Forensic evidence is vital, and analysis on these as well as DNA can assist the SAPS in identifying perpetrators and linking criminal syndicates – which could then lead to prosecution of the offenders down the line.
Theft or robbery isn’t just a crime against the owner, and on many occasions it isn’t a crime in isolation either (the perpetrator may be in possession of illegal firearms or wanted for other incidents). In addition, the nature of the offence and the offenders on many occasions affects the safety and security of the community at large. Finally, non-reporting affects statistics, which impacts data on crime trends in your area and in general.
Whether non-reporting is for our own convenience, or more likely, because we simply didn’t know any better, these are safety and security compromises that we shouldn’t be making (or mistaking) on ours or anyone else’s behalf.