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Justice Department study finds most crime goes unreported

Only about half of some 6 million victims of violent crime in 1983 told the police, the Bureau of Justice Statistics says in a report on unreported crime. The report said, among other things, that only 35 percent of some 37.1 million crimes detected in a Census Bureau household survey 1983 were reported to police.

Economic considerations play a major role in the decision to report crime, said the study, released Sunday. Nearly 70 percent of motor-vehicle thefts are reported, while over half of rapes and other violent crimes are not.

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The reason most frequently given for not reporting was that the victim ``felt the incident was not important enough.'' For violent crimes, the reason most often given was that ``it was a private or personal matter.''