Crime victims aren’t calling police like they used to, and despite statistics showing crime declining, Portland, Or., residents’ fears and perceptions of crime have worsened since 2003, reports The Oregonian. Researchers from the Portland firm Campbell DeLong Resources Inc. said the results raise questions about police claims that crime is down in recent years. “It is possible, for example, that what has declined is the rate of reporting and not the rate of crime itself,” the researchers said. The phone survey found that the rate of reporting nonviolent crimes declined, even as the rate of victimization remained roughly the same as 2003.
Assistant Chief Jim Ferraris agreed that the survey prompts questions about the overall accuracy of police crime statistics. In 2005, according to police statistics, the crime rate dipped 9 percent. The bureau recorded a 2 percent overall decrease in 2004, despite a 12 percent increase in burglaries and one more murder than the year before.