Reporting Observed Crime Essay

Topics: Report, Assault, Bystander effect Pages: 2 (712 words) Published: May 6, 2013
'Reporting Observed Crime: The Righteous Thing To Do?'

In the past, it has been common for people who have witnessed a crime to be unwilling to intervene and report it. Is this a simple coincidence or is there more to it? Based on actual events that have occurred in reports historically, it has been proven to be more than just a mere coincidence. For instance, there was a case of an actual crime that occurred in Richmond, California in 2009. A young 15 year old girl was beaten and raped by several boys outside a homecoming dance. Many people witnessing the appalling event stood around laughing. Others even took pictures of the scene with their cell phones. Nobody offered to help or was willing to stop the tragic assault. It wasn't until a nearby citizen who found the girl unconscious under a bench where she had been left called the police. If one were to witness an assault as terrible as this one, the obvious and righteous thing to do would've have been to report the assault. But then why did no one offer to help? Was it because people were too afraid and didn't want to get involved? Or was it because people didn't want to assume responsibility? There are many numerous factors that may have played into why no one reported the crime.

One reason may be because of a label that has been used as far back as grade school: "snitch". A snitch is often depicted as someone just as bad as the person who committed the crime. Not only has it been made known in events such as this one for it to be an inconvenience to report crimes; but movies, books, and television shows have portrayed one who tells on another as a snitch. Being labeled as the "snitch" can also cause concern. Depending on the crime, people may worry that if they tell on someone and that person gets arrested or goes to jail, he or she will eventually get out and try to seek revenge on the person that turned them in.

The fact of the matter is, in a case like this one, it's not whether one cares about...
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