عنوان مقاله [English]
In contemporary criminology, the official criminal statistics, despite its admirable and innumerable benefits, has faced with a serious challenge called “dark figure”. This “dark figure” has intrigued some critic criminologists to question the validity of such statistics. Therefore, to meet the above challenge, this article first seeks to examine the formation processes of the “dark figure” in the official criminal statistics, with a descriptive - analytical method. Then the study offers number of solutions for addressing the problem. This paper has also strived to address the methods of collecting official criminal statistics in the United States of America (US.), as the most advanced country in this field. Furthermore, the general and specific criticisms to this method of collection of statistics has been determined. Accordingly, the way for empirical studies of the Iranian criminologists could be paved. In general, it seems that for minimizing the “dark figure”, providing more scientific approaches in collecting official criminal statistics as well as the informal tactics of collecting criminal statistics as “community-based surveys” should be utilized. In this regard, tactics such as “National Crime Victimization Survey” (NCVS) and “Self-Report Surveys” (SRS) are used in the US., alongside the estimation of the “National Incident-Based Reporting System” (NIBRS) as a more scientific method compared to the “Uniform Crime Report” (UCR). In Iran, although launching the website of the “Center of Statistics and Information Technology of the Judiciary” is considered as a positive step in the electronic access to criminal statistics, it does not seem that the Center has helped to reduce the “dark figure” of the official criminal statistics.