Crime Reporting and Institutional Reputation of the Police in Mexico

José Manuel Heredia-González, Gustavo Fondevila, Profesor Investigador Titulares de la División de Estudios Jurídicos del CIDE, y Ricardo Massa, Cátedra Conacyt adscrito al Laboratorio Nacional de Políticas Públicas del CIDE, escribieron Crime Reporting and Institutional Reputation of the Police in Mexico en la revista International Criminology.




Understanding the determinants of crime reporting is fundamental to developing responsive judicial services that seek to pursue justice while fostering good relations with citizens. Building on Carpenter’s (Carpenter, D. (2014). Reputation and power: Organizational image and pharmaceutical regulation at the FDA. Princeton University Press.) dimensions of reputation and the principles of procedural justice, this article aims to explore the influence of institutional reputation on crime reporting decisions for the Mexican case. To test three hypotheses at an individual level, nested logit models were estimated with information from a victimization survey in Mexico over a 9-year period. Findings suggest that time spent in prosecutors’ offices and the perception of untrustworthiness, related to two of the reputation dimensions described in this study’s framework, are negatively associated to the probability of reporting a crime. Our results have implications for public policy regarding the treatment by the police of the population reporting a crime. This is particularly relevant in regions such as Latin America, characterized by high victimization and the lack of adequate procedural justice in situations of contact between the public and police authorities.


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