in criminology, the part of criminality that for some reason is not reflected in the criminal judiciary statistics and does not become the object of criminal judicial proceedings. In latent criminality, crimes remain unknown to the authorities who have the duty to institute criminal proceedings because the criminals conceal their actions or because the victims and witnesses are unwilling to appeal to the authorities. Latent criminality also includes crimes that became known to officials or the competent authorities but were not registered because of the shortcomings of the system of crime accounting or as a result of negligence on the part of the officials.
The level of latent criminality differs for different crimes and is minimal for serious crimes (for example, assaults upon life or health of a person); the level is somewhat higher in connection with such forms of crime as theft. The existence of latent criminality makes crime analysis more difficult and adversely affects crime prevention.