A new study by Dr. David Katz, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, and colleagues finds that while most people are worried about getting caught, a third of people who get into trouble say they have no idea what to do.
“People often say they’re afraid of getting caught or that they don’t want to get caught, but it turns out that’s just not true,” said Dr. Katz, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
“When people are caught, it’s not because they are stupid, it is because they’re not smart enough or they aren’t good enough.”
A new report on how to avoid getting caught by the police suggests the answer to that may be more effective than you think.
The study, “The Effect of Police Behavior on Crime,” by Katz and his colleagues from the University at Buffalo, found that when officers stop you, they tend to be more likely to ask you questions and give you information about what happened.
“What I found is that the officer was trying to figure out what happened and what they could do to prevent future problems,” Katz said.
“If they know about it and can explain it, they are likely to try to do something about it.”
The report suggests that the police could be using their experience to better serve the public.
“It could be that the more information you have, the more likely you are to do what you want to do and that makes you a safer person,” Katz added.
“And if you have a better idea about what to say to them, it could lead to more success.”