Monday, November 22, 2010

Prof thinks cops are cooking the crime books

From today's Wall Street Journal via Gothamist:

Even as New York City's overall crime rate drops for the 22nd straight year, murders, rapes and robberies are all on pace to show increases.

The New York Police Department and many outside experts say this one-year spike in violent crimes is well within natural statistical fluctuations.

Eli Silverman, a professor emeritus at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and co-author of a study challenging the accuracy of the NYPD's statistics, has a different explanation. He believes the police department is manipulating statistics by downgrading many property crimes to minor offenses that don't show up in the official crime rate. Violent crimes are much harder to downgrade and may be being reported more accurately, he says.

"They've made it [low crime] symbolic for all their achievements," said Mr. Silverman, "They've made it a selling point for tourism and business….They made it a narrative, a story and they can't deviate from that story. They're stuck in that story."

The NYPD denies this practice. Meanwhile, this revelation will likely mean the appearance of a "bad old days are here again" trends piece!

Previously on EV Grieve:
The "bad old days" are here again story of the day

Trend alert! The bad old days are here again!

Are the "bad old days" here again...again?


Anonymous said...

Sounds like an episode of The Wire!

Or just real life.

Anonymous said...

And in other news, rain is made of water!