Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hospital stats may reveal more cooked books

From the NY Times:

Felony assaults, along with all other major crimes in the city, have sharply decreased over the last decade, according to the New York Police Department.

But during much of that period, the number of assault victims taken to emergency rooms nearly doubled, according to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Comparing the figures is difficult. It is unknown, for example, how many of the hospital assault reports were felonies and how many were misdemeanors, which the Police Department does not regularly report to the public.

But two criminologists say the difference provides more evidence of a Police Department culture that puts so much emphasis on annual crime reductions that some police supervisors and precinct commanders may be manipulating crime statistics.

“Emergency room visits are not going to happen just because somebody needs a Band-Aid,” said John A. Eterno, one of the researchers and a retired police captain. “Somebody is going to go there because they’ve been seriously assaulted.”

Mr. Eterno and his fellow researcher, Eli B. Silverman, presented their latest findings on Friday at a crime data conference at John Jay College.

The news media were not allowed to attend the conference, but the researchers provided reporters with a copy of the presentation.

Much of the presentation focused on a survey of retired captains and higher-ranking officers that The New York Times reported on in February. In the survey, many retired officers said pressure to reduce crime led some managers to alter crime data to show annual decreases in the seven major felony categories measured in the department’s CompStat program.

Police officials questioned the methodology of the survey at the time and pointed to other reviews of CompStat that supported its accuracy.

Police officials said Friday they could not comment specifically on the assault data until they examined the numbers.

Hospitals reported 47,779 assault victims in 2006, the latest figures available, a 90 percent increase from 1999. By comparison, the Police Department reported 19,173 felony assaults in 2006, a 33 percent decrease from 1998. (Numbers from 1999 were not immediately available.) The hospital numbers also show that assaults in which a firearm or cutting instrument was used, almost always constituting a felony offense, also grew, to 5,502 from 3,468, Mr. Eterno said.

Health officials said the disparity was not new and should be interpreted with caution. Part of the rise in hospital assault reports may stem from improved reporting and outreach, they said.


Anonymous said...

Not everyone agrees that cops should be hovering over emergency rooms anyway. If someone comes in and tells hospital staff they were a crime victim then sure, we'd want the police there right away to take a report and search for the perpetrator. But on the other hand, a lot of people that need treatment may not want to make a report and if they think they'd be forced to they may just avoid going, making them doubly victimized.

FlooshingRezident said...

It's called "juking the stats".

Check out The Wire - if you weren't a cynic before - you certainly will be afterward.

The politicians and cops in it are more crooked than the drug dealers.

Is anyone surprised by this info?

Anonymous said...

The NYPD is the most corrupt entitiy on the face of the earth.

Those long island pieces of shit only care about accumlating arrests and get some higher rank as opposed to "serving and protecting" the communities they were SWORN to.

Anonymous said...

The hospital police are a separate entity from the NYPD. Train them to take complaint reports from hospitalized crime victims. That way, if the NYPD shitcans the report, there is a paper trail from an outside agency that they won't be able to ignore.

Anonymous said...

Hospitals? we still have hospitals in nyc?

Anonymous said...

Hospitals? we still have hospitals in nyc?
We are a city of eight million plus people. Of course we have a hospital! (Emphasis on the singular)