Sunday, January 1, 2012
It's unbelievable because it's fake
From the NY Post:
And on the second day, Mayor Bloomberg proclaimed that New Yorkers are safer from crime and death by fire than they have been in all but two other years over the last five decades.
Bloomberg, yesterday, held his second press conference in as many days to tout his administration’s achievements in improving the health and safety of New Yorkers during a year-end rollout of upbeat statistics.
Just 502 homicides were on the books, overall serious crime was down once again and fire deaths were at a near-record bottom. Ambulances were responding to the most serious emergencies quicker than ever.
The spectacular results got the mayor and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly talking about their accomplishments over the last decade, with Kelly quoting a professor who proclaimed the crime decline worthy of the Guinness World Records and “not seen anywhere in the developed world.”
The mayor and commissioner firmly rejected the possibility that the reduction was caused by societal or economic factors.
The NY Times explains how this gets accomplished:
Crime victims in New York sometimes struggle to persuade the police to write down what happened on an official report. The reasons are varied. Police officers are often busy, and few relish paperwork. But in interviews, more than half a dozen police officers, detectives and commanders also cited departmental pressure to keep crime statistics low.
While it is difficult to say how often crime complaints are not officially recorded, the Police Department is conscious of the potential problem, trying to ferret out unreported crimes through audits of emergency calls and of any resulting paperwork.
As concerns grew about the integrity of the data, the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, appointed a panel of former federal prosecutors in January to study the crime-reporting system. The move was unusual for Mr. Kelly, who is normally reluctant to invite outside scrutiny.
The panel, which has not yet released its findings, was expected to focus on the downgrading of crimes, in which officers improperly classify felonies as misdemeanors.
But of nearly as much concern to people in law enforcement are crimes that officers simply failed to record, which one high-ranking police commander in Manhattan suggested was “the newest evolution in this numbers game.”
P.S. They classify homicides as suicides and accidents all the time, too.