How Reliable are Crime Statistics in New York City?
Transparency is a critical part of law enforcement. Police departments must be forthright about crime statistics so that individuals can better understand what (and where) threats to public safety exist in a city. Conservatives rightly call for an increase in community policing, but proactive and responsible community policing is difficult without accurate statistics.
Unfortunately, this report in yesterday’s New York Times suggests that the New York Police Department (NYPD) may be suppressing figures about lower-level crime in the city. If the report is accurate, then the NYPD is presenting its numbers for murders and rapes — but it is hiding its numbers for misdemeanor threats and assaults.