We all keep hearing about the plummeting crime statistics across the city, and in our area the 61st Precinct was named the lowest crime area in all of New York City (aside from the command responsible for Central Park). But Councilman Lew Fidler is asking aloud what many residents have been mumbling among themselves for years: is the NYPD manipulating the statistics?
“People can misinterpret or misuse statistics all the time,” City Councilmember Lew Fidler told Courier-Life. “It just strikes me that the crime statistics we hear are too good to be true.”
Fidler said the “inordinate pressure” coming from the city’s top brass to make the crime stats “look good” may be causing officers to downgrade crimes or dissuade residents from filing reports altogether. He blamed the over-emphasis on statistics in determining precinct’s needs.
“There is human nature involved here when we elevate statistics to the holy grail,” Fidler said. “It’s like the progress report cards – the fantasy baseball of the Department of Education.”
“If we delude ourselves into thinking there’s less crime, we might delude ourselves into thinking we might need fewer cops,” Fidler said.
Just last week, a whistle-blowing cop from the 81st Precinct in Bed-Stuy bravely came forward to say his bosses regularly downplayed crimes and ignored other. Councilman Peter F. Vallone, Jr., chair of the Public Safety Committee has asked for a special hearing to investigate the issue.
We at Sheepshead Bites frequently hear complaints about our local police precinct, ranging from being pressured to not file a report to such tactics as lessening the value of items stolen or damaged to downgrade felonies to misdemeanors.
Have you experienced this? Leave a note for the councilman in the comments section, and we’ll make sure to send him a copy. In the meantime – always insist on a filing a report when you’re the victim of a crime.