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Thursday, March 19, 2009

NYPD Frees Up Local Crime Stats

The latest issue of the Norwood News, including an editorial criticizing the Police Department for obstructing access to local crime stats, hit the streets this morning. A couple of hours later, we got a phone call from NYPD headquarters telling us that the crime statistics we'd been seeking since December - broken down neighborhood-by-neighborhood - were on its way to our fax machine. Lo and behold, there it was.

Coincidence or not, we're glad the NYPD finally complied with our request. The "sector analysis" for 2008 is less than a half page. As we remarked in the editorial, local precinct officials have the capability of producing this extremely basic information practically instantaneously, and they have done so in the past. So, we hope this is the last we've seen of this kind of obstruction from NYPD headquarters.

As for the stats, we'll bring them to you in the next issue of the Norwood News and link to them on the blog.


  1. Next step: Getting NYPD to post updates to crime stats online in computer-friendly format (i.e., Excel files? API?).

  2. Nice going Jordan and Alex. Maybe this will put an end to the disingenuous appoach of the police when local residents complain about crime only to be met by the police countering with "precinct-wide" numbers that paint a picture different from the crime in their neighborhood/sector. We live out our lives in neighborhoods, not in precincts. These neighborhoods differ in terms of housing, quality of life and education, income, amenities, and crime. This numbers-driven approach to crime has created some blowback e.g. the dilution and possible trivialization of high crime numbers in a few sectors by the lower numbers produced in other sectors. If you have 4 of the 8 precinct homicides for a year in one sector, the precinct can point to low numbers precinct-wide. However, what do these numbers say about the crime fighting strategy that resulted in a sector having half the murders for the year?

  3. I agree 129% with this post. The NYPD has been playing these numbers game since the
    Guilliani era. There are many crimes such as Murders, rapes, robberies etc. that go unreported every year. I personally have done my own crime count just by reading the crime blog in the NY Post, and it is always higher than what they say it is. Every year at least 200 homicides go unreported in New York City; so of cours at the end of the year crimes down. Its time the public wake up. I live in Jamacia Queens, and it is just as bad as it was if not worse, then it was 10 years ago. People wake up...


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