New York, NY - Police Tactic to Keep Crime Reports Off the Books Didn't Work
New York, NY - Crime is poised to climb in New York City for the first time in two decades.
The uptick is all but certain, despite 11th-hour scrambling by police to keep their record-smashing crime-fighting streak intact.
That effort included Commissioner Ray Kelly’s considering an unprecedented sit-down with trouble-spot precincts just days before New Year’s and demanding updates from across the city as the final week of 2011 unfolded.
In the end, however, Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg pre-empted any countdown drama by proclaiming victory on Wednesday. Crime for the year was down 1.2 percent, the mayor announced, or would be if a change in the law in 2011 that made one type of strangulation a felony is factored out.
Still, the mayor’s numbers left experts scratching their heads. If the city logged about 1,300 of these new strangulation cases and the year continued on its pace for at least 1,300 more felonies, the year-end crime total would at best be flat, not down.
Particularly when one factors in a little-known component of NYPD number crunching. The cops commonly tack on hundreds of felonies to each year’s total, months afterward, by reclassifying crimes.
At the end of 2010, for example, the NYPD reported 105,115 crimes. Now it’s reporting 105,633, or 518 more felonies, for that year.
As it stands now, 1 Police Plaza counted 105,361 crimes through Dec. 25, just 272 felonies will break the streak and trigger the first increase in New York City crime in 19 years.
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