Crime spiked last month in at least three areas of Broward County, Fla. In two of them, reports the Miami Herald, officials have been accused of manipulating crime statistics, allegations that spawned a Broward state attorney’s office investigation. The widening scandal has prompted Sheriff Ken Jenne to order a review of 10,024 “exceptionally cleared” cases, seek the FBI’s help and appoint an independent counsel to review the way the agency reports crime statistics. “Exceptional clearance” means that an arrest is impossible due to circumstances outside the agency’s control.
The Weston area showed an 80.8 percent increase in the first three months of 2004 compared with the same period. It was unclear whether crime actually increased or whether deputies are reporting differently because of the scrutiny. Another district showing soaring crime is unincorporated Central Broward, which reported a 75.8 percent increase.