Memphis officials say their city suffers in the public perception because of the meticulous reporting done by its police department, reports the Memphis Commercial Appeal. While Memphis had the nation’s 14th highest rate of major crimes in 2007, for 2008 there’s a good chance the city won’t crack the top 20, officials say. Years before most other cities, Memphis adopted the FBI’s more detailed measuring stick for crimes — the National Incident-Based Reporting System. It’s a useful tool, but it makes the city look like a den of crime when ranked with those numbers.
New York City doesn’t report thefts under $1,000, while Memphis reports all thefts, even the smallest. “When we identify crime, yes, our numbers go up,” said John Harvey of Memphis’ Real Time Crime Center.