If New York City Crime Data Were Skewed, When Did It Happen?


The New York City survey conducted by two criminologists that found pressure to distort crime statistics did not address critical issues, like when the manipulation of the data was supposed to have occurred, says the New York Times. It is impossible to ascertain whether much of the skewing might have happened shortly after the CompStat system was started in 1995 under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani or whether it may have continued or even worsened since Michael Bloomberg became mayor in 2002.

When he was asked about the criminologists’ report, which was summarized Monday in Crime & Justice News, Bloomberg defended the overall integrity of the crime reporting system and said that there was no disputing that crime has been decreasing. Though Bloomberg said a small amount of “fudging” was inevitable, he said “the Police Department takes their data very seriously.” Peter Vallone, chairman of the City Council public safety committee, said he would consider holding a hearing on the topic if additional corroborating evidence emerged. “Accountability is good but it leads to added pressure to perform, and the ramifications of that pressure need to be guarded against,” he said.

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