NYPD Crime Stats, a Study in ‘Manipulation’


New York City police officers were under increased pressure to manipulate crime statistics under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, according to a study published in Justice Quarterly.

Researchers surveyed 1,770 anonymous former New York City police officers who retired after 1980, examining their experiences with crime report manipulation.

“The majority of respondents who worked during the Bloomberg years had personal knowledge of manipulation 'to make crime numbers look better' (55.5 percent),” researchers wrote.

The study breaks the retirees into three groups, those who retired between 1981 and 1993, before former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was elected; those who retired during Giuliani's tenure, between 1994 and 2001; and those who retired between 2002 and 2012, the first 10 years of Bloomberg's tenure. The study’s authors released preliminary results soon after the survey was completed in 2012, and Justice Quarterly published the study’s full results in November.

During the Giuliani era the police department implemented CompStat, a management tool and statistical analysis system that has been emulated by police departments all over the world.

Though respondents indicated a slight increase in manipulation during the first years of CompStat, the biggest jump occurred after Bloomberg became mayor, according to the study.

“In the pre-Compstat era [1981–1993], only 30.3 percent indicate personal knowledge of manipulation. While there is a slight increase during the first Compstat era under Mayor Giuliani, it is very similar to the previous era (34.5%). Thus, there is a striking increase in knowledge of report manipulation during the Bloomberg era,” researchers wrote.

The full study is available for purchase HERE.

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