Dallas police are more likely to take citizens’ words for car burglary reports than they were a few months ago, and the reports are more likely to be counted in the city’s crime rate, says the Dallas Morning News. Earlier this year, police were discarding as untrustworthy close to 180 car burglary reports each month – reducing the city’s overall reported crime rate by more than 2 percent from what it would have been had those reports been counted.
Last month, the department threw out only about 30 car burglary reports – reducing that month’s overall reported crime rate by less than half a percent from what it would have been had they all been recorded as burglaries. The change is a result of a Morning News investigation that revealed serious flaws in the way the Dallas Police Department collected car burglary statistics. Police were deeming many car burglaries as not credible without documenting why and with little investigative follow-up to determine whether the reports were legitimate. Because of the newspaper’s investigation, the department began dispatching officers to all car burglary calls, rather than letting many of them be handled by civilian call-takers over the phone.