An internal audit of months’ worth of reports filed with the Detroit Police Department revealed sloppy record keeping that might have artificially increased the number of burglaries reported by the city for years, reports the Detroit Free Press. While officials say the point of the memo is to ensure accurate reporting, at least one officer said it smacks of a practice known as numbers juking.
“I’m truly concerned with this wanting to deal with the perception of crime by playing with statistics instead of dealing with the actual crime,” said Officer John Bennett, a former Detroit City Council candidate. Police spokesman John Roach said that the change in reporting isn’t meant to reduce burglary reports artificially. Rather, the department wants to correctly identify true home-invasion hot spots. “We can’t effectively address a crime problem if the statistics are faulty to begin with,” Roach said. The Feb. 18 memo said some crimes that were classified as burglaries were actually more minor crimes, such as malicious destruction of property, entering a property without the owner’s permission, or incidents that didn’t need to be reported at all.