Economist Qiwei He of Clemson University, studying 2010-2016 FBI data, found that access to health care decreased homicide by 7.7 percent; burglary rates by 3.6 percent; motor vehicle thefts by 10 percent; robbery by 6.1 percent; and aggravated assault by 2.7 percent.
Rep. José Serrano (D-NY), a member of a congressional committee that oversees the Justice Department, said that the FBI should restore crime data missing from its annual report for 2016 and that DOJ should “investigate who approved this change and why.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said his department’s National Crime Victimization Survey found a 13 percent spike in the violent crime rate. The Bureau of Justice Statistics says the two years’ rates can’t be compared, but a Justice Department spokesman says the report confirmed a violent crime increase.
A deeply flawed system for collecting hate crime data has left the U.S. with unreliable, incomplete official counts and little handle on the true scope of bias-motivated violence. Law enforcement agenciesr reported 6,121 cases to the FBI last year but the National Crime Victimization Survey estimated that there were 250,000.
Pennsylvania led the five states which recorded the largest number of denials, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics study of national data on firearms background checks released this week. The data showed the overall 1.4 percent denial rate in 2015 has stayed roughly the same over the two decades since passage of the Brady Act.
FiveThirtyEight noticed that the FBI’s 2016 Uniform Crime Report, the first released under the Trump administration, was missing 70 percent of the data tables that were included in past editions. The feds fired back, alleging a “false narrative” and claiming that plans to “streamline” the report date to 2010. FiveThirtyEight’s data sleuths are not convinced.
In response to charges by a police captain that Los Angeles police is underreporting violent crime, Police Chief Charlie Beck says, “If I’m cooking the books, I’m not doing a good job,” pointing to a 4 percent increase in reported violent crime this year. The lawyer for the captain makeing the charge says she has “absolute proof” of “false crime statistics.”