The influential crime reporter Murray Weiss, ex-chief of the New York Post police bureau, is weighing in on the questions being raised about the extent of manipulating crime statistics by NYPD commanders.
In a column for the website DNAInfo.com, Weiss reports that Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s move to charge the former commander of Brooklyn’s 81st Precinct, two sergeants and two officers with downgrading crime complaints “went through the NYPD ranks like a cold, brisk wind.”
“I think everyone has been scared straight,” an NYPD veteran tells Weiss.
Crime stat manipulation in the 81st Precinct was one of the subject’s of the Village Voice‘s five-part “NYPD Tapes” series, which ran in the newspaper between May and October.
Weiss, who ran the New York Post’s police bureau for 17 years, through six police commissioners, suggests that the rise in the crime numbers so far this year could be due to more accurate reporting by commanders fearful of getting caught fudging numbers.
He also suggests that the pressure to keep the crime numbers down from City Hall and police headquarters is so intense that it causes commanders to mess with crime reports.
Murders and rapes are up nearly 15 percent, robbery is up 5.2 percent, and burglary and auto theft are basically the same as last year. Only grand larceny, the most pliable crime category, is down, at 5 percent less than last year.