Friday 2 July 2010

Juking the stats

For the Kiwis looking to New York's "broken windows" policing strategy as a helpful way forward, a cautionary note from Radley Balko:
I’ve written a couple columns recently about NYPD’s broken windows crime policy, which along with the statistics-driven CompStat reporting system has created some twisted incentives. The two policies seem to be driving NYPD’s patrol officers to harass New Yorkers for non-crimes through an aggressive stop-and-frisk policy, while at the same time encouraging the under-reporting of actual crimes.

The Village Voice has been publishing and reporting on a series of audio recordings taken by a NYPD officer that seem to confirm both policies. Earlier this month, the Voice published an alarming interview with NYPD Detective Harold Hernandez, who says pressure the pressure to reclassify sexual assaults as misdemeanors left a rapist free to commit more assaults.
The Wire ought to be compulsory viewing for anybody doing policy work in law, drugs, and education....

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