If you have just been arrested for Shoplifting, Forgery or Gun, Knife or Weapon Possession, it may not be comforting at all to you to know that there is a downward trend in crime. According to a recent report on crime in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island) by CompStat, overall crime has fallen by 3.4 percent in 2008. The Compstat program tracks criminal activity for New York City as an arm of the NYPD. A closer look at the numbers reveals that while Homicides and Robberies are on the rise (there were 26 more Homicides and approximately 500 more Robberies when compared to 2007), other crimes have dropped.
While a general decrease in crimes is a great thing for all of us and our families, statistics are merely statistics and need to be examined. For example, are precincts under reporting certain “quality of life crimes” by classifying them or calling them something different than what they are? For example, without discussing the differences in the crimes, could there be a decrease in Petit Larceny offenses because the police are charging Criminal Possession of Stolen Property instead? In the alternative, have the police wanted to look as if they are tougher on crime by overcharging certain offenses. Is that Robbery really a Grand Larceny from the person (a similar offense to Robbery, but without the force). Again, there is no legitimate argument to be made in opposition to a decrease in crime, but is always important to question and examine the statistics and how they were gathered, assessed and formulated.
Whatever the case may be, increase or decrease in crime, if you or a loved one is charged with an offense it doesnt matter what the daily, monthly, or yearly crime trend is. What matters is that you have been accused of committing a life altering action. If you find yourself in this situation, let the former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC work to get you where you need to be to preserve your integrity, freedom and rights. After all, you don’t want to be one of the statistics the next time the NYPD compiles and delivers its report on crime.