Monday, May 4, 2009

Crime Stats Rules Can Be Confusing

The Houston Chronicle has an interesting article about how crime clearance stats are calculated.
“The rules on clearance leave a lot of latitude for interpretation,” explains Larry Hoover, director of the police research center at Sam Houston State University. Source: Houston Chronicle
These rules sometimes work out in a weird way. Last year the agency I work for had a month where we reported -1 Rapes. There were a number of cases from the preceding month that were cleared as Unfounded the following month so the math came up with a negative number. Seeing a negative number in our monthly UCR submission raised a eyebrow or two till we explained how UCR rules work.

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