Chicago Police underreported number of 2012 assaults, audit finds

Written By SUN-TIMES STAFF Posted: 04/07/2014, 04:06am

About one-quarter of victims of assaults failed to get counted in Chicago Police statistics for 2012, according to a just-released city Office of the Inspector General report.

That’s because police failed to count each person in a crime involving multiple victims as a separate offense, the IG’s office said.

Chicago Police administrators are not disputing the findings of the report and are reviewing all aggravated assaults and batteries from 2012-13 to ensure the accuracy of the reports, according to the IG’s office.

The IG report also found that Chicago police “incorrectly classified 3.1% of 2012 assault-related events contained in incident reports, under the 10% error rate that the FBI states is acceptable for agencies participating in its national reporting program.”

“Data analysis is central to CPD’s pursuit of its critical public safety mission,” Inspector General Joe Ferguson said in a prepared statement. “The integrity and reliability of crime statistics used for those purposes hinges on two features — the accuracy of incident reporting from the field and the accuracy of the classification and reporting of that information once entered into the system. With this audit, we tested the latter, observing some flaws in the data system, but finding that the system largely accounted for documented assault-related crimes. CPD’s robust response to the problems the audit revealed is an encouraging sign of an organization seeking to improve. We caution, however, that what is reported out is only as reliable as what is fed into the system from the field. Public confidence in crime statistics therefore also depends on the accuracy of field reporting, which we did not test.”

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