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Re: [openny] NYPD and Comprehensive Crime Stats

From: Christian S.
Sent on: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 11:15 AM
Mr. Clift:

1. This is a large topic and in some ways will depend on what you mean by statistic.�� The evidence generally suggests that people's opinion about the problem of crime in their neighborhood is most closely related to levels of disorder and not actual levels of crime.�� The other thing that comes out is that mere data is not helpful, only community policing approaches that deliver actionable information face to face is useful.

2. In the context of sex offenders there is ample evidence that the explosion of easily available information on offenders does mislead the public into worrying about threats that aren't significant while ignoring the real threats (namely people they know, very little sexual offending happens between strangers despite the widespread perception otherwise).

I would be happy to discuss these issues with you at greater length offline.�� But needless to say, I don't think crime data is the best example of data as a unalloyed good in the public sphere.

Christian Smith-Socaris
[masked]




On 11/2/2010 7:33 AM, Steven Clift wrote:
1. Does anyone have any research that confirms that informing the public about crime statistics provides no benefit?

2. Does anyone have any research suggesting that the release of crime data has misled the public to their detriment? (different than the media taking stats out of context) �� ��

Again, my sense is that access to crime data is the number one "connect with everyday Americans" issue for open data advocates. I say divert some of your national focus/resources to crime data to demonstrate the general concept of open data in a way people can really grasp.��

See:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/nyregion/02secrecy.html?nl=&emc=a2

....

For instance, this year, Jessica S. Lappin, a City Council member, pushed a bill to require the Police Department to post weekly on its Web site numbers, broken down by precinct, on traffic deaths, injuries and summonses.

James Tuller, the department���s chief of transportation, said it would take up to an additional 23 workers to post the data, ���which, at best, would serve no purpose and, at worst, would mislead the public.��� But the department���s longtime chief of transportation, Michael J. Scagnelli, who retired in 2009, told the Council in written testimony in April that the information ���already exists��� and could easily be made public. Nonetheless, without the department���s support, the proposed bill died.


Sent from my iPad




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