Crime statistics: the numbers don’t add up

Crime statistics: the numbers don't add up statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus
Crime statistics: the numbers don't add up statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus

The decision by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to recommence publishing crime statistics has been welcomed by Government and Garda headquarters.

For the past nine months no new crime data has been available. The CSO was unwilling to publish any further crime numbers when so many unanswered questions remained about the raw crime data supplied to it by the Garda. Last month, two Garda civilian data-analyst whistleblowers appeared before the Oireachtas Committee on Justice. They detailed a long-running dispute within the Garda over homicides.

They explained they had clashed with senior Garda management during “15 months of torment” as they tried to right the way homicides were being classified. Their concerns were first revealed, by The Irish Times, in February and have now resulted in a review of all homicides since 2003. That review process is expected to take at least six months and may stretch into next year. The CSO has now decided to publish crime data again, but is doing so “under reservation”.

Garda headquarters has conceded some homicides were mistakenly recorded as less serious offences, such as non-fatal assaults. It also accepts cases of dangerous driving causing death were at times classified as speeding or drink driving when they should have been recorded as homicides. But it has insisted every case classified incorrectly was still afforded a full homicide investigation.

The Policing Authority wants more information before it can accept those assurances. Worryingly, as homicides have been examined more closely, more problems have been found. In the initial review of 41 domestic deaths flagged by the civilian analysts as being in need of further examination, Garda officers found no need to upgrade any of them to homicide. But when the analysts protested and refused to sign off on the Garda’s findings, 12 of the cases were eventually upgraded to homicide. Minor changes also needed to be made to the classification of another 16 of the cases. In recent months, the Garda has also said many road deaths since 2003 should have been classified as homicides but were not.

All of the cases were incidents of dangerous driving causing death. In error, they had been initially classified as less serious, non-fatal, motoring offences. Last September the Garda said there had been 89 such cases since 2003. But last week the CSO said it had identified 196 such cases during the same period. That such discrepancies remain after so much scrutiny is of deep concern.

The review of all homicide cases since 2003 needs to be expeditious. It is imperative it arrives at definitive findings on the number of homicide misclassifications. And there must also be complete disclosure around killings, if any, that were not investigated properly because they had been recorded in error as a less serious crime.

OICA statistics show Iran 12th big car market in world

OICA statistics show Iran 12th big car market in world statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus
OICA statistics show Iran 12th big car market in world statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus

More 1.718 million of various new vehicles were sold at Iran’s market in 2017, according to sales statistics supplied by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA).

The number indicates a rise by 18 percent year-on-year, as over 1,448,500 new vehicles were sold in the Iranian market in 2016. The growth rate was around 18.5 percent a year earlier. It is the first time in post-sanctions era in which the number surpasses the pre-sanctions statistics. More than 1.688 million of vehicles were sold in the country in 2011.

The OICA data also shows that more than 96.804 million new vehicles were sold in global markets in 2017 in comparison with 93.85 million in 2016. According to the san=me source, the sales in Iran make up for 1.7 percent of the global market.

While Iran is the 12th biggest market of new cars in the world, China is the table-topper in the category ahead of US and Japan. In 2017, around 29 million new vehicles were sold in China while the Americans bought 17 million new vehicles and the Japanese lagged ehind with 5 million purchases.

The number of cars on Iran’s roads surpassed 14.13 million in 2015, according to the OICA. The figure includes 12.7 million passenger cars and 1.43 million commercial vehicles.

The number of vehicles in use in Iran stood at 13.36 and 12.679 million in 2014 and 2013 respectively.

The motorization rate increased from 171 in 2014 to 179 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants in 2015 in Iran, according to the report.

The average global motorization rate was 182 vehicles per 1,000 inhabitants in 2015.

The report says that 1.282 billion cars were in use in the world in 2015. The figure stood at 1.234 billion in 2014.

Iran’s car output reached 1.165 million units in 2016, according to the OICA. The figure indicated an 18.6-percent rise versus 2015, which is the highest output growth rate among car manufacturers in the world.

The Islamic Republic was the world’s 18th biggest car manufacturer in 2016.


Opinion/Editorial: Stop-and-frisk statistics still worrisome

Opinion/Editorial: Stop-and-frisk statistics still worrisome statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus
Opinion/Editorial: Stop-and-frisk statistics still worrisome statistics, nevin manimala, mathematics, math, linkedin, google plus

The statistics are arresting in Charlottesville’s latest report on the practice known as stop-and-frisk:

In total, 173 men and women, white and black, were halted in 120 detentions. Of those, 125 were physically searched.

But according to a report from the police department, African-Americans made up 71 percent of those who were stopped in 2017. That’s far above their percentage of the city’s population, which is around 19 percent.

Those figures remain consistent over the past five years, and they are frequently cited by critics who argue that such detentions, with or without frisks, are not being initiated equitably.

However, the year-to-year data are not fully comparable, because the former police chief ordered a change in the way statistics are gathered: The detentions reported for 2017 no longer include those that led to arrests. Only non-arrest stops, for blacks and whites alike, are part of the data set. Previously, the statistics did not include every stop that failed to produce an arrest.

Let’s break the data down a little further. Fifty-five of the stops came as a result of a call to police — a complaint that prompted a dispatcher to send officers to the scene. In such a scenario, it’s reasonable for officers to stop and question, or stop and search, anyone who might have been described to them as a trouble-maker. If they did not take such complaints seriously, they would not be doing their jobs and could be putting the public at risk.

But we also have to consider that some of the complaints themselves might have been prompted by racism. There are people who consider it “suspicious” that a young black man is simply walking through the neighborhood, and who will demand police intervention.

Police cannot make assumptions about whether a complaint about “suspicious” activity is justified; they must respond. If the complaint is justified and they do not act, they have just made a grave and potentially deadly error.

Meanwhile, for those complaints that are motivated by racism, subtle or unsubtle, the root of the problem lies in the community, not simply with police.

But that still leaves 118 non-arrest stops, nearly 10 a month, that were initiated last year by police based on their own sense of suspicion.

Police say that their training, experience and instincts are a reliable basis for making judgment calls on the street about possible lawbreaking. (To justify a frisk, an officer must believe that the person is armed and potentially dangerous.)

Police also point out that stops are routinely reviewed by ranking officers for signs of bias.

Let’s agree that police have a difficult job — tougher today than perhaps ever before. Yes, we need them to keep us all safe. Yes, there are excellent cops — a majority, no doubt — on our local police forces. Yes, we don’t say “thank you” to them often enough.

But race relations — between police and African-Americans, and among us all — is one of the overriding issues of our time. As a society, and as a law enforcement community reflecting society, we’ve got to do better than we’ve done in the past.

If public safety is at stake each time an officer makes a stop — or fails to make a stop when he should have — then we must also acknowledge that public trust, community cohesion, fidelity to justice and, ultimately, public safety as well are at stake when officers make unjustified stops. Such patterns undermine our overall sense of security.

Charlottesville soon will have a new police chief, as well as a new Civilian Review Board. These public servants must confront Charlottesville’s lingering distrust over racism — as must we all.