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Above are the crime stats for Maricopa county Arizona in 2009, with census data below it. This is the home of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. And it seems pretty impressive how far below the National and State Averages he is on most offenses, except one.


Murder is the only stat you can't fudge. People can't decide not to call in murders because they are afraid to deal with the police. If you are Latino in Maricopa (31% according to the census) are you calling in an assault? What about a car theft? If you are a latin woman raped in Maricopa county, are you calling the police for help?

Beyond the above anecdotes, let's just use some common sense. Do you actually believe there were over 300 murders in Maricopa county and only 1 robbery?

I point this out to remind everyone there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. As anyone who watched the wire knows, these are clearly manipulated numbers for political effect.

The only number you can't fake is murder. You can call everything else something else, or just decide it isn't a crime. Murder is a body that goes to a hospital or morgue that does it's own numbers that you can't fake to make you look good.

Unless you honestly believe there were 327 murders and only 11 assaults.

Originally posted to Ciretose on Fri May 07, 2010 at 04:07 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice work. This fraud, for that's what it (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rmx2630, buddabelly, eyesoars, Aji

    is makes me want to puke.

    You are right about the other crimes being unreported by Latinos. I wouldn't report a rape or robbery to him! It would be a lot more trouble than what ever happened to me.

    What a piece of crap that pitiful excuse of a man is.

    "You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - Rabbi Tarfon

    by samddobermann on Fri May 07, 2010 at 05:07:04 AM PDT

  •  So, you're saying that nearly all of the crime (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in Maricopa County has illegal immigrants as the victims?

    •  Are you suggesting "Latino" and "illegal" are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      •  No the diarist is saying that (0+ / 0-)

        illegal immigrants don't report crimes because they fear deportation. This is the reason typically cited in favor of not having local police enforce immigration laws -- because illegal immigrants won't report to or cooperate with police.

        Latino citizens and legal residents have no reason to fear deportation so there's no reason to believe that they won't report crimes because of their immigration status.

        So, no I don't think Latinos and illegal immigrants are synonymous, and that's precisely why I asked the question.

  •  All stolen bikes are worth $49. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rmx2630, peacestpete, eyesoars, Aji

    I heard a story recently about an economist doing research into crime statistics (it may have been  Elinor Ostrom.  I'll try to find a link).

    She was visiting a sheriffs department and overheard one officer berating a rookie for filing a report on a stolen bike.  The rookie had listed the value of the bike as $56.

    The problem was that any theft over $50 was a felony, so a $56 stolen bike made their crime statistics look bad.

    After that, the economist always looked very closely at the number of misdemeanor thefts that were $1 under the cut-off for a felony.

    Results count for more than intentions do.

    by VA Classical Liberal on Fri May 07, 2010 at 05:49:53 AM PDT

  •  Here's another story from Maricopa (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peacestpete, OHdog, eyesoars, Aji

    Here's a story from Reason magazine.

    A Maricopa deputy was caught on video stealing a document from a defense attorney and photo-copying it.  When the judge demanded an apology...

    [The deputy] refused to apologize and instead went to jail, where he is enjoying paid leave. Arpaio, who is under federal investigation for a variety of civil rights violations, called Stoddard a “political prisoner.” The day after Stoddard was locked up, 20 of his fellow deputies called in sick, resulting in delays in the county court system. The court building was evacuated after a bomb threat, at which point several police unions coincidentally held a “Free Stoddard” rally in front of the evacuated crowd. In subsequent days there were more bomb threats, as well as an evacuation due to a mysterious cloud of pepper spray. Deputies have held nightly “candlelight vigils” in Stoddard’s cause.

    Results count for more than intentions do.

    by VA Classical Liberal on Fri May 07, 2010 at 05:56:24 AM PDT

  •  Thes are not crime statistics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VA Classical Liberal

    They are "Crime risk" indices. Apparently indicating the probably of such a crime occuring v. the national average.

    •  Uniform Crime Stats for AZ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Here's a link to the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics for Arizona.

      Maricopa actually leads Arizona for total homocides, by more than 200%.

      When you go to the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics main page, there's a big pop-up warning explaining how hard it is to compare crime rates between jurisdictions and warning against simple stack rankings and per capita calculations.  So I'll leave any deeper analysis of these numbers to the pros.

      Results count for more than intentions do.

      by VA Classical Liberal on Fri May 07, 2010 at 08:19:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Juking the stats: courtesy of "The Wire" (0+ / 0-)

    The Wire featured a storyline about Baltimore manipulating the crime data much like Sheriff Joe did in Maricopa County. Two years ago, Matt Ynglesias did a column on the same subject:

    One of the concepts they introduce you to on The Wire is the practice of “juking the stats” as a crime reduction strategy. You code aggravated assaults as simple assaults. You code robberies as larcenies. And presto-changeo violent crime is down. And it’s not just on television, the availability of these tactics is why crime researches say that if you want to compare violent crime levels from city to city or within a given city over time, you need to just ignore most of the statistical information available to you and focus on the murder rate. It’s hard to miscode a murder as anything other than a murder.

    One thing the show doesn’t go into detail over is that, in principle, this sort of flim-flam could actually bring about a reduction in the real crime rate. Confidence matters a lot for a city. When people have the sense that conditions in a given city are good and improving, businesses will invest and that creates jobs. And people become more inclined to move in, raising property values. Higher property values mean more tax revenues for social services and for public safety. And more jobs, by all accounts, leads to less crime. And with less real time, the stats will get even better, which builds confidence, etc., etc., etc. It’s a virtuous circle. Or at least it could be. In principle.

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