In a newly released memo, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is reminding NYPD officers of proper procedures to make it easy for victims to report crimes even when details are lacking.
Reports should be recorded even in scenarios where:
- The victim can't identify the suspect.
- Someone can't provide a receipt for stolen items.
- The victim refuses to view photographs.
- The complainant won't speak with detectives.
- The victim doesn't want to prosecute an offender.
The seemingly obvious directive comes at a time when more and more NYPD officials are being accused of discouraging victims from reporting incidents in order to keep the city's crime rate down. The department has also allegedly been known to relegate felonies to misdemeanors for the same purpose.
City Councilman Peter Vallone detailed various complaints he had received from victims and excuses officers provide, "Everything from, 'You have to go the precinct to file a report to, 'We're not going to take a report because you didn't get a good look at the guy who robbed you."
In response to such accusations, Kelly appointed three former federal prosecutors to investigate the integrity of the crime-reporting system currently in place.
Bloomberg and Kelly ended 2011 touting the news that the city's crime rate had fallen by 1.2 percent, despite statistics revealing that major crime in the city had slightly risen .04 percent.