The Morning Report
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Statement: The front page of the city’s website currently features an announcement headlined “Mayor Applauds Police for Big Crime Drop.” The page includes a graphic, faded behind a San Diego Police emblem, accompanied with police imagery, showing a consistent decline.
Analysis: The city’s graphic implies that crime rates have consistently fallen in San Diego over the last eight years, which is not true.
The dramatic decline of reported crime is a recent shift that’s followed national trends. Crime levels in San Diego increased in 2003, remained steady for four years and started to fall by greater margins in 2008.
Here’s an actual graphic on the city’s annual crime rates, a calculation based on population, some violent crime categories and some property crime categories:
Mayoral spokesman Alex Roth said the city’s graphic is not based on any San Diego Police statistics. It’s a generic graphic like the kind people buy on stock imagery websites.
“It’s clearly not meant to be taken literally,” Roth said. “I think most people would look at that as a conceptualization.”
To be clear, it’s a conceptualization that makes crime levels look better than reality. That’s why we’ve tagged it misleading.
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— KEEGAN KYLE