City of Bradford Police Respond To Crime Statistics Claims

By City Of Bradford Police

********* The Truth About Bradford Crime Rate *********
Recently the City of Bradford Police Department and our effectiveness has come under attack, mainly due to political rhetoric of a few, but with the power and reach of the internet and social media, we determined we should at least attempt to give our side of the issue.

First of all, the statistics on the website are being used to claim that the City of Bradford is one of the least safe cities in the country is clearly inaccurate as it is labeling “Part 1” crimes as violent crimes and “Part 2” crimes as property crimes.

This is clearly incorrect and obscures the numbers in a way that would lead the reader to believe he/she are as likely to become the victim of a crime in the City of Bradford as you are in Center City Philadelphia. That is absurd! Looking at the website closer, it further depicts a map of the entire area rather than just the city. They also appear to be using zip codes from five municipalities including 16749 which is Smethport. This would add to an inflation of the data as well when the website is using the population of just the city for a divider.

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report defines violent crime as any of the following offenses: murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The FBI further defines property crimes as: burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson.

Crime statistics submitted in 2014 for the City of Bradford shows 50 “violent crimes” as defined by the Uniform Crime Reporting Program. If you use the proper data with the proper population, that lowers the violent crime ratio from 10.43 to 5.80 per thousand residents.

As for property crimes under the definition provided by the Uniform Crime Reporting System, the accurate numbers for the City of Bradford were 73 which would equate to 8.5 per thousand residents instead of the website’s reported 39.75

The other issue driving our statistics is the fact due to the geographical makeup of our area, we are the hub for most daily activities. The Bradford schools, manufacturing, the hospital, many professional businesses and shops areas are primarily located in the jurisdictional confines of the City of Bradford. So when you utilize a divider of our population it further skews the numbers. At times, the City of Bradford Police Department serves a population of 15-20 thousand people. Our services are sometimes utilized by neighboring municipalities who do not have 24/7 full time officers on duty. I realize the above statement could be said for many communities, but typically most communities not as concentrated, for example Erie, PA commercial district is in Mill Creek, their industry is in the outlying municipalities.

In Bradford the hospital, schools, most eating and drinking establishments and the majority of manufacturing and commercial business also lie within our boundaries. Nearly 50% of the County’s public low income housing stock is also within the City limits.

The City of Bradford Police Department is not trying to skew numbers to make anyone have a false sense of security, as we admittedly do have our share of crime and problems. Illegal drugs and nuisance crimes are the most common problems. Furthermore, the accurate numbers certainly reflect that we have higher than average call volume for a city of our size. When you factor in the demographics of our jurisdiction, it is not uncommon for our numbers to be elevated.

The Uniformed Crime Reporting statistics showing an increase was anticipated. About 5 years ago our department started a concentrated effort on increasing the accuracy of our reporting. This effort was not only for the purpose of Uniformed Crime Reporting, but to increase the thoroughness and effectiveness of the officer’s and department. To say that the criminal activity has doubled is erroneous. A conscious effort has been undertaken in the department to ensure proper reporting is the reason for an increase in statistical data.

Over the years, at several different times, there have been news stories done comparing UCR driven stats. One article in particular showed an area department with more crimes closed than reported, so you need to ask how accurate is that data being provided.

The City of Bradford definitely has a large criminal case load, the arrest data shows it as such. There was an increase in criminal arrests in 2014 to 363. That is between 15-20 percent increase in the last five years. This involves a multitude of factors, but one would be that we have a younger department that is more proactive and better trained than in past years.

The City of Bradford Police Department wanted to simply set the record straight, as to what we have and have not been doing. We appreciate the strong and proven support of the Bradford Community given to our department and will continue to provide the best service possible.

Posted by on Apr 14 2015. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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