Chicago Police Underreported Aggravated Assaults, Batteries In 2012


Source: Jeremy Gorner / Chicago Tribune

Chicago police did not report about a quarter of the aggravated assault and aggravated battery victims in its crime statistics in 2012, an audit by the city’s top watchdog found.

The department failed to follow state guidelines by counting each aggravated assault or battery as one incident, not each victim as it should have, leading to the underreporting because of all the incidents that involved multiple victims, according to the inspector general’s office.

The department said it has reported aggravated assaults and aggravated batteries in this way for many years, meaning Chicago’s statistics on these crimes — including nonfatal shootings — have long gone underreported to the Illinois State Police and FBI.

The 24-page IG report, which found no evidence suggesting any of the department’s crime-reporting errors were intentional, took a look at a sampling of 383 assault-related crimes and found that the 72 aggravated assault and aggravated battery incidents had a combined 95 victims. That meant that by reporting only the number of incidents, Chicago police had failed to include 23 victims, thus underreporting 24 percent of the aggravated assault and aggravated batteries in that sampling.

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