Scroll down to next story too. Late Monday night update on the basketball trip
✔✔ If you see a headline in other media about crime in Durham dropping 3.5 percent in the first since months of 2011, stand up and shout: "I read Fact Checker and you are not fooling me!!"
Like the story, the official news release does indeed brag in its first paragraph. But read down.
Violent crime –- homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults -– rose by 1.9 percent. That is atop the 2010 rise for the full year of 1.6 percent.
Durham did see a dip of 4.2 percent in its property crimes, enough to skew the overall statistics. Quite frankly, given the options of stopping shoplifting and the resale of stolen metal -- which the police chief is focusing on -- FC would rather devote resources to homicides and rapes.
In the past the FBI has counseled about statistics like these, controlled by local police chiefs. And it has particularly cautioned about comparing city to city.
Ironically Durham's statistics about how good it is were revealed just as the city was inducting 35 new members of the Durham Youth Commission, part of an on-going effort to combat gang related and teen-on-teen violence. The young Commissioners will advise city leaders.