The guy who sits next to me in class (and a pretty good friend) is a cop in a city in Connecticut. He was complaining one night about the fact that the chief of police won't be aggressive against drug dealers in the city because:
1. If he makes arrests for drugs they are reported.
2. If they are reported, they become statistics.
3. If the become statistics, they are compared to other statistics.
So, in other words, if he steps in and makes arrests for drugs, then there is an increase in arrests over the past year, then there is a percieved increase in crime, when in fact there is LESS crime because the arrests were made.
The issue, if they made the arrests, would be an increase in crime statistics, which would result in the image of a crime ridden town, which would decrease the property values.
So to combat this, the head of the police department looks at the previous years statistics and determines HOW MANY ARRESTS CAN BE MADE for certain crimes.
It gets worse...
The reason inner cities are regarded as hotbeds for drugs is the nature of the city. If I parked a survellience van on a suburban street, everyone would notice...if I park one on an urban street, no one's gonna notice. Urban areas are densely populated and it is easier to spot what is going on...urban areas are behind closed doors, making it far more difficult to determine what is happening...
Property values in urban areas are already notoriously low, but suburbs will do just about ANYTHING to avoid a perceived reputation for crime and will actively NOT pursue criminals and crime in order to keep property values up.
Crime statistics are the most inaccurate, poorly reported, statistically irrelevant data that has ever been conceived that does FAR more damage than good.