New York City mayor promises to eliminate discrepancy in rape statistics

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed questions over rape statistics provided by the New York Police Department Friday during a public radio address, one day after a report by 7 On Your Side Investigates in response to a report by news agency, Newsy.

Eyewitness News looked at rape statistics for 2017, the latest year in which federal data is available, and found the NYPD reported 38% fewer sex crimes categorized as "rape" in New York City than the FBI.

The discrepancy is due to differences in how both agencies define rape.

The NYPD relies on a narrow definition of rape outlined in New York State law, while the FBI uses an expanded definition of rape in its uniform crime reporting program that includes multiple kinds of penetration -- including forced oral and anal sex -- which the NYPD counts and reports separately.

The result is a lower count of incidents considered rape in regular crime reports provided by the NYPD known as Compstat.

"In the name of making sure everything is clearly reported, we are going to add those federal definitions later this year to the Compstat reporting system," de Blasio said. "They are reported on now by the NYPD on a different website, not on Compstat. In the name of making everything more clear, it will now be added to Compstat as a separate category, state law and federal law."

New York City Council Member Rory Lancman said he is glad the mayor has committed to updating the Compstat reporting system to step the NYPD's undercounting of rape.

"I will work to ensure these changes are made by the end of the year as the Mayor pledged," Lancman said.

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