City Paper is not for tourists
Earlier this year, there were some questions regarding the Metropolitan Police Department’s 2010 crime stats. While MPD said the District had experienced an 11 percent spike in sexual assaults for the year, others said the percentage was closer to 50.
A December MPD crime report obtained by City Desk showed a 46 percent increase. “Sex Assault statistics only include preliminary first and second degree offenses,” the document read. “For more detailed information please see the Sexual Assault Report.” So City Desk subsequently asked for the report through a Freedom of Information Act request.
MPD denied that request today, citing the need to protect confidential information:
“Your request is denied because the Sexual Assault report is an internal document created for law enforcement investigative purposes. According to the Intelligence Unit at the MPD, the Sexual Assault daily report reveals investigative techniques not generally known to the public, specifically information on the type of sexual assaults, location, factual basis, witness/victim information and other information. D.C. Code 2-534(a)(3E). Redaction of the privileged information would render the document incomprehensible.”
Which means more detailed information won’t immediately be forthcoming. Why the department didn’t send over the redacted version, and leave it to City Desk to decide whether the document was “rendered incomprehensible,” wasn’t exactly clear.