The Long Beach Police Department announced Thursday that it has been over-counting aggravated assaults because of data entry coding errors, resulting in a “notable increase” in the number of such crimes being reported.
Beginning early this year, the department initiated a review of all aggravated assault cases to identify the cause of the apparent increase, officials said.
“During the review, the department was unable to immediately determine any unusual contributing factors,” according to an LBPD statement. “After adjustment of review parameters, which included analysis of actual report narratives, it was discovered that a significant number of incidents had been misclassified as aggravated assaults, instead of simple assaults. These misclassifications were a result of data entry coding errors when reports were being electronically filed, and when reviewed for categorization.”
The department reports it is now reviewing all aggravated assault reports and new reports are being reviewed on a daily basis, instead of monthly, and Records Division personnel are being provided with “additional robust training.”
“With this review, we anticipate seeing a decrease in aggravated assaults and an increase in simple assaults in the 2018 year-end crime statistics,” police said.
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