Back in this previous post, we examined the steadily decreasing lethality of aggravated assault due to improvements in trauma medicine and emergency response. These improvements mirror the same improvements in accident and automobile fatalities as well.
Back then we remarked with interest on how the trend appears not to have continued to improve after 2000-2003 or so. One speculation was that the denominator (the number of aggravated assaults) was being fudged moreso than was the norm in the past (homicide numbers are almost never fudged, even in places like Detroit).
Well, this article via Althouse confirms that suspicion----this Wisconsin city apparently falsified nearly 20% of its aggravated assaults since 2006---billing them as lesser crimes in reporting. This is likely not an incident isolated to Wisconsin, that hotbed of official corruption.
It also seems likely that we won't be able to use that particular technique (estimation of normalized homicide rates using the ratio of aggravated assaults to homicides) going forward as it appears that the rate of data poisoning in the aggravated assault rate has substantially increased since 2000.
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