Crime Victim Data Reporting, Admin Code 96A.5

On April 12, 2020, Ordinance 40-20 went into effect, amending San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 96 to include section 96A.5, “Quarterly Crime Victim Data Reporting.” The ordinance mandated that the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) provide quarterly reports regarding victim demographics across a host of data points, further specifying that the quarterly reports would be due on the first Tuesday in February, May, August, and November. Although the inaugural report was due on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the short timeline between the law’s effective date and the deadline, coupled with emergency redeployments due to the City’s COVID-19 response, resulted in a two-week delay in this report. SFPD provided notice of delay in its May 5, 2020 cover letter to the Chapter 96A.3 mandated report, “Quarterly Analysis and Reporting of Officer Activity.”

As part of our commitment to the community we serve, SFPD’s Professional Standards and Principled Policing Unit worked diligently and in close coordination with relevant SFPD bureaus to compile the crime victim information required for this report. It bears mentioning here, however, that as noted by the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Legislative Analyst, SFPD...

...would need to modify the current UCR [Uniform Crime Reports] system if the proposed ordinance required tracking and reporting of the additional crime data at an earlier date than the estimated NIBRS [National Incident-Based Reporting System] implementation date of March 2022. Based on a minimum of two full-time equivalent (FTE) consultants, the Department estimates the minimum cost would be approximately $960,000. The estimated cost could be higher, based on the actual scope of work needed to modify the current UCR system. (Source: Budget and Legislative Analyst Memo for the February 6, 2020, Government Audit and Oversight Committee Meeting, Feb. 3, 2020, 95B0-79C2FB993568)

As no additional funding was allocated to allow for the extraction of this data from our primary records management system, Crime Data Warehouse (CDW), staff worked within the constraints of the current resources to aggregate the needed data from CDW as it stands. As a result, readers must be aware that SFPD data is not structured for this reporting method..

As background, all law enforcement agencies must report the most severe crime under the Uniform Crime Reporting requirements, as stated by the FBI Summary Reporting System manual:
“In cases where more than one offense occurs in an incident, only the highest ranking Part I offense is counted.”

This “hierarchy rule” has led to the development of a system (born many decades ago), and migrated to the current state, structured for the purpose of counting the “highest ranking” offense. As such, the number of victims of certain crimes is not mandated for reporting by UCR nor is the age, ethnicity, gender or location for any crime. Therefore, detailed demographic and location information for victims is not prepared for capture in this type of report.

For example:

  1. An individual can be a victim of multiple crime types in a single reported incident – that person may be counted in each crime type.
  2. In a single incident with multiple crimes and multiple victims, SFPD summary reporting cannot provide how many people were victim to any individual crime. All victims in the incident show up in each crime.

San Francisco Police Department

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