The New York City Police Department has been undercounting incidents of rape by 38 percent, compared to federal statistics for the city, according to an investigation by Newsy. In crime statistics published online and provided to city council members, the NYPD only records a sexual assault as rape if there is vaginal penetration—therefore discounting forced oral or anal sex as rape, no matter the victim’s gender. The NYPD’s online records still operate under a 1994 crime-tracking system called CompStat, which uses the narrow definition of rape, despite a 2012 memo from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services alerting the NYPD that the FBI had expanded its definition of rape to include forced oral and anal sex crimes. The NYPD said it provided the state with rape statistics based on the expanded definition, but never updated the way CompStat counts rape. Because of this discrepancy, there was a difference of over 4,000 cases of rape from 2014 to the first half of 2018 in data released by the NYPD to the public, and what it reported to the FBI.
“The Department accounts for and vigorously investigates every sex assault complaint reported to the Police Department,” an NYPD spokesperson said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “... The Department records complaints of sexual assault and charges sexual assault in accordance with New York State Penal law.” “The Department constantly reassess our existing procedures and in line with that, we are in the process of reviewing our existent protocols,” the spokesperson added.