A reader wrote on Gothamist Contribute, "Crime rate down again (almost 9%) last week compared to last year. How come Gothamist doesn't report this but breathlessly writes about a fictional return to the 'bad old days'?" Well, for starters, the crime rate wasn't actually down 9% compared to last year—the -9% number appears to be the murder rate comparing year-to-date 2010 to year-to-date 2009—and the murder rate is actually up 11.2% over last year and the rate for rape complaints is up 15.8% over last year.

Yes, the overall crime rate is down 1.2% over last year and all crime rates are down by huge numbers compared to 2001 and 1993. So maybe the "bad old days" aren't knocking at our door, but there's enough concern to make command shifts and for the Mayor to decide not to layoff 892 police officers, with the dual concerns of crime spikes and terror. Plus there's some basis to question the numbers—a police officer accused the NYPD of underreporting crimes in order to keep the crime stats down (the Village Voice published his accounts and tapes).

And because the victim of an attempted rape decided to speak out, the Voice reports that the 34th precinct commander apologized to the woman at a community meeting. Why? Because his cops omitted information in their report, claimed that she reported no sexual assault, and tried to get her to downgrade the complaint to a misdemeanor. The Manhattan DA's office says her description of the incident—the man told her she wanted to have sex, pinned her arms and legs down, and masturbated—was a felony.

The director of Beth Israel Hospital Rape Crisis/Domestic Violence confirmed to the Voice that there's been a change in how the NYPD approaches victims lately, "The police will come to the ER and rather than taking basic information, they ask questions that are in a way disbelieving, or almost trying to prove that it didn't happen. "It's a more acute problem now. It used to be more of an exception."