A coalition of public defenders claims the NYPD is manipulating their own crime data in an effort to push a narrative that recent bail reform is causing a spike in crime on city streets.

At a press conference on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea announced that murders, rapes, and hate crimes were all down in February compared to this time last year. But serious crimes overall were up by 22 percent — the second consecutive monthly increase, which the mayor and NYPD have attributed to the new bail laws enacted at the start of this year.

"There’s a direct correlation to the change in the law and we need to address it and we will address it," de Blasio told reporters.

Defense attorneys, meanwhile, say the reported increase in street crimes doesn't hold up to statistical scrutiny. In a joint statement, the city's public defender services noted that, even as grand theft auto complaints have skyrocketed more than 60 percent, their collective caseloads with that charge have actually decreased 9 percent.

"The only way to reconcile this is to conclude that the NYPD's repeated claims of rising crime are a story of their own making," read a statement, attributed to Legal Aid Society, Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defenders, NY County Defender Services and the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem.

"It's clear proof that the NYPD has been up-charging, and that when these cases make it to a district attorney, prosecutors reject the charges that the NYPD are touting because they know they cannot stand up to even the most cursory legal scrutiny."

Within weeks of the new laws taking effect, New York's Republicans, police leaders, tabloids, and bail bondsmen all linked the reforms to a major crime spree.

But defense attorneys say there was actually a 20 percent decrease in complaints docketed to courts in the first two months of the year, and a 17 percent drop in arrests.

Prior to a City Council hearing on Wednesday, Councilmembers Rory Lancman and Donovan Richards sent a letter to Commissioner Shea, accusing him of spreading "false narratives that inhibit legitimate conversations about improving the bail reform law.”

At the hearing, police officials said they had identified 482 individuals arrested for serious felonies who were rearrested for committing an additional 846 crimes.

The disparity between the shrinking number of docket cases and the NYPD's reported uptick in arrests was mostly likely the result of new discovery laws, Commissioner Shea argued at the press conference. Under the reforms, prosecutors may be more likely to defer prosecution until they've gathered all of the evidence that must be turned over to the defense.

A spokesperson for Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez reiterated Gonzalez's position that it was too early to tell whether the new bail laws were contributing to increased crime.

Leaders of the NYPD have been among the fiercest opponents of the new bail law reform — in some cases, appearing to violate the department's rules against uniformed officers expressing personal views about public policy matters.

Criminal justice advocates argue that their proposed changes, such as increasing judicial discretion, will usher in a return to a bail system that discriminates against poor New Yorkers of color.

Both the mayor and governor have sided with law enforcement, and some state legislators have signaled a willingness in recent weeks to make significant changes to the two-month old reforms.

"Our conversations have been very productive," the mayor said on Thursday. "It’s becoming clearer and clearer that there will be changes on April 1st, and that’s what we need."