As of November 7th, overall crime in NYC has dropped 1.26% from a year earlier. But violent crime—the murders, rapes, assaults and robberies—are all on pace to increase, and a professor emeritus at John Jay College of Criminal Justice says the discrepancy is caused by the NYPD's manipulation of statistics. Eli Silverman, who co-authored a report which found that more than half of the city's cops under-report crime to satisfy the top brass, says non-violent crime is "down" because it's easy to downgrade or under-report those crimes. Murder and rape are not so easily shrugged off.

"They've made it [low crime] symbolic for all their achievements," Silverman tells the Wall Street Journal. "They've made it a selling point for tourism and business….They made it a narrative, a story and they can't deviate from that story. They're stuck in that story." The NYPD says Silverman's study is flawed because it relies on an anonymous survey of past police officials, and anyway a one-year spike in violent crimes is well within natural statistical fluctuations. Statistician Michael Rand points out that one-year spikes are statistically insignificant: "A 15% increase is only important if it's the beginning of an upturn. And unfortunately we won't know that for many years."

In fact, the Journal crunches the numbers a different way and finds that when you tally the index-crime average during Commissioner Kelly's previous eight years, violent crimes are actually down from the eight-year average. Murders are on track to total 536 this year, down 2% compared to the eight-year average. Rapes, up 15% this year so far, would still be about 12% lower than that eight-year average.

So who knows? Most of us have heard stories about cops discouraging crime victims from filing a report. And the Daily News reports that three murders in NYC over the weekend tipped the murder tally above last year's record low. But hey, if you don't like it, you can just move to Afghanistan!