Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Concealing crime: How the FBI improves its crimefighting statistics

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Bending the needle by the FBI: to make the figures look good, the FBI encourages companies not to report crimes—looks better for the FBI, looks better for the companies, and the victims? Well, who cares? Certainly not the FBI or companies. Matthew Harwood reports in Salon:

In January, a 20-year-old Brazilian man named Luis Scavone and a teenage accomplice allegedly raped a 15-year-old girl on a Royal Caribbean holiday cruise. You’ll find no mention of the crime, however, in the FBI and Coast Guard’s database of cruise ship crime. Nor will you find mention of the other rapethat allegedly happened on that same cruise. In fact, as Cruise Law News points out, you won’t find a single instance of rape or sexual assault reported on any Royal Caribbean cruises this year.

It’s not as though such crimes are uncommon on cruises. In fact, sexual assaults on cruise ships have been such a problem that in 2010 Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 to increase regulation of the cruise industry, including a requirement that companies create policies to protect rape victims. It also required cruise lines to report serious crimes and missing persons to the FBI when they involved a U.S. citizen, a tally of which would be reported online quarterly on a website maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. Within the reports, crimes would be broken down by cruise line, the type of offense and whether the perpetrator was a crew member or passenger. Previously, cruise ships voluntarily provided crime statistics to the FBI, but they weren’t made public.

But inexplicably, the FBI inserted language into the bill when it was in committee that has undermined the reporting requirement, raising uncomfortable questions of whether the Bureau is too close to an industry it now has jurisdiction over. The reporting change is all the more peculiar because it flies in the face of how law enforcement has recorded and reported crimes for almost a century.

The purpose of the requirement, according to cruise line rape survivor Laurie Dishman, now an International Cruise Victims vice president, was to give American consumers the information they would need to make an informed decision about whether to choose one cruise line over another based on the crime rate or choose another type of vacation altogether. When Dishman was brutally raped by a crew member she had no idea that sexual assaults were a common occurrence onboard these massive floating cities. To make matters worse, the FBI declined to prosecute her assailant because it determined it was a “she said, he said” case, despite physical evidence of ligature marks around her neck and an impacted tampon. But Dishman wouldn’t be denied and she sought justice through the legislative process. . .

Continue reading. The FBI really has become a dysfunctional institution in many ways. Entrapment seems common—finding unhappy youths and convincing them to plan terrorist acts, for example, and helping the clueless would-be terrorist find and buy materials, and then arresting them to a big fanfare of publicity.

But for a real shocker, read the rest of the article. I believe it, and I also believe that no one in the FBI will suffer any punishment whatsoever—not even a reprimand—for their behavior. The FBI has become an insular and self-serving institution, internally focused. They want the measures of success without the work.

Obviously, Congress will do nothing: Congress no longer can do anything, apparently. And the Department of Justice? Please. Their mission nowadays seems to be to protect the Department of Justice, not the citizenry. And that means protecting their jobs, so they definitely want nothing to do with any decriminalization or legalization of marijuana, for instance—DEA jobs could be lost—so they fight tooth and nail against allowing industrial hemp and continue to raid state-legal dispensaries and prosecute state-legal patients despite solemn promises to cease such actions.

Written by Leisureguy

25 June 2012 at 11:45 am

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