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The Chicago-based “Crime in Boystown” website published a report showing that the database major news outlets rely on for reporting crime statistics, “Data Portal,” appears to be flawed. In comparing the Tribune’s reported crime statistics with those of another city database, CLEARMap, over a period of one month, Data Portal failed to report <22 percent of crimes in one Chicago neighborhood, Lakeview.

It appears these crimes had previously appeared in the Data Portal database, but then “disappeared.” From Crime in Boystown:

CWB discovered the problem during a routine audit of our robbery data for Wrigleyville and Boystown. Our in-house records showed that the neighborhoods had 29 robberies this year as of April 19. The city Data Portal only lists 21.

Nearly all of the missing incidents appeared on the Data Portal previously, but have since disappeared. Gone from the list are robberies from January 29, February 2, February 26, March 22, March 29, March 31, April 4, and April 5. As of this morning, none of those incidents’ case numbers appear anywhere in the city data base, meaning that they are gone completely, not simply reclassified.

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