NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Understaffed and under trained – the city’s inspector general says the NYPD is doing practically nothing to investigate a growing number of sex crimes.
The NYPD denies the allegations.
The report, compiled in the last year, details disarray in the NYPD’s Special Victims division, like outdated and inefficient software compromising investigations.
“Many victims have been forced to wait in hospitals for hours before a detective can show up,” Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters added.
The report claims in the last decade, the number of sex crimes has more than doubled to nearly 6,000 cases, while staffing levels stay stagnant.
“There are only 67 detectives assigned to investigate sex crimes – adult sexual crimes,” said Peters. “Which has resulted in failure to prioritize certain sexual assault investigations.”
The NYPD denies the claims of understaffing, but the DOI commissioner said internal documents reveal rape cases involving strangers are giving priority over cases involving acquaintances.
“Each incident, each complaint of rape we take seriously and we fully investigate each and every one of them,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.
The report claims oftentimes victims and suspects are brought through the same entrance in plain view of each other. Once inside, interviews take place in front of holding cells and within an earshot of other detectives.
“They were cramped, they were unsanitary, they were not the kind of places you want someone who’s already been traumatized to have to come into, talk about that again,” said Peters.
The report recommends the NYPD double its staff in the Special Victims division immediately.
O’Neill said he will review it more closely, but the document is inaccurate, misleading and key stakeholders, like himself and the chief of detectives, were never interviewed. The NYPD says they even warned the DOI there were many errors in the report last week, but the agency went ahead and published it anyway.
In response, the DOI says their report on the SVU is “evidence based.”
“DOI’s report demonstrates this: more needs to be done to properly respond to victims of adult sex crimes,” the department said in a statement released Tuesday evening. “The NYPD’s refusal to recognize this presents additional barriers to sex crimes victims in their pursuit of justice.”