Assignment 2 – Interesting Data Set

Jennifer Castro

This particular data pertains to Albany, New York’s City Police Department’s crime reports, dating from 1990 to 2016. The numbers per year in the graph below relate to the overall total number of crimes reported in the following categories: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.

Originally, before sorting and filtering, the full file captured crime reports from over 500 New York police and sheriffs’ departments. Sorting down to just Albany and even more specifically, the Albany City Police Department out of Albany’s 21 departments, this gives viewers a good idea of crime reports within the city itself. I then sorted the years from smallest to largest, to easily portray on a graph the relative change starting from the earliest year to the most recent.




The graph paints a story of reported crimes decreasing in Albany over time with some upticks every few years. Relating to this, it is common knowledge that the crime rate in New York was very high in the 1990s. Since then, it has fallen significantly, and this graph helps prove that with Albany’s data. With everything that has been going on in our country within the past few years in regards to what seems like a heightened amount of violence and crimes, it is surprising to see that this graph shows a decrease in crime in Albany. The catch, however, is that the media regularly highlights crime, making it seem like to the naked eye, crime is running rapid, when in reality, it’s decreasing nationwide, and it has been for years.

With Albany being a city that isn’t known as the safest area, one would have thought that crime there would show an increase in the past few years, as opposed to a consistent decline since 1994. 2014 statistics even detected that Albany was one of five counties with the highest crime rates in New York state. Sure, since 1994’s high, there have been some years in Albany with a small crime rate spike, but nothing substantial enough that is shocking. The story here falls in line with the nationwide crime rate continually falling. Here’s hoping that this continues and diminishes even further in the future.

If you’re interested in the raw data showing other crime reports from New York counties and police departments, click here.