Thu, Jan 24, 2013
Earlier today we reported on a woman who alleges she was gang raped near Downtown Lafayette nearly a year ago. She says despite her showing investigators where the incident occured and identfying multiple suspects, the Lafayette City Police Department hasn’t made an arrest…which leads to our next question.
Is it a coincidence rape is on the decline in Lafayette?
According to the crime statistics published on the Lafayette Consolidated Governement’s website, rape has drastically declined over the years in Lafayette, Louisiana.
- Total rapes in 2012 10 (Reporting January – October)
- Total rapes in 2011 15
- Total rapes in 2010 17
- Total rapes in 2009 33
- Total rapes in 2008 73
- Total rapes in 2007 68
- Total rapes in 2006 73
- Total rapes in 2005 91
We aren’t convinced these numbers are completely accurate for many reasons. It is unclear if the numbers above reflect actual rapes reported or actual rapes where an arrest was made.
One can’t overlook the audio recording (below) made public last year by a group of cops who filed a lawsuit dubbed Real Cops vs. Craft. The recording brings into question whether the Lafayette City Police Department has manipulated crime statistics in an effort to create a false sense of security?
In the audio recording Dwayne Arceneaux, a former captain at the Lafayette Police Department can be heard saying:
- “If we code them right we’d be 10% down.”
- “We started changing them that’s the decrease. I don’t know what the f*** they talking about we doing such a great job. M****** f***** we revising the codes.”
- “If that lets them sleep at night. If that allows them to sleep better at night. Who am I.”
If what Dwayne Arceneaux says in this recording is true, it would certainly bring in to question whether rapes cases are being improperly coded.
It should also bring into question whether officers involved in this elaborate scheme of ”revising code” risk criminal prosecution for injuring public record. According to Louisiana R.S. 14.132, injuring public record is the, “intentional removal, mutilation, destruction, alteration, falsification, or concealment of any record, document, or other thing, filed or deposited, by authority of law, in any public office or with any public officer.”
Another explanation for the drastic decline in rapes in our area may be because rapes are not bein reported to police. According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network 54% of rapes/sexual assaults are not even reported to the police.
And yet another explanation may be that only rapes where arrest are made are being calculated in their annual crime statistics.
There is no doubt that many departments get very uncomfortable when asked questions about how their crime stats. For example, the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office blocked Busted In Acadiana from inquiring about the validity of their crime stats earlier this month.
We should also note that as of January 24th, 2013, the Lafayette City Police Department nor the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office have released annual crime statistics for 2012 to the public.