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Parsing NYPD data: Arrests

Number of service requests to NYC’s 311 from 2004 to 2016: 24.54 million

A curious thing popped up on the way to the ice-cream truck. I was looking at all the notations NYPD makes while closing out a 311 ticket. There are 16 close-out comments that number at least 100 or more. The top three, from 2010 to 2016, are:

1. The Police Department responded to the complaint and with the information available observed no evidence of the violation at that time.  n = 915,303
2. Police Department responded to the complaint and took action to fix the condition.  n = 650,761
3. The Police Department responded to the complaint and determined that police action was not necessary.  n = 370,297
And then, at number 13, was this curiosity:
“The Police Department made an arrest in response to the complaint.”
NYPD Arrests resulting from 311 complaints
I had no idea people can get arrested as an outcome of a complaint to 311. There are 1289 of these arrests and number a couple of  hundred a year, starting in earnest in 2011. So, is this people calling in blood-curdling screams from next door? Murders? Mayhem? Nope. 311 doesn’t take those calls, 911 does. There are all run of the mill things, but first I have to get me some lunch and maybe do some real work – see you later.

311 data from NYC Open Data downloaded at various times. As of Feb 19, 2017, 24.5 million rows, 52 variables till 2009, 53 variables from 2010. Parsed using R v3.3.1 in RStudio v1.0.136

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