Philadelphia police underreported crime data to FBI for city's bloodiest year on record

An estimated 2.1 million crimes across the country will not be reported to the FBI for 2021

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The Philadelphia Police Department underreported crime statistics to the FBI for 2021, a historically bloody year for the city, new data show. 

Roughly 2.1 million crimes across the country will go unreported to the FBI, according to data examined by The Marshall Project and Axios. Philadelphia is among the roughly 60% of U.S. law enforcement agencies that failed to report a full year of data or no data at all to the federal agency. 

All in, Philadelphia reported only nine months worth of data to the FBI’s National Incident-Based Reporting System. Local police officials cite the city implementing a new crime reporting system for the gap in data. 

The Philadelphia Police Department received nearly $4 million in 2016 to upgrade its reporting system, which was officially launched on April 1, 2021, Axios reported. The FBI also switched to a new recording method last year, the National Incident-Based Reporting System, amid a push to better record crime figures and individual incidents.

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The Philadelphia Police Department is the oldest city police agency in the US (formed 1751). (iStock)

The Philadelphia Police Department is the oldest city police agency in the US (formed 1751). (iStock) (iStock)

Philadelphia Police Sgt. Eric Gripp told the outlet that there was a "significant project delay" to upgrade the city’s previous system, which was compounded by the pandemic.

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"The Philadelphia Police Department began NIBRS reporting on April 1, 2021. The delay was caused by issues in updating our system to take on the additional data requirements necessary for NIBRS reporting," a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Police Department told Fox News Digital of the matter. 

Mayor Jim Kenney’s office directed Fox News Digital to the police department’s statement when approached for comment. 

Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney speaks during a news conference at Pennsylvania Convention Center as vote counting continues three days after the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 6, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney speaks during a news conference at Pennsylvania Convention Center as vote counting continues three days after the 2020 U.S. presidential election, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. November 6, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (Reuters)

Gripp told Axios that the lack of data to the FBI "will have no impact on the Police Department's relationship with the community," and added that the city’s crime data for that year is available on its OpenDataPhilly site. 

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About 40% of law enforcement agencies across the country submitted no voluntary data to the FBI for 2021, which is up from 15% in 2020, according to Axios. In Pennsylvania specifically, 31 of about 1,500 agencies reported any data to the FBI last year, which is actually higher than 2020’s figures, when 22 agencies in the state reported crime figures. 

The Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery  seen in front of the Philadelphia skyline. REUTERS/David M. Parrott  

The Philadelphia Energy Solutions oil refinery  seen in front of the Philadelphia skyline. REUTERS/David M. Parrott   (REUTERS)

Philadelphia set an all-time record for homicides in 2021, recording 562 deaths. The crime has spilled into this year, with the city hitting 200 homicides just after Memorial Day weekend.

The skyrocketing crime in the city sparked an impeachment effort of the city's progressive district attorney, Larry Krasner, which was launched this week by three Republican state representatives. 

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"We want to highlight the dereliction of duty that we've seen from this district attorney," state Rep. Josh Kail told "Fox & Friends First" on Tuesday. "Lives have been lost, property has been destroyed, and really families have been crushed. Enough is enough. And we need to do something, and we need to get back to the basics in this commonwealth and in this nation."