MATTHEWS, N.C. — The town of Matthews is working to correct crime statistics and case closure rates from over the last four years.
An internal investigation conducted between May and December 2022 revealed the Matthews Police Department had been incorrectly reporting the stats between 2018 and 2022.
The review found officers were told to label some cases as “closed by other means” in a manner that was inconsistent with state and federal reporting standards.
This made it look like the department closed up to 75 percent of its cases in this time. Matthews Town Manager Becky Hawke says that corrected number is likely closer to 28 to 35 percent.
For context, in the southeast United States in 2019, organization-wide case closure rates for violent crimes averaged 42.8 percent and case closure rates for property crimes averaged 17.8 percent, for a combined total of 18.3 percent across all categories.
Hawke says proper steps are being taken to correct these reporting issues and ensure future statistics are appropriately classified.
“There’s increased training,” Hawke said. “There’s increased quality insurance protocols, but more than that it’s really the standardization of the information given out to the public. They are also going back and looking at these cases and making sure information is correct and republish that data.”
Hawke says nothing about the incorrectly reported statistics changes how safe the town is.
Matthews Police plans to use new computer software to help fix the problem.