TOPEKA — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation released amended crime statistics after discovering its original report wasn’t accurate.
The agency said a system error caused thousands of offenses to go uncounted.
“When we recognized how many offenses weren’t represented in the annual crime report, we knew we had a responsibility to let the public, the Legislature and our law enforcement partners know that what we understood about crime in Kansas had changed,” said KBI director Tony Mattivi.
The amended report for 2022 crimes was released Nov. 16. Mattivi said one trend that had changed from the new data was violent crime. The June report documented a slight decrease in violent crime statewide, but new data suggests there was actually a small increase in violent crime in 2022, up by 2.9% from the previous year.
The data used in the annual crime report comes from local law enforcement agencies across Kansas. Agencies submit reports into the Kansas Incident Based Reporting System, a system described as outdated and one with “severe constraints,” according to KBI officials. The bureau is working to complete a new statewide crime information database system.
The Wichita Police Department alerted the KBI to mistakes in the report when they reviewed their crime data in the June report.
“Upon reviewing the crime data released by the KBI, the Wichita Police Department promptly alerted KBI to the inaccuracies. Collaborating with KBI, we pinpointed the issue and rectified it,” said Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan. “Furthermore, we implemented extra checks in coordination with KBI to ensure that submitted data undergoes thorough end-to-end verification upon receipt.”
The KIBRS unit opened up 2022 submissions again, receiving 4,979 more reports from agencies that had additional crimes reported for 2022 after the deadline along with reports that hadn’t been submitted before the original deadline.
The revised data shows a total of 13,808 violent crimes, such as aggravated assault and battery, reported in Kansas in 2022. In 2021, 13,422 violent crimes were reported by law enforcement.
The change brings violent crime in 2022 up to 17.5% higher than the 10-year average. Reported property crimes declined by 4.1% in the year, with 65,119 reported property crimes. In 2021, there were 67,928 property crimes reported in the state.
KBI spokeswoman Melissa Underwood said the KBI has no plans to amend the agency’s annual state report on domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault, despite a change in these numbers as well. The first report for 2022 documented 1,160 reported rapes in the state. The amended report put the number at 1,281.
Underwood said the domestic violence report didn’t need to be amended because the additional offenses were already included in the amended crime report. She said the two reports are difficult to reconcile because the assault report documents incidents and the crime report documents victims.