Baltimore Police have been able to present some impressive - sometimes maybe even hard to believe for some - crime statistics in the past decade, but a figure put forward last night was beyond head-scratching. In preparation of a walk through downtown to the Inner Harbor with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, police sent a reporter a data sheet showing that crime was down substantially in the downtown neighborhood and Seton Hill. Down so much, the data showed, that it had declined 525 percent. Our crack team of mathematicians flipped over a napkin and determined that when a figure declines by 100 percent - its entire amount - well, there ain't anywhere else to go. A police spokesman said the data came from the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance at the University of Baltimore, and came their way via the Downtown Partnership. The problem was that the BNIA data showed the actual drop, not a percentage. The downtown crime rate was 949 incidents per 1,000 residents in 2000, and declined to 424 incidents per 1,000 residents by 2010. That's a drop of 55.2 percent, which is actually not too far off from 525 percent if you were to drop a decimal point in
Wow. Math is fundamental.