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Are police issuing as many tickets as they say?

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311 reports serve as a non-emergency number that the public can call for issues like driver misconduct or other similar issues. Citizens can call this number regarding abandoned vehicles, chronically reckless driving, illegal parking and more.

However, recent reports and scrutiny have revealed that police may actually ignore more of these reports than even initially anticipated. The number of tickets actually issued in response to complaints might be substantially, surprisingly low.

Missing parking tickets

Streets Blog NYC takes a look at the mounting issue of missing parking tickets in the city. One creator of a 311 app states that officers in the area may issue as few as half of the number of tickets they say they issue. Combine this with the fact that officers already say they issue tickets for a very small portion of offenses called in in the first place.

For example, one statistic pointed out that police received 8,200 reports for blocked bike lanes in a year. Of those complaints, police stated they issued tickets for 109 of them, or only 2 percent of the total complaints called in. Then, in a search for these 109 claimed tickets, 21 of them – or 19 percent – went missing.

Why is this a problem?

An ongoing City Council probe also determined that officers never actually responded to some of the incidents that they claimed they responded to. Why is this important? In short, if one in every five tickets for a 311 complaint did not actually exist, it means 10,000 reports about quality of life problems ended up unaddressed by police. Needless to say, this is a major issue for citizens expecting officers to do their job.

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