Lights Out At 11pm: City Touts Even More Misleading Info

Last Council meeting, city officials admitted that their crime stats per-capita for Balboa Peninsula were misleading.  They admitted that while 84% of crime is committed by non-Newporters, they simply did not include those people in the per-capita stats.  If we are going to compile stats including non-resident crime, then we should include non-resident counts for people, too.

Conversely, if we do not include non-resident crime in our stats, then I am fine with counting only residents for the population. However, you can’t have it both ways.

The city also revised their alcohol stats from their previously sky-high numbers, but only by removing some of the duplicate licenses which we had pointed out in previous articles.  However, they continued to count the VAST majority of alcohol licenses that are open before 11pm– when our conversation is only about businesses open BEYOND 11pm.  There are only about 15 businesses who serve alcohol past 11pm– not one hundred, as the city last touted.

So where is the logic and what was the reason for the Balboa Overlay, if all their stats were proved to be inaccurate?  Well, there wasn’t any.  So the city came up with NEW crime stats, to tout those, instead.  Aaaaaand, we systematically dismantle those here, too.

The city proclaimed that after the hours of 11pm, alcohol-related crime went crazy.  They also said that on Saturday and Sunday, alcohol-related crime was particularly bad.  I asked for the crime stats WITHOUT alcohol for comparison, but I got no reply.  So, I took matters into my own hand and I sourced the data from the police’s own website, right here:

NOTES: These are the breakdowns from March 12th until March 18th, but there is a significant gap on Wed between 3pm-11pm, so please take that into consideration, as the data was simply not available for some reason.

So, the city says that alcohol-related crime on Balboa Peninsula is bad on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, right?  Guess what: The crime in the entirety of Newport Beach is the worst on those days– alcohol-related or not.  See graph for details (again, ignore Wednesday):

Weekly Crime

Next, the city proclaimed that alcohol-related crime was worst at late-night.  I pulled the same crime stats city-wide and without being alcohol-specific, and guess what I found?  All crime is worse at night, regardless of whether or not it is alcohol-related.  Shocking.  See graph below:

Total Crime

Finally, the city said that on the weekends, alcohol-related crime skyrockets late at night.  Guess what I found?  All crime skyrockets on the weekends late at night, regardless of whether or not it is alcohol-related..  See the Saturday excerpt, below:

Saturday Crime

The city is attempting– yet again– to fear-monger by providing the public with hand-picked and misleading information while omitting critical data that should naturally be paired with it.  The crime stats are virtually identical with or without alcohol and with and without Balboa Peninsula being excerpted.

Why not say crimes committed by people with two arms skyrocket on the weekends and late night on Balboa Peninsula, and advocate banning two-armed people from Balboa Peninsula past 11pm?  It would produce precisely the same statistical result, and the flawed-logic would be precisely the same.

I have now discredited every single statistic that has come from the city for the past two months on this subject.  Each statistic was misleading and served a purpose solely to deceptively validate the movement to regulate businesses open past 11pm.

I have shown that Balboa Peninsula has the lowest crime rate per-person for any policed area of Newport Beach– not the highest.  I have shown that the alcohol licenses amount to about 15 businesses that are actually open and selling alcohol– not over 100.  I have shown that the data provided by city staff has been misleading in three out of three meetings, and that each time they switch the data, it is– yet again– misleading as well.

While I am certain that drunk people commit crimes, and I am certain that many cases of crime can be linked to people drinking too much, there has not been one shred of evidence whatsoever from the city that links any of this to any particular business at all.  If we want to talk numbers, the grocery store at the end of the peninsula, Pavilions,  sells more per-unit alcohol than ALL OF THE BARS, COMBINED.  If all crime stats are the same, if there is no difference whether or not people are drinking, and if we cannot identify problem bars, then what on earth is the city trying to accomplish, except to appease emotional issues involving alcohol– not practical ones?

I ask the city– yet again– Please, stop with the misleading data.  Please, give us solid, quantifiable data.  This is easy to do.  Simply ask the police officers to identify the last place someone had a drink, and write it down.  We do NOT need more of a police presence on the peninsula.  We need leaders who are honest about problems and do not try to deceive the public with misleading data, meeting after meeting.

Is it too much to ask to get truthful data from this city?  I am certain that everyone involved knew that this data mirrored the overall crime rate.  Therefore, touting these statistics was either willful deception or utter incompetence.

Finally, if the outcome is to get bar and restaurant owners to voluntarily meet, then let them.  There is no vote required for voluntary action.  Any vote for any of these items will serve to get government even more involved in legislating how private businesses can operate without any data showing that they are operating improperly to begin with.



About Mike Glenn

Mike is the founder and publisher of Save Newport and Chair of Government Relations for the Elks Lodge. He writes, shoots photos, and edits, but much of the time, he's just "the IT guy". He can be reached at: Google+, Facebook, or via email, at