The Police Department classified the attacks as lesser offenses when reporting them to the authorities who collect crime statistics from cities across the nation. As a result, the offenses were not factored into Dallas' reported violent crime rate.
In a one-week sample of cases from this summer, a Dallas Morning News review estimated that the department's tally of aggravated assaults should have been at least 50 percent higher.
Aggravated assaults make up more than one third of the city's reported violent crime. So a change in them has a big impact on Dallas' overall violent crime rate.
Dallas began counting aggravated assaults differently in 2007 as part of policy changes sold to the public as a way to make the city's crime-counting procedures more accurate.
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