Police are denying that they stopped publishing crime rate statistics for local Tasmanian areas because they consistently made Launceston look bad.
The Police Association of Tasmania (the police union) is not impressed, saying it will investigate the "anomaly".
"This is concerning, as facts lead to the truth, which fosters trust," association president Colin Riley said.
"The Police Association of Tasmania is of the view that the public have every right to know about crime and offence rates across the 13 police geographic divisions.
"For some reason, the department has stopped providing divisional victimisation rates from last financial year.
"This is out of step with reporting that has occurred over the last decade."
Tasmania Police for years published offence rates per 10,000 residents for each of the 13 police divisions in the department's comprehensive monthly Corporate Performance Reports.
Those statistics would regularly show the Launceston division had by far the most offences - no surprise, given its relatively big population - but also easily the highest offence rates relative to population, leading to the city being dubbed in media the "crime capital".
The divisional rates are no longer published.
In response to questions, Tasmania Police said the divisional rates had not been removed because of political pressure or complaints, and were removed well before heightened media attention concerning Launceston crime rates.
Police said divisional boundaries changed between 2017 and 2020.
"Police divisional boundaries formerly aligned with local government area boundaries in the large majority of cases and, as such, population statistics for police divisions could be produced using the annual publications released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics," police said.
"However, following the boundary changes, annual population statistics are no longer producible for Tasmanian police divisions, as they no longer align with structures for which population statistics are available.
"For these reasons, indicators measuring crime statistics per population rate were removed from the Corporate Performance Report in July 2020.
"This was a decision purely borne out of necessity.
"With population statistics no longer available, the population rate indicators could not be produced."
Tasmania Police noted offence rates for the state's three police districts were still produced.