How Safe Do You Feel?

It all started with a Tweet. Someone posted a chart of how violent crime had spiralled under the Tories.

Well, I couldn’t leave it at that could I? I couldn’t resist comparing those figures with comparable stats for Police Officer numbers

Then somebody else posed the question of how these figures correspond to similar figures in Europe. To be honest I had no idea. I had read that following on from the Gilets Jaunes protest across France Gendarmerie morale was in the toilet, but as for numbers, not a clue.

So, here we go, hopefully more pictures than words for once.  How do we here in the UK compare with our European equivalents?  The stats are not up to the moment but I believe that they are the most recent available, and probably won’t be updated any time soon as we have now, effectively, left the EU.

Murder

In terms of outright offences we seem to be 4th in Europe, judged by Offences per 100,000 Population we are on a par with the majority of EU countries.

Assaults

Way more Assaults than any other EU in terms of outright offences. Unfortunately there is no comparable data of Offences per 100,000 Population, plus different countries will have very different recording criteria, so it is difficult to make a direct comparison.

Robbery

Whichever way you look at it England and Wales are pretty dire for Reported Robberies.

Autocrime

Once again, England and Wales are up there, amomgst the highest, however you count it.

UK Crime

Overall, total crimes per 100,000 head of population is definitely on its way back up. Strangely enough it started to go back up again in 2010, no idea what might have happened in 2010 to kickstart that pattern.

Just because it’s topical, how does Stop/Search activity correlate with Total Crime Levels? The latest data that I have is from 2018, but you can see the pattern.

Just for good measure, what happens to Crime when you reduce Police Numbers? Again 2018 is the latest data that I have but the pattern is clear to me.

Finally, Policing Across Europe

Infographic: The EU's Most Heavily Policed Countries  | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

Quelle Surprise, this may be 2016 data, so it is slightly out of date, but right down the bottom with only Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Hungary having fewer Police Officers per 100,000 head of Population. Sadly only our ineffective government can change this

Crime Is Down, Police Reform Is Working

Does that sound familiar? How long have we been hearing that particular mantra? By my reckoning we’ve been subjected to it since 2014.

Is Crime down? I leave it to others to decide if Police Reform is working, but my personal opinion is that it has been an unmitigated, ill thought-out, vengeful policy that has far from worked. The words “unmitigated” and “disaster” spring readily to my mind.

To return to crime, for the last four years whilst the government have been trotting out that tired old mantra crime (as per the statistics published by the Home Office) looks like this

From 2014, the year Mike Penning uttered those immortal words, crime has inexorably risen. In 2017/18 it was substantially higher than 2010 when Cruella’s Crusade first began, yet we currently have 21,000 fewer officers to contend with rising crime, not to mention the other demands upon Police resources that are nothing to do with crime.

Whilst I was immersed in the Home Office crime stats I thought I would have a look and see what the scale was, nationally, of officers being assaulted and injured in the course of their duties. I was shocked to find that those figures were not available until 2017/18. This is actually a shortcoming of ALL governments, but it was rectified last year. However, whilst I was rummaging I came across a set of stats that might make you smile. For years and years, governments of all hues have totally ignored Assaults on Police Occasioning Injury. But they did regularly retain, and publish, the number of Unnatural Sexual Offences coming to the attention of Police. To be more important than injured officers the numbers must be huge, surely. Well, no actually.

It seems to have peaked at about 40 offences in 2016/17, whereas the first year of publishing Assaults on Police Causing Injury there were over 8,000 offences recorded in England and Wales.

It makes my heart flutter to know that keeping an eye on the rise of Unnatural Sexual Offences has been far more important to successive governments than injured Police Officers.

The serious point is, why have successive governments totally ignored Assaults on Police causing injuries, yet they have collected and published stats relating to significantly less prevalent and less serious offences? In an era when government openly criticise Police for ‘fudging’ Recorded Crime stats, why have successive governments constantly changed which, and how, crimes are counted? Total Crime should be exactly that.

The government definitely prefers stats from the Crime Survey of England and Wales because that survey frequently shows that overall crime is falling. What they don’t tell you is that not every category of crime is included in the survey, plus the resulting crime levels may be falling, but are considerably higher (by a few million) than Police Recorded Crime. Cake and Eat It comes to mind.

It seems that it is the government that needs reforming rather than the Police Service (and those deviant sexual offenders 😱😱)

Crime is Down (in an upwardly sort of way), Police Reform is actually a vendetta

The State of Policing 2018

Fortuitously there has just been a release of Police Manpower (sorry, I still call it that, no offence intended) and the latest Crime Data for England and Wales.

Much has been made of these latest figures both in the Press and on Social Media.  This Crime has gone up by this percentage and all that sort of stuff.  Very useful, it really is, but if you want to look at more than just the big, bold headlines your head will soon be spinning.

Well, I still have some crayons left, none of the real academics have tried to disable my abacus or nick my pencil box, so I thought I’d try and make sense of the bigger picture and how it affects both Policing and the Populus in 2018.

Firstly, how many Police Officers are there in England and Wales since the disastrous election of 2010?

Not including the British Transport Police (for no particular reason other than they are shown separetely in the stats) it looks like this

It’s all well and good producing a pretty chart I hear you cry, what does that actually LOOK like?  It’s a tad worse after this week’s figures release but basically it looks like all the areas coloured pink having NO Police Officers whatsoever, not a single one.

It doesn’t look very good does it,  but we keep hearing that Crime is Down and Police Reform is working, so how are the much-reduced Police Officers coping with crime and stuff?

My word, it looks to me like a few years after Theresa May’s cuts started to bite, Overall Crime started to increase.

Violent Crime, we’ve heard a lot about that recently, how does that look?

The reason for the bizarre drop in the middle of the graph of that the Home OPffice keep changing exactly which crimes they want to list, and a lot of the lesser asssaults, whilst recorded by the Police, did not feature in the Home Office stats, but now they do again.  And they complain about the Police fudging stats eh?

So, we have had 8 years now of #Austerity and #PoliceReform.  What does that look like? How do the numbers stack up after 8 years?

Apologies if you find the chart above a bit ‘busy’ but basically Police Numbers down, Stop and Search down has resulted in Total Crime and Violent Crime going up.  Where will it all end?  Theresa May and her colleagues must be really proud of themselves. There you have it encapsulated in one chart, the state of (Crime and) Policing in 2018.

How Safe Are Our Streets Exactly?

As you are all aware, I am not an Academic, and I do not possess a degree in anything.  However, spurred on by  this warm weather and an increasing foreboding of doom, I dusted down my crayons, and with a little help from my 4 year old grand-daughter, I managed to produce some nice pretty pictures, based on the premise that the first duty of any government is to protect its citizens.This doesn’t often happen, but I will shut up for a while and let the music and the pictures fill in the story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hmm, it seems as if most of the violent crimes were on their way down prior to about 2011/12 and then started to go up again. I wonder what happened to cause that? I’d better get my crayons out again and see if the whole of England and Wales looks the same.

Before I do there’s a few things about these piccies that you might think I’ve forgotten.  Despite slating the Police for the manner in which they record crime, the Home Office, amazingly, have never published data for Possession of Knives or Firearms prior to 2008, at least not publicly.  They do not publish figures for Assault on a Police Officer causing Injury.  They did not publish data for ANY Assault causing Injury prior to 2012  Why would that be?  Not just the Tories, Labour didn’t do it either.  The stats for 2017/2018 are not yet publicly available.

Anyway, back to my crayons, the pictures for the whole of England and Wales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at all of these pretty, colourful pictures it does indeed seem that most, if not all, of the columns start to rise 2012/2013   What on earth could be causing that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What about England and Wales, does that look any different?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, we can see that the MEt has (to now) been sheltered from the worst of the cuts, but more are coming in the next two years.  They have still ended up with a net loss however.  England and Wales as a whole has seen quite a sharp falling off of officer numbers since 2010.  Could anything else be a factor?

 

 

 

 

 

 

For whatever reason, Stop and Search in London has fallen sharply since 2008, in 2017 the lowest for a decade by far.  How does the rest of the country fare?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One more for luck, how does Total Crime look like against Total Stop/Search?

So, there you have it ladies and gents, girls and boys.  Are the government protecting its citizens?  Are they complying with their ‘First Duty’?  More importantly, how safe are our streets.  Just a wild thought I know, but getting those 21,000 Police Officers back might help, but the only problem there is that there is no Magic Bobby Tree,  Even if the government did the most massive u-turn in their history, they cannot replace the lost skills and experience.  No wonderful Graduate Entry schemes, no Direct Entry Insp.Superintendent/Detective schemes can fix this.  The Police Service is broken.  Can we fix it?  I don’t know.  I hope so, and I will carry on writing posts such as this til  I either stop breathing or the government u-turns.  I can’t change their minds, but YOU can.  Every one of you joined together can lobby your MP.  Send him/her a copy of this post if you haven’t got time to write.  I don’t care how you do it, but the swell of public opinion and support is our best chance (in my humble opinion)

I shall now put my crayons away until at least next week, thank you for your patience.

 

25th January 2018 and The Great Police Reform Lie

It was a day like any other. Not much happened. Well not much of any importance anyway. Except that two official reports were published on exactly the same date. The 25th January 2018.

Maybe we were never supposed to read them. Maybe our elected government thought that we couldn’t read them, or maybe they just thought that we wouldn’t understand some of the big words.

But we can read, and we did read them, and we even understood what some of the words meant.

In 2010 the Conservatives were elected to power (sort of) in the form of a coalition. That gave David Camoron just the platform he needed to instigate some major ‘reforms’ of the public sector. The ‘reform’ that peeves me the most is, unsurprisingly given my background, that of the Police Service, once regarded as the best in the world.

One of Camoron’s first acts as Prime Minister was to appoint Theresa May as Home Secretary. and set her loose. I have no doubt that she was tasked by her leader to set about ‘reforming’ the Police Service, a task she carried out with indecent zeal.

To help her, she enlisted the help of the ex Railway Regulator, Tom Winsor, a solicitor with a big London firm but no experience of Policing whatsoever. With the help of an academic and a former Chief Constable, he carried out his now famous ‘Independent Reviews’ of many aspects of the Police Service. We must never forget that he decided, for reasons best known to himself, not to claim his fee for this piece of work. Must unusual compared with most solicitors I know.

Whilst there is absolutely no connection whatsoever he was subsequently appointed Chief Inspector of Constabulary at HMIC (a post normally occupied by former Chief Constables). Oh, and he received a Knighthood too.

Again, there is no connection but Winsor’s Reviews bore a remarkable resemblance to the bullet points of a Camoron speech some years previously.

Since the day they were published a government mantra was born

Crime Is Down, Police Reform Is Working

Which brings us back to the 25th January.

Firstly the Office National Statistics released the latest batch of official Crime Statistics.

Figures based on the Crime Survey of England and Wales (more of that later) broadly showed that crime in general was continuing to fall.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) shows that many of the high-volume crimes, such as lower harm violent crime, criminal damage and most types of theft, were either estimated to be at levels similar to the previous year or to have fallen. It also shows that crime is not a common experience for most people, with 8 in 10 adults surveyed by the CSEW not being a victim of any of the crimes asked about in the survey.

As somewhat of an afterthought they conceded that Police Recorded Crime indicated that many categories of crime had in fact risen. Police crime stats quite rightly came in for some flak a few years ago when the manipulation of those figures, to make the picture look brighter than it was, was made public.

The SEW figures, when it comes to the more violent types of crime, are downplayed somewhat and the true significance of the figures is very much obscured.

“While overall levels of violent crime were not increasing, there is evidence of rises having occurred in some of the low incidence but more harmful categories such as knife and gun crime”.

Hidden away and not immediately obvious are the following stats relating to some of the more worrying crime trends, revealed by Police Recorded Crime.

Gun crime up 20%

Knife crime up 21%

Robbery up 29%

Vehicle theft up 18%

Domestic burglary up 32%

Stalking up 36%

Overall crime up 14%

The significance of these figures is explained away as though it didn’t matter;

Police recorded crime statistics must be interpreted with caution. The police can only record crimes that are brought to their attention and for many types of offence these data cannot provide a reliable measure of levels or trends.

Which brings me neatly back to the CSEW figures.

The sample size for the Crime Survey is 34,400 households out of the, approximately, 24 million households in England and Wales. With such a small sample size (0.15%) it is hardly surprising that the people conducting the survey don’t meet many people who have been the victim of gun or knife crime etc. No wonder their figures are so low.

Whereas the Office for National Statistics show the problem more like this

So that’s the first part of the lie. Is crime really down? I suspect that it is not. Ask any serving officer and I am confident they will tell you it is up. Seriously increased.

Published on the same date was the latest report from the Home Office outlining Police Strength in England and Wales (we mustn’t say Manpower any more).

Police Officers down a further 0.8%, but what is also shocking is PCSOs down nearly 5% and Specials down a massive 15%. A small increase in Police Staff is a minor compensation, and, as we shall see, is temporary.

Almost 1,000 more officers GONE. Who would think that was a good idea at a time of rising crime and Terrorist Threat Levels, not to mention actual Terrorist Attacks. But ‘Police Reform is Working’, the government are constantly telling us. So, a little while ago now, I looked up the word ‘Reform’ in the dictionary.

Reform – Make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.

So where exactly are the improvements? A few Efficiency Savings I agree, but what exactly has improved in leaps and bounds?

With crime up, and increasing at an alarming rate surely now is the time to reverse the cuts? The problem with that is that more than 600 Police Stations have been sold off to help offset the cuts, plus to recruit and train 20,000+ officers would take an eternity. It could possibly take decades to put right the damage.

Police Reform? Is it working? Has it improved anything? Is the Police Service staffed at an appropriate level for the challenges of the coming years? Is that the second part of the Great Lie?

Then, just when I thought it was safe to put my quill down, that man Winsor reared his ugly head again.

i made the mistake of looking at the PEEL Inspection Report for the Metropolitan Police, and I wish I hadn’t. Even MORE cuts are planned up to 2021.

Just over 5,000 Police Staff by 2021? Really? That few?

A look at 3 other, not quite random, Forces shows the following

Dyfed Powys

Greater Manchester

and West Midlands

It seems that further cuts to Police Officers over the next four years is not inevitable for all Forces, but certainly for some, and Police Staff are at risk of becoming an Endangered Species in some, or possibly even all.

Finally, and just for the giggles, the Met has come up with something called the One Met Model.  The Met have produced a lovely 44 page booklet, and you don’t have to go very far into it before the Buzzword Bingo begins

The Met is committed to ensuring all of our people have the information technology
they need to do their jobs. Citizens will be able to use a variety of digital channels to
communicate with us, report crime and carry out routine transactions.

But rest asssured

In all of this, the technology will be intuitive, easy to use and user focused. When buying
new systems, the user will be at the heart of everything.

With that I’ll call it a day.  I for one don’t believe that Crime is Down, I don’t believe that Police Reform is working and for certain Forces, at least, the road ahead remains rocky.  There is a #CrisisInPolicing and Police reform is an unmitigated disaster.  You are of course allowed to think differently, but my mind is made up.  Camoron, May and Winsor have done a hatchet job on the finest Police Service in the world.

Smoke & Mirrors Chief Constable Style

How many times have we heard “Crime is down, Police Reform is working”? Ad Nauseum I suspect.

Police Reform has turned out to be an unmitigated disaster, devised and forced through by inexperienced politicians and their hired help. Politicians who have no experience or idea of how Policing works then compound that with a stunning arrogance refusing to listen to anybody who actually KNOWS how Policing works. Nuggets such as “it’s not about the numbers”, “your job is to cut crime” and “Stop Crying Wolf” all show how Theresa May either had no clue how Policing works or deliberately ignored it. Readers will have their own view on whether Police Reform is working, my opinion is quite unequivocal.

What we don’t need are Chief Constables and their teams doing the government’s dirty work for them. We have even seen the National Police Chiefs Council seriously considering Compulsory Severance as a means to better implement “the cuts”. That is nothing short of “traitorous” in my view and should never have even been considered.

Some Chief Constables have recently spoken out about the severe effects of the cuts. In most cases these are Chief Officers who should have spoken out sooner but chose not to. However, better late than never as they say. Some have yet to see the light.

Some Chief Constables however are sticking with the government programme. Only this weekend several commentators reacted to this tweet from Gareth Morgan, Chief Constable of Staffordshire

He is quite clearly stating that available evidence supports the fact that crime reporting has increased rather than crime itself. My own personal opinion, and it is only that, is that CRIME is up. However, many commentators have pointed out (and I am paraphrasing here) that it doesn’t actually make any difference whether it is crime or the reporting of crime that has increased. The end result of either is that a depleted Police Service has fewer officers to investigate a larger number of crimes, however they made their way onto the books.

Surely Chief Constables should be pushing this argument and not appear to side with the government’s “crime is down” mantra. Fewer officers have got a greater workload. How can NPCC, HMIC and HMG not understand that simple fact?

Life on the streets is getting harder by the shift for our fine Police Officers. Every day they have to make a broken Service work.

What they don’t need is Smoke and Mirrors deployed by their own Chief Officers. I absolutely understand that Chief Constables sometimes have to make difficult and unpopular decisions but they do not have to appear as though they are siding with the government. Their loyalty should be with their officers who are striving under unimaginable pressures to serve the Public properly.

Smoke And Mirrors? Meet Mirrors And Smoke

Dear reader I am typing this slowly as I know it’s a dry, boring subject that most of us don’t bother with, but unfortunately for you, I do. You may want to make yourself a cup of strong coffee before you read any further.

I have been looking at the strength of the various Police Forces post 2010.  The Home Office and HMIC like to quote these numbers as “officers per 100,000 head of population”.  I took a small liberty with this and I used “Constables per 100,000 head of population” as I don’t really care how many top-floor oiks there are, it’s the ground floor that interfaces with the public in the important ways.

Having aquired all the relevant data from official government statistics I laid it out and, unsurprisingly, EVERY single Force now has fewer Constables per 100,000 head of population, but the spread is not fair and even. Some have lost a far bigger percentage than others.

The luckiest Forces have only lost about 2% of their Constables (Surrey) , but others have lost as many as 30% (Greater Manchester, Nottinghamshire, West Midlands). The National Average being 20%.

I then thought that I would look and see if this had had a disproportionale or discernible effect on Crime Levels.

This was where I noticed the first anomaly.  The government quotes Police Officer numbers as “Officers per 100,000 head of population” as I mentioned above.

I soon realised that Police Force Crime Rates are quoted a “Crimes per 10,000 head of population”.  Now I know that we’re all capable of putting an extra zero on the end and making them comparable, but it could be deemed a bit more devious than that.

Measure Police Officers per 100,000 head of population gives you a bigger number, psychologically more acceptable. Dare I say “a good thing”. Makes it sound like more officers than if expressed the other way.

Measure Crimes as per 10,000 head of population gives you a smaller number, more acceptable and another “good thing”.  People might even think that crime is down.

When the post 2010, reduced, Police Force numbers are compared to the Crime Rates, MOST Forces have managed to make noticeable reductions in these crime rates.  The reductions go from 2.3% (Cleveland and Northamptonshire), to 29.7% (Cumbria) with the National Average being 11.6%.  However some have suffered increased Crime Rates between 3.4% (Merseyside) and 22.2% (Staffordshire).

The above results were judged against Office of National Statistics / Crime Survey of England & Wales data, the government’s preferred ‘official’ datase, and definitely caused me to wonder why two datasets that are obviously intertwined are expressed differently by a factor of 10.  If you wanted your audience to understand would you not use the same units for both datasets, thus enabling an obvious and instant comparison?

I did wonder what the same picture would look like, based on ‘out of favour’ Police Recorded Crime statistics.

Using the ONS/CSEW Statistics only 7 Forces did not show a reduction in the Crime Rate post 2010. Using Police Recorded Crime 24 of them (more than half) failed to show a reduction in the Crime Rate.

Those demonstrating a reduction varied between 2.7% (Nottinghamshire) and 22% (Lincolnshire).  The National Average is an INCREASE of 2.7% per 100,000 head of population. A quite different picture I’m sure you will agree,

My dislike of the ONS/CSEW methodology and resultant statistics is well know to a lot of you, and I know there are many academics out there who have tried to explain it to me and persuade me, but I’m a stubborn old git and I prefer things that can be counted rather than estimated. Police Recorded Crime has been under the spotlight for a few yerars now, and I refuse to believe that they are not somewhere acceptably close to accurate, although CSEW figures and Recorded Crime do sometimes include different categories for some bizarre reason that maybe the Home Office could explain to us.

I have deliberately excluded Fraud, Cyber Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour from both sets of figures.

The ONS/CSEW figures are consistently higher than Recorded Crime figures but their behavious is quite different.  They show a ‘decrease’ in crime which I’m sure many of you do not recognise.  They also paint a picture of most Forces winning the fight against crime and bringing it down.

Police Recorded Crime figures are significantly lower than the ONS/CSEW stats so favoured by government. However, they show that MOST Forces are failing to reduce the Crime Rate.

This is most definitely NOT a criticism of the Police Forces, they have suffered real cuts as referred to above.  The government, in the form of the Home Office, is spinning the figures to make Police Numbers appear better, crime rates appear lower and totally disguises how effective the Forces are being at combatting Crime Rates.

It is time for the government to stop crying “Crime is Down. Police Reform is Working” and deal with the reality of the situation.

Just for the sake of reassurance every single number I have used has been extracted from an official government dataset.  No guessing and estimating here ONS.

Finally, the Force that lost the biggest percentage of its Constables has experienced an INCREASE in crime of 5.2% against the Crime Survery figures and 16.5% against Police Recorded Crime.

Smoke and Mirrors have got nothing on our government.

Crime Is Up, Police Reform Is Working?

Listen to any Tory politician at the moment and they’ve all got the mantra off pat “Crime is down, Police Reform is working”.

Is it? Let’s examine the evidence over the last few years.

This week has seen the release of the latest set of Crime Statistics (up to end of December 2016) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW).  You will no doubt recall that with the discrediting of Police Recorded Crime figures these are the stats that the government like to quote.

Interestingly, and conveniently ignored by the government, the ONS figures are consistently HIGHER than than the discredited Recorded Crime figures.  So if they go up a bit, or come down a bit they are ALWAYS higher than the Police Recorded Crime equivalent.

And it didn’t take long following the release of the latest stats for our revered Policing Minister, Brandon Lewis, to jump in with both feet in a desperate bid to highlight the positives.

Part of the report stated

Comparable figures from the CSEW showed no statistically significant change compared with the previous year’s survey.

The best thing that Mr Lewis could trawl up in a vain attempt to counter that and keep the mantraalive was

Overall, according to Recorded Crime, crime is up by 9%

The police recorded a total of 4.8 million offences in the year ending December 2016, an annual rise of 9%. However, the large volume increases driving this trend are thought to reflect changes in recording processes and practices rather than crime.

Just how much longer can the ONS and the tired Tory party keep rolling out the “improved recording methods” excuse? In contrast to the ‘evil’ Police figures, CSEW declares in excess of 6 million crimes of all sorts, PLUS a further 5 million+ offences of fraud and cyber crime.

Almost all categories of crime recorded by CSEW/ONS are UP, but Brandon Lewis has this to say

Interestingly (to me at least) the ONS/CSEW data itemises crimes such as Theft of Bicycle but intriguingly does not have a seperate category for Knife Crime, strange that.  If it doesn’t get measured it can’t go up I guess.  They stopped recording that a couple of years agofor some reason.

So what is our response to this increase in crime?  Mrs May, when she was Home Secretary, instructed the Police to cut back on the use of one of the most valuable tools in their toolbox, Stop and Search.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has unveiled a series of measures which will scale back the way police can stop and search suspects.

Tougher thresholds will mean officers in England and Wales are able to use the most controversial form of stop and search powers much less frequently. Mrs May said use of stop and search had become an “unacceptable affront to justice”

Well let me tell you Mrs May, Stop and Search, used correctly and lawfully, is a valuable tool in the fight against weapons, drugs and property crime (theft, Going Equipped to Steal etc). The answer is NOT to cut back on its use but to ensure that it is applied CORRECTLY.

I have had a sneaky peep at the levels of crime over the past few years and the use of Stop and Search, and it looks like this


Surely it can be no coincidence that at a time when Stop and Search reduces nationally, crime starts to rise again?   The graph above was created using Police data, the CSEW figures suggest a small drop in the overall crime rate, but at a rate significantly higher than Police figures.  On that scale CSEW figures would be off the top of the chart.

Just in case you don’t think that the drop-off in Stop in Search is very dramatic, that is an illusion of the scale of the chart.

On its own, for a single force it looks more like this:-

Still think it’s not very dramatic?  They’re not all this dramatic, but they are all a similar shape.

It was 2014 when Mrs May decreed that there should a cutback in Stop and Search.  Look at the national graph above.  When did crime begin to increase again?  How long have the Tories been telling us that Crime is Down, Police Reform is Working?

I would dare to suggest that that particular mantra is fundamentally and fatally flawed and they need a new one.

May I suggest Crime Is Up and Police Reform is Not Working?

Reform Is Down, Crime Is Working

Well, honestly, it makes much more sense than the Crime Is Down, Reform Is Working mantra that we’re used to getting rammed down our throats doesn’t it?

On the matter of “REFORM” my view is clear, I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll have to say it again, but ‘Reform’ is simply NOT working, and it is not working on so many levels.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Reform:-

Make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.

Please tell me in which areas the Police Service has been improved because I’m struggling to think of one this morning.  Which other Public Service has been improved by Tory Reforms?  Again I’m struggling.  NHS, Fire & Rescue Service, Coastguard, Education, Justice have all been hugely improved by the Tories since 2010.  Armed Forces?  Don’t get me going on that one, suffice to say I don’t believe that successive governments have invested sufficiently in the Armed Forces.

There are some things in life that the government (of any hue) simply has to afford.

For as long as I can remember we have been subjected to politician after politician, PCC after PCC telling us that Crime Is Down.

Is it?

The government’s current favourite, the Crime Survey for England and Wales has this to say about Police Recorded Crime

The police recorded 4.5 million offences in the year ending March 2016, an annual rise of 8%. However, this series is not considered a reliable indicator of trends in crime; most of the latest rise is thought to be due to improved crime recording practices and processes leading to a greater proportion of reports of crime being recorded in the last year than in the previous year.

So, Front Line Police say that Crime Is Up, but we don’t like that so we’ll go with the CSEW version

Latest estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), the best measure of crime trends for the population and offences it covers, showed a 6% fall in the number of incidents against adults for the survey year ending March 2016 (6.3 million, compared with 6.8 million in the previous survey year).

So, let me get this straight, the CSEW figures show that crime is at a level approx 50% higher than Police Recorded Crime but because it shows a small dip, and Police Stats can’t be trusted, the CSEW version suits their soundbites better.

How does “Crime is down but it’s much higher than the Police think it is” sound?

My final Gripe Of The Day is violent crime in London and the Police & Government response to it.

The charts below relate to the last 12 months, see what you think

KNIFE CRIME


GUN CRIME


STOP AND SEARCH


In response to such awful gun and knife crime figures, what do we do?  We reduce Stop and Search by about 70% is what we do.

The blue line looks better, we’ve improved our arrest rate from 8.3% to 19%, well done everyone.  By my lack of a degree reckoning 8.3% of 533 thousand is about 44,000.  Whereas 19% of 160 thousand is about 30,000.  Not looking so impressive now is it?  Contrary to how the chart looks, arrests are actually DOWN by about HALF.

What do the government have to say about that?  Absolutely NOTHING.  They have a vision for how the Police Service should look and what it should do and they’re not going to deviate from that, and heaven forbid that should actually listen to the practitioners.

So, YES, Reform IS Down and Crime IS Working, particularly gun and knife crime.  How on earth can they just sit quietly and ignore all those shattered or damaged lives?

This tweet just about says it all for me

Can Anyone In The Home Office Actually Read?

Just three short days ago Theresa May repeated her boring, rigid, pointless mantra that “Crime is falling”.

On a visit to Portsmouth University to promote her latest cracking idea, using unpaid volunteers to investigate certain types of crime she said

Crime is falling, but crime is changing and increasingly crime is moving online

With the fast pace of change in technology, it’s important police forces are able to keep up with that.  We’ve got a long-standing tradition of specials, people actually coming forward and helping the police. The police are the public, the public are the police.

Three short days ago she still maintained that crime is falling.

I can only assume that neither she nor her advisors have seen any of the following;

From April 2015 – Crime rises for first time in more than a decade

Overall increase in recorded crime reflects surges in violence and sex offences, latest official data from the Office for National Statistics shows.

From July 2015 – First knife crime rise in four years.

From October 2015 – Crime rate to rise by 40% after inclusion of cyber-offences

From November 2015 – Hate crime against disabled people rises 41 per cent in one year

From yesterday – Homicides in England and Wales up 14%

And from today – Violent crime jumps 27 per cent in new figures released by the Office for National Statistics

Not forgetting the best of the lot – The Home Office doesn’t understand the police cuts it is making, watchdog says

There are several more examples over an extended period of time, but the government in general and the Home Office specifically chooses to ignore it all and simply accuse us of crying wolf, well, there’s none so deaf as those who don’t want to hear.

#NotCryingWolf