How many times have we heard that in the past few months? Apart from the fact that Crime and Policing seemed to play no part in any party’s manifesto for the 2015 General Election the mantra coming out of the Home Office doors and windows is that Crime Is Down.
Repeat after me, Crime Is Down, Crime Is Down, Crime Is Down. Believing it yet?
The fact that crime is down has been very convenient for the Home Office’s intended policy to reduce the number of Police Officers on our streets. Not only is crime down, but under the Tory-led coalition government since 2010, Police Officers are down, Police Dogs are down, Police Horses are down, Police Helicopters are down, Police Vehicles are down and Police Stations are down. So, all in all it’s a damn good job that crime is down or it could be a bit #awkward for Theresa May.
But that isn’t actually true is it?
Crime has RISEN by 4% in Wales.
Whilst it’s not strictly speaking part of our problem, crime has RISEN by 2.3% in Northern Ireland.
That august, and respected body, the Offiice of National Statistics has published a bold headline story that Crime in England and Wales is down by 7%. This would be the same ONS that declared above that crime had increased by 4% in Wales would it? Crikey, people in England must be experiencing a fantastic reduction to juggle those two arguments then. But then you find the much smaller story in their report that RECORDED CRIME for England and Wales is UP by 2%. The Crime Survey figures for England and Wales do indeed show a reduction, but they also show crime at a MUCH HIGHER level than Recorded Crime, so take your pick.
Next, we have CrimeStatsUk.com who have released figures for the period ending end of March 2015 (see the 2 graphs below) and whether you include Anti Social Behaviour or not, they show a sharp rise at the beginning of 2025 and still rising.
Finally, and most importantly, we have the cops on the ground. I distinct impression from listening to serving Police Officers on Social Media that crime is rising. They may not know the numbers but they do most definitely know how frequently they are called upon to report or investigate a crime. They are perfectly well qualified to comment on whether they are generally busier or not.
To return to the ONS data, if I believe the Crime Survey data just for a moment, it does indeed show a reduction from 2013 to 2014, BUT the Crime Survey figures are more than twice the level of Recorded Crime, so to boldly claim that “crime is down 7%” may be technically accurate it completely ignores the fact that they believe that crime levels are more than twice the level we think they are.
Well spun ONS, I salute you.
You can find the ONS comparison of Crime Survey vs Reported Crime over the years here
Not only do #CutsHaveConsequences but it seems that they are partly based on a false premise.