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 😱😱)