Last year we had one hell of a kerfuffle over #CrimeStats, they were, quite rightly, shown up by James Patrick for exactly what they are and what they’re worth – Nada.
Any Police Officer or ex Police Officer who chooses to be honest would tell you that at the very least the figures are ‘massaged’ and in the worst case scenarios outright fiddled. I’m absolutely certain that the degree varies from Force to Force, and they may each have their own unique reasons for cooking the books, but I’m equally certain that it’s a universal problem and I’m not convinced it’s properly mended yet.
#CrimeStats are not the only controversial set of figures however. How about Unemployment levels? How ‘fixed’ are they?
For absolutely decades we have seen “Unemployment is down” only for a corresponding increase in the number of sick and incapacitated. There wouldn’t be a connection surely? The government wouldn’t be that cynical would they.
Then DWP decide they want to get people ‘back to work’ off the sick, and Unemployment rises again, but still no connection between the two you understand.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way in favour of fiddling the #CrimeStats, I’ve long since advocated publishing the true figures, good, bad or indifferent, and deal with what comes out. This is also true of Unemployment, Sickness and Incapacity etc. People should not be shuffled off one list onto another to suit the Policy of the Day, but whichever list they happen to be is presumably where they properly belong and steps should be taken within that context to get them back to work if possible, not onto somebody else’s list.
So, if anybody is listening and not too busy banging the table to welcome Mr Camoron into the room (how very childish) (that’s one tradition he doesn’t mind observing but can’t bring himself to thank the Police after the Election) I call the government to get THEIR house into order. The Police are trying to sort the nightmare that is #CrimeStats out and get some accurate figures out, and until they do, we don’t really know whether crime is up or down, I’ve yet to find an accurate method of measuring Unreported Crime. Let the government finally publish ACCURATE figures on Unemployment etc which don’t swing backwards and forwards on a whim.
Not too much to ask is it?