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

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5 Comments

  1. Retired from the service and now engaged in the real world of ‘public life’, I spent a good 10 years campaigning for reform to the crime recording process via my site at http://www.thinbluelineuk.blogspot.com

    The thrust of my site and discontent was the fudging of crime figures and the negative consequences for the public and the service. The politicians, armed with falling crime figures were able to include policing in the coalition comprehensive spending review, slashing police numbers in the 000’s. It was apparent to all that this would leave the public exposed as they are now to a service less resilient and able to meet public needs.

    10 years of campaigning along with colleagues James Patrick (the met whistle-blower) , and retired Det Insp, Dr Rodger Patrick, we made our evidence submissions, including the criticisms of the divisive 15% Chief Officer incentives, to the Public Affairs Select Committee.

    I penned a blog on this here:-
    http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/caught-red-handed-pasc-committee_9.html

    Bernard Jenkin MP, Chair of the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) said: “Poor data integrity reflects the poor quality of leadership within the police. Their compliance with the core values of policing, including accountability, honesty and integrity, will determine whether the proper quality of Police Recorded Crime data can be restored.”

    This resulted in the Office For National Statistics removing their badge of approval for police recorded crime (Jan 2014), which to my knowledge, has yet to be reinstated.

    http://thinbluelineuk.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/its-official-police-stats-lose-their.html

    Despite all of this, crime recording is only marginally improved and remains an unreliable source. Yet the CSEW figures which are based on a survey of a relatively small percentage of the population are, to my mind even more a piece of guesswork.

    The sad fact is that non recording of crime hides the full extent of what is actually happening out there. Without an accurate picture how can anyone predict with any accuracy what level of resources are required to deal with it?

    The politicians continue to use crime as a tool for their own ends, lying through their teeth to gain popularity.

    Until someone gets a grip of this, with total transparency and honesty, the public and our loyal colleagues are in greater danger than they should be.

    • I have no idea how other Forces fudged their stats but I do know how the Met did it. There used to be an Ethical Audit which highlighted fudging for a number of methods and questions were asked. It worked. Guess what? I don’t think they do it any more

  2. Alan can only agree with both of you.
    You and Steve Bennett are right on the mark.
    The crime stats are a massive con to justify cuts and to appease (lie) to the public so that they are unaware of how bad things actually are.
    But you both say it so much more eloquently than I.

    • Thank you Gordon, totally fed up with the spin, and I’m convinced that the Great British Public would actually prefer the truth, whatever it is

      • Without doubt!
        If they actually knew how much they were being conned by Government I’m sure they would be less than impressed.
        Government, PCC’s and Senior Police management are failing their primary responsibility that is the safety and security of the public!
        That applies to all emergency services, and military.
        Well that’s my little rant!

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