The Crime Prevention Website

Those of you who follow my News page may have caught sight of my 22 Jan article entitled ‘Is Crime Data Important?’ where I pointed out that politicians and those ‘in charge’ of policing (Internationally) regularly get the crime data wrong.  You’ll also have noticed that I’ve posted up a link to the latest results of the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), which I might add is continuing to report a regular downward trend in most crime categories – excellent news!

Well, I must have been looking through my crystal ball, because yesterday, while watching the BBC News Channel, I came across this story about a discrepancy between the CSEW and Police recorded crime figures. 

The news item I watched showed Office for National Statistics (ONS) statistician, John Flatley, talking about the discrepancy between police figures showing a 33% reduction in certain categories of crime and the CSEW decline in the same categories of only 17%.  Mr Flatley said that the bigger falls in police-recorded crimes may be due to pressures to meet targets on crime reduction and detections.

He went on to say "It's more the culture and informal pressure of having targets and expectations.”

The ONS also suggested that more low-level crimes were being dealt with informally and outside the formal crime-recording system, with officers given greater discretion.

Mr Flatley said it was also "possible" that reductions in police budgets and [number of] officers meant fewer offences were being recorded and he went on to say that as resources were more stretched the balance shifts to less compliance with crime-recording systems.

You will forgive me for coming to the obvious conclusion, but it seems to me that as the government is reducing policing budgets so the police are recording fewer crimes. If the government carry on reducing police budgets then before long we won’t have any crime at all!

On a more serious note this sort of news has slightly marred what are otherwise welcomed and real reductions in crime brought about in a large part by police officers and PCSOs working under a great deal of pressure.  So I do hope these discrepancies are explained as soon as possible.

Full story at BBC News

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