Crime figures are as unreliable as the weather

crime-report“I have been involved with the Criminal Justice System as Prosecutor and Defender for about 23 years.

Claims that crime has fallen have been made consistently since the mid 1990’s. Whilst it has changed by virtue of the modern world introducing DNA and other scientific factors, there will always be crime. Methods for calculating crime are not uniform across the country and also vary according to changing Govt policy.

For example, at one moment in recent times, Police are told to caution people more frequently, rather than prosecuting them. Then, upon finding that really quite serious matters like Rape and Grievous Bodily Harm have simply been ‘cautioned’ the Govt of the day reverses the policy. Then more recently along comes ‘Community Resolutions.’ These are incidents of almost any sort which are dealt with by way of an apology and are not counted as crimes in the statistics. So that has contributed to an apparent fall in Crime and less being put through the Courts.

There are matters which Police are told to count as ‘Non-Crime’ even though any member of the public would see the matter as a crime. Whilst there has been a gentle fall in general crime, little has been done to cope with financial fraud. The biggest are dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office. They don’t touch anything which is not £ multi-million. Surprisingly little happens in between. The average Police force has no resources and little expertise to cope with it even if they wanted to.

In fact, where there have been police job cuts, both now and in the past, this has generally resulted in less arrests and therefore an apparent fall in crime. So now do you understand?

Crime is not all it seems. The statistics can and have been capriciously manipulated by successive Govts. What we need is a steady and unchanging set of measuring principles. Only then can resources be properly deployed with all that public money it costs.”