|Crime and detections have been perniciously fiddled for years!|
It seems that finally, the truth is out that the police reported crime and detection statistics have been ruthlessly and perniciously fudged and fiddled for years!
In a Daily mail article by Jack Doyle http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2267518/Overall-level-crime-falls-record-low-fears-raised-400-000-offences-logged-police.html police are accused of exaggerating the falls in crime.
The FT, Telegraph, Channel 4 and the Guardian all reported similar articles:-
Regular visistors to this site will know I have been demonstrating this for a number of years in the attempt to get someone with the courage to do something about it, to listen and act. Many reports and articles published here, both in prior posts and in greater detail in the view our reports section, illustrate the extent of the scandal and how it is done.
Alan Travis of the Guardian scratches the surface with his comment...
[The figures show] a 41% drop in crime between 2002-03 and 2011-12 for police recorded crime figures, compared with a 26% drop in the crime survey results over the same period.
Statisticians say one explanation for the difference may have been pressure on the police to downgrade incidents in the face of a targets culture. The study says the police figures may overstate the actual long-term fall in crime, especially since 2006-07.
The ONS statisticians say they can't be certain what lies behind this difference but that it could point to a gradual erosion of police compliance with national crime recording standards. Alternatively, it may be the result of "a natural correction" to an over-recording of offences by the police in the early years of the new crime reporting standards. The statisticians say that in the absence of independent audits since 2006-07 it is not possible to give an definitive answer.
The truth is even more explosive and scandalous.
Rodger Patrick, a retired Detective Chief Inspector from the West Midlands Police and a good friend of this site claimed in the Telegraph
that manipulative methods are tacitly approved of by senior officers,
police watchdogs and the Home Office.
The techniques – dubbed “gaming” – are used to create the illusion that fewer crimes are being committed and that a bigger proportion are being solved.
The claims will inflame the debate about crime statistics after recent figures suggested that crime fell four per cent in the second quarter of last year.
The techniques identified by Dr Patrick include:
“Cuffing” – in which officers make crimes disappear from official figures by either recording them as a “false report” or downgrading their seriousness. For example, a robbery in which a mobile phone is stolen with violence or threats of violence is recorded as “theft from the person”, which is not classed as a violent crime.
“Stitching” – from “stitching up”, whereby offenders are charged with a crime when there is insufficient evidence. Police know that prosecutors will never proceed with the case but the crime appears in police records to have been “solved”.
“Skewing” – when police activity is directed at easier-to-solve crimes to boost detection rates, at the expense of more serious offences such as sex crimes or child abuse. This is a major area of statistical manipulation disguised under the heading "Alternative Disposal Methods".
“Nodding” – where clear-up rates are boosted by persuading convicted offenders to admit to crimes they have not committed, in exchange for inducements such as a lower sentence.
Dr Patrick, who researched the subject for a PhD, said: “The academics call this ‘gaming’ but front line police officers would call it fiddling the figures, massaging the books or, the current favourite term, ‘good housekeeping’. It is a bit like the police activities that we all thought stopped in the 1970s.”
The article cited lots of real life examples and one detective, who declined to be named, said: “Name any crime and I’ll tell you how it can be fiddled.”
As a retired Police Officer, for over 5 years now, I have been the author of this blog that specifically exposes the fallacious recording of crime statistics and crime detections over the last twenty years.
A couple of years ago, I was interviewed on the Politics show about the cuts to police numbers http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00c96jz
On the Thin Blue Line I have written many detailed reports and articles exposing the scandal of crime statistics in the UK and these can be viewed via the “View Our Reports” section. I have had many exchanges with Senior Police Officers, Government Ministers, including the former Policing Minister Nick Herbert on the subject of manipulated crime statistics. Unfortunately, no-one seems to have the courage to publicly prize the lid off this can off this particular can of worms for fear of reducing public confidence in the police still further.
Do I believe we are enjoying the lowest levels of crime? Definitely not. Do I believe that Chief Constables and Senior Command Teams have suppressed and manipulated crime statistics AND detections for many years for political and personal financial gain…. without doubt.
Here is a simple scenario backed up by facts that illustrates the point succinctly.
Imagine you are the CEO of a national company with 43 branches (There are 43 police forces in England & Wales). Realistically, you would think that the 43 branches would perform differently. Some would be extremely successful, performing well. Also rans might just be ticking along, but there would also be a bunch of branches that under perform.
Prior to the last Labour Government, this was the case with the 43 police forces. Some were effective at controlling crime levels and increasing detections. Others ticked along while a number had clearly lost control of crime on their patch. Tony Blair and his Home Office ministers introduced performance targetting, which rewarded Chief Officers and their higher level command teams with bonus payments to reflect reduced crime and increased detections. Chief Officers, many with £150k plus packages were paid as much as 15% on top to report reduced crime. Hey presto! Within a few short years ALL 43 FORCES suddenly reported massive reductions in crime and increases in detections. Was this all achieved through more effective policing methods or by embracing the culture of "Gaming" as described above? I'll leave you to come to your own conclusion. Knowing the facts I know what I believe.
The examples illustrated here are merely the tip oif a very corrupt iceberg in policing. I lay no blame at thje door of the frontline officers. They are told how to police. The fact remains that a root and branch exposure of this crime of the century, perpetrated by the most senior police officers is required. Chief Officers will of course refute any such allegations, protecting their career and pension. However there is plenty of front line officer evidence in the reports on this site that confirm that the statistics are not to be trusted.
The scandal has more worrying consequences than have been publicised.
- Knowing or at least suspecting that the books of crime had been well and truly cooked over the years, this Coalition Government chose to use the fallacious crime statistics as a key motivator for including policing in the comprehensive spending review that led to the massive cuts in police resources and frontline officer numbers.
- The police are meant to protect life and property, prevent and detect crime. That is their function, to protect you, me and those who are near and dear to us from the criminal fraternity. This is what the majority of committed police officers want and joined the job to do. Reducing numbers based on fiddled crime statistics ignores this issue completely and endangers the lives and threatens the safety of us all.
- Politicians believe what is in their interests to believe and disregard the rest. FACT. They are not really interested in protecting the public whose votes and taxes keep them in office. They are only interested in spinning the numbers out to represent what they want the public to believe.
For years now, I have advocated that it would take a courageous politician to stand up and be counted and rip this fiasco of crime statistics apart. Decreasing crime is a vote winner, however suspect the numbers. Until that brave person steps forward, confidence in the justice system will never return. The public are no longer fooled by the lies that have been perpetrated. Far better to clear the decks, admit that the numbers are crooked and flawed, then start again with a clean slate. Only then will we know what level of support is truly needed to police the community that way it wants and deserves.
Politicians, Police Commissioners, Her Majesties Inspector of Police... To you all I throw down the challenge... Do you have the honesty, integrity and courage to discover and expose the truth?
For all our sakes, I hope so.
Retired Police Officer
Thin Blue Line