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It’s official! Crime figures ARE being fiddled by forces across the country with police officers being compelled to hit performance targets and put in fear of ‘blowing the whistle’ by senior officers who will not hesitate to marginalise and ruin the careers of those who dare to speak out.
Initial denials from Chief Officers are now being gradually replaced by grudging admissions that the police recorded crime numbers have been fiddled for years to convey the impression that forces are performing better than they are and that crime is down.
Events of recent months, in particular the revelations from Officers called as witnesses to the Public Administration Select Committee Inquiry into Police Recorded Crime, have confirmed what we knew to be true all along. Crime numbers recorded by the police have been shown to be ruthlessly and perniciously fudged, fiddled and manipulated.
The only beneficiaries of this corrupt practice are the Chief Officers who created, oversaw or condoned the tactics and the politicians who have proudly and falsely espoused the dramatic decline of crime thanks to their efforts. Chief Officers and their command team supervisors have been paid up to 15% bonus on top of their already hefty salaries to show that crime has fallen.
Bernard Jenkin, the Chairman of the PASC group summed up the reaction to hearing the truth about police recorded crime :
“I want to put on record how grateful I am for the written evidence we have received and how, personally, I am truly shocked by what I have read, for two reasons: shocked that apparently such manipulation of police statistics could possibly happen on such a wide scale and become so institutionally prevalent, and shocked that we have known about it for such a long time and so little has changed as a result of that public knowledge of this problem. This is a really savage thing to say—that we cannot trust the leadership of our constabularies to measure their own performance. This is what we pay Chief Constables to do”.
|Bernard Jenkin MP - Chair of PASC|
He went on to say:-
“I personally am in no doubt that political leadership has played a big part in the decline of policing standards and the standards of behaviour in the police that you have described. Personally, I would like to apologise on behalf of politicians of all parties, who are responsible for creating this atmosphere in which targets must be achieved, creating the perverse incentives that have created this situation. This must be addressed by the political class as well as the police”.
How pleasing to hear a politician apologise collectively for the malaise the police service finds itself in today.
However, more than an apology is required to put this right.
This coalition government included police service and personnel cuts in the spending review, largely on the basis of fudged crime statistics over the last twenty years. More so, ACPO & command team ranks profited by 15% bonuses to show that crime was falling when clearly the true picture was very different. What is more, there are some politicians who MUST HAVE KNOWN the numbers were fudged, but used them to accelerate their plan to slash the financials in the job.
Bernard Jenkin is a ray of hope. He seems totally unfazed by whoever is in front of him and challenges every witness to reveal all, which is particularly pleasing when Chief Officers are in the firing line.
What we would like to see is PASC drag Nick Herbert (the policing minister at the time of the comprehensive spending review), Theresa May, Damien Green over the coals, and demand to know how much they knew about the rigging of the stats before they imposed the cuts to the service. They are responsible for the malaise.
Then, we would like to see a root and branch investigation into identifying the extent of the corruption from Chief Officer down. They should check each Chief’s antecedent history, where did they come from, was the fiddling evident in their prior forces? If so, they’ve brought their tactics and strategies with them. They cannot be exonerated from responsibilities, they must be brought to account for the damage they have done to the service. The rank and file cannot be held responsible for the tactics of their so called leaders. They do what they are ordered to do and pressured not to buck the system their Chiefs have created.
All of this leaves the public short changed on the service their taxes pay for and it is a major cause of the decimation of officer morale.
It’s a long hard fight and our sites, articles and efforts play a small part in the reforms that are essential if we are to get back to the job we joined and loved, that the public had confidence in.
Realistically, I doubt that day will ever fully return, but to stand by knowing what we do, and then doing nothing would be irresponsible.
Stay safe guys
Retired West Mids DC