|Bernard Jenkin MP|
Friday, 24 January 2014
Another excellent site http://justiceandchaos.blogspot.co.uk/
Thursday, 23 January 2014
Interesting crime figures. Unlike a decade or two ago, the majority of BBC writing these days is disappointingly tendentious. Nevertheless, this gives the figures for 2006-2012:
Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) - 17% fall in crime.
Police statistics - 33% fall.
Personally, I doubt crime has changed at all - up or down. Nevertheless, it's a rather suspicious divergence - presided over by Commissioners Blair, Stephenson and Hogan-Howe.
As for the lowest estimated crime since 1981, don't make me chuckle. It's all in the way they're (not) recorded. I am a constable in the Metropolitan Police Service and when I report a crime such as a burglary, for example, I often find the offence later changed without my intervention. A burglary mysteriously transmutes, as by alchemy, into a theft and a criminal damage. A street robbery changes as if by magic into a 'snatch theft'. The logic behind this process: burglaries and robberies are graded as more serious than theft or criminal damage.
Sometimes a crime even turns into a 'crime-related incident' – a non-crime!
And there are other tricks:
If a victim decides they no longer support police action, the case will fold and it counts as an 'undetected crime'. To expunge this black mark on the books, constables are ordered to take a 'no-crime statement' from the victim. This amounts to saying, “I'm sorry I phoned the police. It was a false allegation.” The crime can then be taken off the system, as if it never happened.
One has to admire the creativity of the analysts and officers who think up this chicanery.
I need to emphasize that constables cannot argue against this. We find it extremely distasteful but our hands are tied. The instructions are filtered down from The Powers That Be, reaching the constables in email form. Often the email states:
“Robberies are too high. DO NOT create a robbery report without first liaising with the Robbery Squad DS.”
The principle here is that the Robbery Squad Detective Sergeant is expected to find creative ways to reduce her robbery figures. She is under pressure to persuade the victim that his robbery never happened. OR, click a button on the crime-reporting system to transform a crime into a non-crime.
My constable colleagues and I feel nothing but disgust for these practices. Many of us have been telling everyone who will listen about this for decades - I'm fed up of banging my drum about it. So why has this only just come to light?
Tom Winsor and others are subtly hinting that the constables are responsible. Mr Winsor, please try to understand that police senior managers rule with iron fists and in the Met at least, they have it all sewn up. They cannot bear dissent, and absolutely cannot bear light being shone upon their venality and incompetence.
It's only the senior officers who are strongly motivated to do this. They have a lot to lose – acquiring more crowns and braid on their smoothly pumiced shoulders, and a better pension, depends on them showing that their teams have hit their targets. Those of us without stripes, pips or crown on our rather tired and rounded shoulders are simply trying to pay our mortgages and get through each day safely and without having to explain the lack of resources too many times to frustrated members of the public.
Thursday, 23 January 2014
England and Wales crime falls to lowest level in 32 years .... Are they pulling our tadgers or what??
|Latest crime figures - still cooking the books!|
You can stop laughing now! Read on mcduff....
While the headline figure is down, detailed police recorded crime figures show ‘signs of increasing upward pressure’ in specific austerity-related crimes.
Crime has fallen by an unexpected 10% over the last year, with 8m offences estimated by the authoritative Crime Survey of England and Wales – the lowest level since it started 32 years ago.
Over all the years I have been analysing recorded crime, crime in general and detections, I have less faith in the Crime Survey than I do in recorded crime.
Whilst I believe the numbers are probably closer to the real picture with the survey at 8million crimes per year, one simple question has always screamed out at me…
If the survey only deals with the responses from 50,000 respondents, many of whom were not actually victims of crime, how the heck do they arrive at any sort of national figure other than by “best guessing?”
•In accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007, statistics based on police recorded crime data have been assessed against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and found not to meet the required standard for designation as National Statistics. The full assessment report can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website. Data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales continue to be badged as National Statistics.
•ONS will continue to publish and provide commentary on police recorded crime data pending consultation with users about their needs for such data in the light of the forthcoming inspection of data integrity being carried out by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. Further information on the interpretation of recorded crime data is provided in the User Guide to Crime Statistics for England and Wales.
•Latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimate that there were 8.0 million crimes against households and resident adults in the previous twelve months, based on interviews with a nationally representative sample** in the year ending September 2013. This was down 10% compared with the previous year’s survey, and is the lowest estimate over the history of the survey, which began in 1981. *** (THIS IS THE CRUX OF IT! A representative sample? 50,000 respondents enables them to guess at 8 million??. That is like in my business, asking 10 insurance brokers how many policies they think they will sell, then basing my actual sales performance on that instead of the REAL sales my 2,000 broker customers will actually sell).
Politicians! One system is shown to be bent, so the back up one was always considered more reliable anyway!!
•The reduction of crime measured by the CSEW was led by statistically significant decreases in both household (vehicle and property related) crime and personal (theft from the person and violent) crime. Household crime was down 10%, while personal crime was down 9%.
(That’s not what recorded crime is indicating!!)
•The police recorded 3.7 million offences in the year ending September 2013, a decrease of 3% compared with the previous year.
3.7million vs 8million… Go on lads, have a guess, any old number will do, the public haven't got a clue anyway we've been fudging for so long!
BOTH of these systems are absolutely useless and worthless measures of real crime in England & Wales. The fact is the service has lost much of its credibility and the survey is just that, a survey, and a pretty pathetic representative one at that.
Scrap both of them. Wipe the slate clean. Admit the books have not only been cooked, they’re burnt to a cinder, which is all they’re good for, fuel for the fire.
Start again, afresh, with all the incentives to manipulate removed. Score no points for fallacious crime reductions and detection increases. Let’s get to the truth once and for all. Only by arriving at that juncture will PCC’s , the Government, Police leaders and we, the tax payers know more precisely what resources are actually needed to provide an adequate policing solution. Anything less remains a fudge with which politicians will continue their mantra that the service can achieve more with less.
Tuesday, 21 January 2014
Reposted from an excellent site at http://retiredandangry.wordpress.com/
This Is How We Know #CrimeStat Fudging Has Been Going On For Years
I very nearly said “Damn” when I saw this.
Mr Tom Winsor, Head Fred at HMIC, said in May 2013, “Police could be fiddling crime figures, watchdog warns” Tom Winsor, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said he wanted to review how all the country’s police forces record crimes amid concerns officers are deliberately changing statistics.
In November last year our own Constable James Patrick, and Dr Roger Patrick (no relation) appeared before Bernard Jenkin MP’s Public Administration Select Committee and told the Committee of their concerns that Police Crime Stats were being ‘fudged’. James was brave indeed and informed the Committee EXACTLY how it was being done, Dr Roger Patrick, broadly speaking, backed up James’ allegations adding his own two pennyworth with definitions and examples of Cuffing, Stitching, Skewing and Nodding.
The other invited witnesses giving evidence that day did nothing to contradict what Messrs Patrick were stating and Committee Members were left suitably aghast that this was going on.
One very high-ranking officer, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM later told the PASC that some of the claims were “worthy of further investigation” but that he needed “to hear more detail”……. “On occasion there might be some inaccuracy but I think on the whole there’s a truth there we need to hear.”
The commissioner said he had not spoken to PC Patrick about his claims but that the Met would in due course. An internal inquiry, led by deputy commissioner Craig Mackey, has been launched into around 20 claims made by the officer. “If he has been making these claims for a long time it would have been best they were resolved before now,” Sir Bernard added.
Tom Winsor, who as Chief Inspector of Constabulary for England and Wales, is leading an inquiry into crime statistics, told the committee he was in no doubt it would uncover “some fiddling of the figures“.
So far, so good, this much we know.
Then I was browsing t’interweb and I came across an old article in The Torygraph dated 5th December 2009. Much of the article consisted of allegations about crime stat fudging from the very same Dr Roger Patrick, with his Cuffing, Skewing, Nodding and Stitching.
But it also contained some very damning specifics;
In one case, an offender shot at another man at close range but missed and broke a window behind his target. The offence was recorded as criminal damage rather than attempted murder.
One detective, who declined to be named, said: “Name any crime and I’ll tell you how it can be fiddled.”
Simon Reed, vice-chairman of the Police Federation, which represents front line officers, said: “This research demonstrates that senior officers are directing and controlling widespread manipulation of crime figures. “The public are misled, politicians can claim crime is falling and chief officers are rewarded with performance-related bonuses.”
Denis O’Connor, the [then] Chief Inspector of Constabulary, published an official report into the way police record violent crime and admitted the figures may be skewed by “perverse incentives” around government performance targets.
Dr Patrick found that watchdogs such as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) and the Police Standards Unit had a “general tendency to underplay the scale and nature” of gaming.
He was scathing of HMIC’s failure to tackle the problem, noting there were no examples of chief police officers being publicly criticised by inspectors for this type of crime figure manipulation.
HMIC tended privately to refer examples of widespread gaming to the Home Secretary or the police authority rather than “hold the chief constable to account” because of the risk of political embarrassment, he said.
Dr Patrick concluded that HMIC inspectors should be made accountable to Parliament rather than the Home Office, and suggested they should be drawn from other professions rather than solely from senior police ranks. [well that bit happened]
So there we are, all of this was known and brought to the attention of HMIC in 2009, and only now is their Head Fred pontificating on it and thinking that it might well happen. Professional #epicfail by HMIC? Own Goal?
Call it what you want, I call it disgraceful. I would respectfully suggest that this totally vindicates PC James Patrick and how the hell can senior officers like BHH claim that they were unaware of the scale of the problem? Founder members of the Ostrich Club? How dare any one of them criticise James Patrick and any other officers facing a similar dilemma when this has been know for YEARS.
It didn’t start in 2009, it’s been going on for decades. It isn’t helped by successive Home Secretaries introducing different Counting Rules, political interference at its worst and most irresponsible.
Even former Commissioner Lord Stevens has now weighed in to the debate.
There’s the evidence, been going on for years, and it’s an absolute bloody disgrace that HMIC sit in judgement but appear at face value to have completely ignored Dr Patrick’s 2009 findings. Surely an enquiry into figures can’t take 5 years can it?
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
The gold-standard "national statistics" status has been withdrawn from police recorded crime figures following repeated allegations that some of the quarterly published figures have been subject to "a degree of fiddling".
The UK Statistics Authority said it had taken the decision as a result of "accumulating evidence" that the underlying data on crimes recorded by the police may be unreliable.
To read the UK Statistics Authority report detailing their decision click the link below:-
The decision by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) to withdraw national statistics designation from all crime data recorded by the police will intensify concern about trust in the police.
He added: “The authority has ... removed the national statistics designation from statistics based on recorded crime data until such time as ONS, working with the Home Office, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, or other appropriate bodies, is able to demonstrate that the quality of the underlying data, and the robustness of the ongoing audit and quality assurance procedures, are sufficient to support the production of police recorded crime statistics to a level of quality that meets users’ needs.”
At last, recognition from the statistics watchdog that what we have espoused from this site for many years is based in fact, police recorded crime has for many years been perniciously and ruthlessly manipulated and fiddled.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
The Chief Officers of the 43 police forces of England and Wales must now accept responsibility for either creating, or at the very least, condoning the corrupt strategies that have led us to this mess. It is THEY who have been promoted, received 15% bonuses on top of already exorbitant salaries, whilst they pressured rank and file officers to compromise their integrity carrying out their scandalous tactics.
Politicians of all colours down the years have used the fallacious fantasy of declining crime to further their political aims and careers. There can be no doubt that the cuts in officer numbers and resources were largely based on many years of fiddled crime statistics.
WHO HAS SUFFERED?
Many thousands of victims of crime whose plight has not been taken seriously. The tax paying public have been left vulnerable with a dramatically weakened "Thin Blue Line" of officers left to perform the work required. The rank and file officers, whose morale has sunk to unimaginably low ebbs, thanks in no small way to the arrogance and criminally corrupt practices of their seniors. They have seen their numbers depleted to dangerously low levels, sanctioned by politicians who tried to convince the general public that the police service could do more with less.
WHAT MUST HAPPEN NOW?
There must be a root and branch investigation, tracing back senior officer antecedents to their prior forces. If they fiddled in their current force, they will have brought the disease of their corruption with them from their prior placements. These officers must be brought to account. Their actions are nothing less than corruption. Those responsible for the malaise are not fit for leadership in the highest and most trusted of public offices. They are not police officers as we expect them to be, above reproach, but lower than the criminal fraternity we pay them to protect us from.
Politicians who sought to use recorded crime statistics to con the public crime was falling and then to slash officer numbers and resources to danger point, namely those in office now and under the previous Labour Government must not be allowed to walk away scot free. They too have benefitted by spinning the lie that they MUST have known was in fact the biggest "Crime Of The Century".
Today was a good day. Not the end of the fight by any means, but a bloody nose to those who would practice this corrupt and divisive activity. The books must start again, but not until the public can have confidence in the probity of the numbers. ONLY THEN, may we finally get the police service and criminal justice system this country deserves and needs.
WITH THANKS TO:-
PC James Patrick - Who showed courage and integrity so lacking in his seniors, by standing bravely in front of the PASC review to expose this rot.
Retired DCI Rodger Patrick - Who for ten years has devoted so much of his life to this cause, to finally prize open the can of worms and reveal the truth about police recorded crime.
Bernard Jenkin MP - Who stood firm in the face of the denials from Chief Officers and politicians, determined the truth would be heard.
ALL POLICE BLOGGERS - Many of whom had their careers blighted in their brave efforts to blow the whistle on the activities of their bosses. Thank you Copperfield, Nightjack, Gadget, and others too numerous to mention.
ALL RANK & FILE OFFICERS - Who face the pits and dangers of our communities day in, day out, having also to contend with Chief and SMT Officer practices that must have left them sick to the stomach with their professional integrity threatened and in tatters.
Everyone that has contributed or supported the cause of truth this far.
Today brings hope for the future, let us pray that it is the spark to ignite the flames of badly needed reform.
Stay safe guys
Retired West Midlands Police Officer
Tuesday, 14 January 2014
People respond to incentives!
So if you accept that people do indeed respond to incentives, then you would hope that the target that has been agreed has been properly thought out. In the policing context, the obvious example is the target of ‘reducing crime’. To the vast majority of us, this would actually mean a reduction in the number of victims, however, to many – including ACPO – this just means recording fewer crimes. I hope the difference is obvious!
Now you need to indulge in a bit of role play. Imagine yourself as an ACPO officer (try not to laugh) on the command team of a medium sized force (I’ve been advised to avoid giving an actual example to avoid any ‘pure coincidences’ with reality) charged by the Home Secretary of reducing crime. You have been an Assistant Chief Constable (Met equivalent is Commander) with responsibility for Crime in your force. Your ego is only matched by your ambition and you have earmarked a Deputy Chief Constable’s job in a neighbouring force when the existing post-holder retires/dies/gets promoted. The PCC in that new force area is a lovely chap – he was on the Police Authority and has always been a staunch supporter of the Police. Clearly you need to impress him so you can be identified as the ‘favoured candidate’ when the DCC’s job becomes vacant. How can you best do that??
You are aware that this PCC (similar to your own) doesn’t ask awkward questions as it risks upsetting his Chief Constable. In all fairness, the PCC doesn’t understand all those figures and charts so he relies on an ‘executive summary’ of performance to let him know if the force is performing well, particularly well, or spectacularly well. He has seen all of those press and TV articles regarding how Police manipulate statistics but has been completely assured by his ACPO team that they are different – he can trust them implicitly – after all, they are Police Officers. The telephone number of the PCC is available on the force intranet site and he has only received one call from an officer since he took up office. The officer didn’t give his name but insisted that the figures were being fiddled and victims were being neglected as a result. The PCC mentioned it briefly to the Chief Constable at a drinks party who gave him a withering look, told him that everything in the garden was rosy, and he shouldn’t believe a word of it. He decided not to push it further lest he risk the wrath of his good friend the Chief Constable.
Ok – back to you as ACC (Crime). You have sat down with your Chief Superintendents in private and told them that ‘the public’ want to see a reduction in crime and that ‘one way or another’ it was their job to deliver exactly that – you don’t care how it happens as long as it happens soon. They are ambitious themselves and are clearly willing to compete to win his recommendation to attend the Senior Command Course – thus making them eligible to apply to be ACC’s too. You have also been feverishly ‘raising your own profile’ by attending large briefings and espousing your zero-tolerance to crime and your ethical approach to crime recording. Some of you might now have spotted this unusual strategy of insisting recorded crime is reduced ‘one way or another’ in private but in a more public setting where less controllable officers are present, that integrity is paramount and he will not tolerate anyone manipulating statistics etc. I’m sure that this is not some form of multiple personality disorder, but rather it is the hunger of a man desperate to succeed at any cost.
Spookily enough the Chief Superintendents have very similar private/public conversations themselves. The same scenario is repeated throughout the ranking structure until you get to those who actually do the work and deliver the service i.e. Constables and Sergeants. As a result, the real message encourages crimes to go unrecorded or downgraded, and victims are ignored or given a sub-standard service. However, lets look on the bright side. You have delivered a 15% reduction in (recorded) crime and the neighbouring PCC has been made aware that you are a ‘can-do guy’. You are selected as his Deputy Chief Constable and you look forward to an even deeper pile carpet in your new office.
Within a few weeks of taking on your new role you are informed that HMIC will be visiting your old force soon in their on-going Crime Data Accuracy programme of audits. You are not in the least bit worried. You have hundreds of witnesses who will attest to your stirring speeches insisting on integrity and accurate crime recording. Don’t you just love that plausible deniability??
And so it goes on.
If things are to change – ethical behaviour must be incentivised. I’m guessing that any such approach would need to include both a carrot and a stick as neither is mutually exclusive. Looking at the personality-types involved it might be prudent to harness their shameless ambition. The carrot could be that demonstrably ethical crime recording and transparency is a pre-requisite for further promotion, whilst the stick could be misconduct for something like misfeasance in a public office if further manipulation is identified. Clearly HMIC has a huge opportunity to change things here for the better – the fact that Tom Winsor is not an ACPO officer might (for the first time?) work to his benefit!
Monday, 13 January 2014
|Click image to see larger|
|Bernard Jenkin MP - Chair of PASC|
Friday, 10 January 2014
Lord Stevens admits police have been 'fiddling' crime figures for years
One of Britain's most prominent policing figures, Lord Stevens, tells MPs there must be an urgent inquiry into the way police massage crime data
Scotland Yard chief admits claims of crime figure manipulation contain some truth
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, the head
of the Metropolitan Police, tells MPs he is concerned by warnings of widespread
manipulation of crime figures
Britain’s most senior policeman
has performed a U-turn over the reliability of Scotland Yard’s crime figures.
Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe admitted
allegations by one of his own police constables that statistics are routinely
fiddled contained a “truth we need to hear”.
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s comments to a committee of MPs came just over a month after he insisted his force's crime figures were "competent and reliable".
The senior officer also appeared to acknowledge that Pc James Patrick - who first made the allegations of widespread manipulation - could be described as a “whistleblower”, even though the constable is currently facing disciplinary proceedings for speaking out.
Appearing at Commons’ public administration select committee inquiry into crime figures, Sir Bernard was asked how accurate he thought Mr Patrick’s claims had been.
“On the whole there is a truth there that we need to hear,” he said.
“Some of them are worthy of further investigation. Some of them are incomplete, and occasionally there may be some inaccuracy.
“I don’t want to give any impression that I’m not concerned about this.”
Sir Bernard also confirmed he had mistakely quoted from a summary of a report by the inspector of constabulary which described the Met’s systems as “competent and reliable” when, in fact, the full report said there was cause for concern.
Bernard Jenkin MP, the chairman of the committee, asked the commissioner if he was alarmed that Mr Patrick had been raising his concerns about mis-recording of crime for “many, many years”.
“If somebody has been making these claims for a long time it would be better if it had been resolved by now,” said Sir Bernard.
“We are looking at what we do with whistleblowers.”
Mr Jenkin accused the commissioner of being “defensive” about his force’s record on crime figures.
Last November Mr Patrick told MPs he became concerned after joining the force in 2009 and finding robberies being logged as “snatch theft”, a less serious crime, in order to massage the figures.
Massaging statistics to hit performance targets had become “an engrained part of policing culture”, he said.
After analysing the recording of serious sexual offences he concluded that in 80 per cent of cases recorded as “no crime”, the designation was “incorrect”.
His evidence to the committee was quickly followed by an admission from Mick Creedon, the chief constable of Derbyshire force, that "inadvertent" pressure from senior officers meant statistics did not depict the true level of crime in Britain.
Tom Winsor, the chief inspector of constabulary, told MPs he had launched an inquiry into the way all 43 forces in England and Wales record crime.
He said: "I am not anticipating we will find institutional corruption. I will be extremely surprised if we do."
But he added that he did expect there will be isolated examples of "dishonesty".
Earlier this week a former Met commissioner admitted the police regularly fiddle crime figures.
Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, who ran the Metropolitan Police for six years, said officers on the ground had warned him that massaging of crime statistics is the “biggest scandal coming our way”.
Inquiry into police crime
figures 'expected to find degree of fiddling'
MPs he does not expect investigation will find inaccurate recording of crime is
owing to institutional corruption.
An official investigation into
the integrity of police recorded crime figures in all 43 forces in England and
Wales is expected to find "a degree of fiddling", some of it owing to
dishonesty, the police watchdog, Tom Winsor, has told MPs.
But Winsor, who is Her Majesty's
Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC), said he had no expectations that the inquiry,
which is to issue an interim report in the spring, would conclude that the
inaccurate recording of crime by police was owing to "institutional
He told the Commons public
administration select committee on Wednesday that the HMIC investigation, which
is already under way, would establish the extent to which police recorded crime
figures are being fiddled and help answer the "real question" of
whether crime was truly falling or the statistics were being fiddled.
"I have no doubt we will find
a degree of fiddling of the figures. The question is to establish the extent to
which they are fiddled," said Winsor. He said he thought a lot of it was
due to poor supervision, poor leadership and poor training but added that
"some of it is about dishonesty".
At the same hearing, the
Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, acknowledged that PC
James Patrick, who has raised concerns over the integrity of the police crime
statistics, was a whistleblower. He said that while there were some
inaccuracies in the allegations made by Patrick, "on the whole there's a
truth we need to hear".
The Met commissioner said an
internal inquiry had been launched into 20 claims made by Patrick, which would
report in three to six months' time. The police officer who went to the MPs
with his claims is also facing disciplinary proceedings for alleged gross
misconduct, but Hogan-Howe said he would not be suspended while the
investigations were carried out.
Patrick has claimed the Met
manipulated crime figures to meet its performance targets and crimes such as
sexual offences were understated in official figures by up to 25%.
Hogan-Howe said ensuring recorded
crime figures were accurate was a constant challenge and some of Patrick's
claims were worthy of further investigation.
"Some of them are
incomplete. I think he gives one side of the account and you would want to hear
a bigger account before you accepted his judgment. On occasion there might be
some inaccuracy but I think on the whole there's a truth that we need to
He said the
"no-criming" of rape and other serious sexual offences had gone down
from 20% of cases to 9% but was still a cause of concern. The Met is to review
cases involving allegations of serious sexual offences that were
"no-crimed" in the past two years in an attempt to establish why that
Hogan-Howe said the complexity of
the crime-recording rules – they run to more than 600 pages – and problems with
technology may be partly to blame for the flaws in the recorded crime figures
but he was determined to ensure their integrity.
Wednesday, 8 January 2014
Click the link below to watch the full proceedings.
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