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Reform

May 23, 2006
You may have seen the news today, talking about the most dangerous towns and cities in England & Wales.

“Experts” have denounced the figures as being “fundamentally flawed”. I just wonder what the motive is behind the figures.

The “think tank” (my interpretation of this phrase is a group of people with nothing better to do and no job to go to) responsible for this startling piece of research are known as Reform.

I’ve had a look at their web site – here are a few snippets from the opening page.

Reform is an independent, non-party think tank whose mission is
to set out a better way to deliver public services and economic
prosperity.

They must be really good at it, because everyone in Government is listening to them and huge strides have been made – NOT!

Our vision is of a Britain with 21st Century healthcare, high standards in schools, a modern and efficient transport system, safe streets, and a free, dynamic and competitive economy.

Hallucinatory drugs are bad for you.

I then moved to the Crime section, which is where it gets really interesting.

Policing and penal reform are long overdue. Crime in England and Wales is amongst the highest in the developed world.

Hasn’t policing been reformed to death? Penal reform – might be nice. High crime – is that because we are the only country daft enough to record everything that might be a crime, whether it is or not?

On the sidebar, there are links to various topics relating to crime and policing. One of them mentions that another “independent think tank”, namely Civitas, believe that the real level of crime is much higher. Easy assumption to make, but where’s the proof?

Then we get to the “Police” section, where Reform open up with this cracker

The police are responsible for what happens to crime. Rising crime since the 1960s has partly been the consequence of police failure.

WHAT?

They then go on to say

Crime began to fall in the mid-1990s, but since police detection rates also fell over the period from 1991 to 2004 (from 29 to 23 per cent), it is wrong to attribute the fall in crime to police success.

So it’s the fault of the police when crime goes up, but it isn’t anything to do with the police when it goes down. How can that be right?

The site talks about prison and crime rates, drawing the amazing conclusion that crime falls when criminals are locked up. No shit, Sherlock!

Have a look for yourself and let me know what you think.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    May 23, 2006 21:47

    We live in a state of constant reform (god I hate that word!).

    This reform is done soley to get people promotions and to give the impression that we are getting better, leaving any actual good effect as a by-product.

    Easy to do the job, get paid loads and no risk of losing your livlihood when some scrote put in a complaint.

    If there is anything that most bobbies know, it is that figures are meaningless. I studied maths at degree level and stats can be twisted with ease.

    In fact this doesnt even have to be done, Last summer the DCI decided we would crime all robberies as theft from person until corroborating evidence could be found.

    When announced to the troops (who would now have to take on the crimes) it was said it was done to ensure that crimes are recorded properly. Every cynic in the parade room knew that this would be an automatic decrease in a kpi offence as most street robbers will only target lone people.

    The result was of course a reduction in robberies, a smiling DCI (now a Chief Super) in the papers with a great headline.

    We have now gone back to normal (albeit with extra paperwork).

    Ethical crime recording my arse! 🙂

    PC Midlands

  2. Anonymous permalink
    May 24, 2006 11:35

    I am a London based PC and know of one local borough (not the one I work in) who records all robberies as a theft and a common assault, unless there is a suspect arrested.

    Whilst this does of course mean that the borough’s robbery statistics look fantastic, the front line plod now have to put two crime reports on. Oh, and of course the crime figures in other areas shoot up, but that wont bother the DCI in charge of the robbery squad!

    Cant help thinking its wrong somehow…

  3. gonorr permalink
    May 26, 2006 19:23

    there are lies, damned lies and there are statisics.

    I really don’t know how you guys plod on in the face of a growing heap of bull.
    However, I am grateful that you do.

  4. Brent permalink
    May 30, 2006 02:29

    What’s really amazing is crime in the US is falling. Our jails are full, but crime is falling. Coincidence? No, I don’t think so.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    May 30, 2006 18:38

    Gonorr, Thankyou! 🙂

  6. Anonymous permalink
    June 15, 2006 13:59

    See – the problem with falling standards in schools is that “think tanks” (polite way of saying partisan organisations with nothing better to do) can actually get away with corrupting the data to this extent. It is shocking.

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