Thursday, 23 January 2014

Are the police fiddling the figures?

On 23 January 2014, the BBC's Graham Satchell reported thus:
"If you believe the official police figures, recorded crime has been falling across the country for years. But should we believe the figures?

The UK statistics Authority has described recorded crime figures as unreliable. And the Chief Inspector of Constabulary who is investigating them at the moment says he expects to find a degree of fiddling, some of it owning to dishonesty...

The government... says repeatedly and proudly that crime has fallen by ten per cent, since they came to power."
In response to this last statement, Dr Rodger Patrick, a policeman for thirty years and now an academic, said:
"Those figures are manipulated and wrong."
SATCHELL: In your view are the police fiddling the figures?
PATRICK: "Yes. That was the conclusion from my research... It's a deception... And quite a wide-ranging one, involving a large number of characters."
SATCHELL: "Dr Patrick claims the police have made crimes disappear to make the figures look better, often under pressure to meet targets. They do it he says in a number of ways including something called cuffing."
PATRICK: "It's named after the magician's art of making something disappear up the cuff... So, it's making crime disappear...

When somebody reports, you don't believe them, so you don't record it. You could reduce it by recording multiple offences in the same street as one offence. If you're going to make that crime disappear and say it never occurred then that clearly is wrong."
SATCHELL: "When today's crime figures are published... they will be done so in the full knowledge that the UK Statistics Authority has said they may be unreliable. It goes to the very heart of the integrity and and trust in the police."
No explanation necessary.

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