This week the Public Administration Select Committee heard shocking revelations that the police “routinely fiddled” crime figures in an attempt to persuade the general public that crime is on the decline.
Not that shocking a revelation to those of us working within this area but the extent of the malpractice is.
Official data shows that recorded crime fell by 5% last year, but police officers gave evidence that there is “institutionalised corruption” and that the manipulation of crime figures is common at every level of every police force in England and Wales.
Although it would be easy to blame the police, and clearly there are real issues when those employed by the state to uphold the law are themselves corrupt, my real concern is why they have been put in this position.
In my humble opinion, it is inevitable that when those in power (the Government), are so focused on statistics those tasked with collecting the data (the police) will be tempted to do all they can to ensure they meet the targets imposed on them, even if this means they have to be dishonest.
This is yet another example of statistics being manipulated to assure us that all’s well in the world when we know full well that it isn’t.
From my experience crime is not in decline but the way in which it is recorded, and dealt with, is being not so subtly massaged.
This supposedly allows us all, night-time burglars apart, to sleep soundly in our beds oblivious to the reality of what’s occurring.
Isn’t it about time that we actually spoke up and told the Emperor that his new clothes aren’t really there?