Two independent reviews of British crime statistics have given them a clean bill of health. Indeed they reveal and confirm dramatic reductions in recorded crime which has reached the lowest level since 1981. Much of the recent decline in crime can reasonably be attrributed to the policies pursued by the Labour Government since 1997. You might expect the Conservatives to issue a public apology for all its nonsense on the Broken Society, would you not? No chance. I have pointed out the tendancy of the Coalition when caught out in a lie is to lie some more. Strong words, yes! But true.
Here are two examples. A Home Office Minister said it remained true that Britain was one of the most crime ridden societies in the world. Oh, come on. It is universally recognised that international comparisons are notoriously misleading and any quotation must be given with a health warning. I quote one such warning, ‘ Crime statistics are often better indicators of law enforcement and the willingness to report cime than actual prevalence.’ Quite so. In Britain more policemen, more tools at their disposal, CCTV cameras and a big DNA database, more arrests, more people in prison. Secondly, Teresa May is quoted as saying that there is something wrong with these statistics which are known to her and which have eluded the experts and that she is conducting a review of how offences are recorded and presented. Cut it out! You are not a criminologist and certainly not a statistical guru. Of course the police could alter the way they record crime – perhaps they should – BUT even if they did these crimes would still be falling. There is no such problem with the British Crime Survey. The decline in crime is accurately described by the public itself. Don’t take my word for it. Read the reports published yesterday. There are costs in not telling the truth: higher levels of anxiety among the general public than is reasonable and mistrust of the police. My advice to the Coalition is stop lying and live with the truth.