More Statistics. More Lies?

Crime rises 17%!

Crime is down 15%!

A third of crime is not recorded!

Lies, damn lies and statistics. Never has it seemed more apt. What should we believe?

Crime rises 17%!

Crime in Wales is not up 17% in the last four years. That headline is based on sloppy BBC reporting. The survey sample they quote is too small to draw firm conclusions.

It’s a great headline but it’s wrong – the kind of fiddle you’d expect from politicians like me, not those tribunes of truth at the BBC. Of course not them.

I’ve looked at the BBC figures for violence, robbery, theft and criminal damage and pasted the graphs below.

 

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Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) – E&W figures

 

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CSEW – Wales only figures (not statistically significant)

 

Crime is down 15%!

The overall survey figures for all England and Wales, are statistically significant. They do show crime is down 15%. They are not fiddled by the police. Nor, in this case, by journalists.

A third of crime is not recorded!

We known for some time that the police have not been recording crime properly. Now an inspection proves it. About 1/3 of crimes reported to Dyfed Powys Police which should be recorded are not. That means rather than 18,600 crimes each year, we might have nearer 27,000. That’s a big difference and it needs careful investigation.

Dyfed Powys has more antisocial behaviour incidents than crime, according to the figures. Are the police recording things as antisocial behaviour, which should be crime? That is a conversation I have already begun.

So, where does that leave us?

Lies, damn lies and statistics.

Surveys tell us that crime overall is falling.

We suspect that crime is changing. It is moving from the street into the home and from the real to the virtual world. We know a lot of this is not reported.

We can say that, even though there appears to be less crime about, the police need to record more of it. There are signs, nationwide, that they are.

And we can also say that crime trends in Wales and Dyfed Powys are not much different to crime trends across the UK.

That is what I will focus our attention on in the coming months. We’ve got rid of the targets. I’m prepared to see recorded crime rise. Officers have no reason not to record crimes fairly. Now we need to see the change.

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