Statgate and Police Massaging Figures

In the Daily Telegraph today is an article by the esteemed correspondent David Barrett, their Home Affairs Correspondent. Please also see our previous topical Tweets.

Terms used in this article refer to police ‘tricks’ as a way of favourably manipulating crime figures in order to give a false picture of their performance. Mr Barrett quotes a retired DCI stating that these methods are tacitly approved of by senior officers, police watchdogs and the Home Office.

As experienced criminal defence lawyers who operate across England & Wales, we have noticed and remarked on these devices in the last ten years at least. We regularly used to represent on ‘Street Robberies’ involving threats or violence to obtain mobiles or cash but these have been downgraded to theft from person. Likewise Burglary to Criminal Damage and Affray to Threatening Behaviour.

Police officers have told us of these techniques off the record, such as one Met detective constable. He said that they received commendations from senior officers for vastly improved burglary figures by downgrading reports in the previous months.

All of these practices have come as a result of pressure from politicians in order to quote better figures and budgetary pressures. They were endemic under Labour and continue under the Coalition. Hence our title ‘Statgate.’

The Police Federation Vice Chairman Simon Reed is quoted as saying: “Research demonstrates that senior officers are directing and controlling widespread manipulation of crime figures.”

“Public are misled, politicians can claim crime is falling and chief officers are rewarded with performance related bonuses.”

We agree with the suggestion that HMIC inspectors should be more independent and include people from outside the police service. Perhaps from the ranks of experienced criminal defence law firms? Especially now that “crimes are down” and concomitantly Legal Aid income reduced.

Our considered view is that crime statistics should be given about as much worth as a Robert Mugabe Zimbabwean’ Dollar. And there is a General Election next year, so ‘Old Bill’s Massaging Oils’ will come in handy.

In Your Defence Ltd solicitors are criminal and motoring law experts, dealing with all criminal offences throughout England and Wales. All criminal offences and all police stations, magistrates and crown courts. These include: Trading Standards cases, RSPCA investigations, assaults and fraud.

If you are worried about a current or possible criminal investigation, call us now on 01293 500 400 or email:


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