Police staff association and government disagree over crime stats

25 Jan 18

The Police Federation and the government are locked in a dispute about whether latest crime statistics show a decrease in crime or not.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics showed crime falling in line with a trend dating from 1995.

It said the Crime Survey for England and Wales showed the amounts of criminal damage and most types of theft were similar to or lower than the previous years, and 80% of adults told the survey they had not experienced any crime.

There had been a 15% fall in crimes against individuals involving computer misuse.

But police recorded crime statistics – as opposed to the survey – showed continuing rises in knife and gun crime, which the ONS admitted were not well captured by the survey since their occurrence was rare.

Police figures also suggested rises in vehicle-related theft and burglary.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: “So far we have seen that crimes measured by the survey - the best measure of crime as it reflects the public's experience of crime - has fallen since 2010, but we have also seen a rise in police recorded crime over the past few years.

“The Office for National Statistics is clear that much of it can be explained by significant improvements in police recording practices and more victims having the confidence to come forward, particularly in cases of sexual violence and domestic abuse.”

According to the Police Federation though, claims that crime was falling were a “smoke and mirrors” attempt at spin by the government.

General secretary Andy Fittes said: “When you look at the police recorded figures – which represents the reality of what our members deal with day to day - there have been significant and worrying increases in the majority of crime types.

“To say it has fallen is smoke and mirrors. Frontline officers are under increasing pressure and dealing with larger caseloads than ever before.”

Fittes said there were 21,000 fewer officers dealing with “an ever-increasing number of crimes” since 2010, including a 29% increase in rape allegations, a 32% rise in domestic burglary and 20% more motor vehicle thefts.

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