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“Force or Farce?” - Police Recorded Crime 2009 An Exercise In Creative & Manipulative Accounting

In this paper, the crime analysis team at Nice 1 Ltd, will highlight an area that causes anxiety among front line police officers - the crime recording process. Having collated numerous operational examples of how forces are encouraged to minimize incident numbers reported, we set about identifying the areas where there is greatest potential for manipulation.

Before we reveal our findings, we must consider the motives of forces that would do this, and who is ultimately responsible for this deception. Front line officers have confirmed our suspicions that a complex web of deceit has been woven over a number of years, by many diverse conspirators, each with their own agenda, bringing us to the point where the faith in crime statistics is all but lost.

Accurate and trusted crime recording and statistics are essential, not only to underpin the legitimacy of policing, but also to enable the effective allocation of resources. Unnecessary bureaucracy is caused when systems for recording crime become inefficient or worse, manipulated for personal or political reasons. The recording of crime should not receive more attention than the subsequent investigation. Trusted and accurate crime statistics are a key component of building confidence in policing and the Criminal Justice System.

In a previous report “Home Office Crime Statistics – Decreasing Crime By Fair Means Or Foul”, we dealt with the disparity that exists in the incident numbers between the British Crime Survey and police recorded crime. In that report, we commented that crime statistics could not be considered accurate or trusted, but were rather “a pernicious conspiracy to deceive” with the Government being ultimately responsible for a sham two tier crime measurement system. In creating a performance target driven Criminal Justice System, a tangled web of bureaucratic systems have been implemented within the police service, disguising the true picture of crime and defeating the ends of justice the system is meant to serve.

By targeting senior police officers to reduce crime and increase detections with lucrative monetary rewards, (senior officers receive 15% bonus on top of six figure salaries for hitting crime reduction targets), the Government is assisted in its plot by willing co-conspirators. Senior officers looking to progress further are encouraged to devise systems and procedures that perpetuate the illusion of reducing crime.

Many detailed reports form the basis of the analysis leading up to these pages. We have distilled much of that information down to the most important elements to present a concise overview. So, let’s look at some extracts from the Government document, the British Crime Survey (BCS).

On the page that follows, there are two diagrams that illustrate the percentage represented by the key offences, as they are reflected in the BCS.


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