This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Crime Of The Century - A Chilling Look At Crime Statistics In The UK


Whilst forces who introduced False Reporting policies also issued guidelines for the process, it became evident from freedom of information requests, that the policies in themselves created opportunities for reflecting an exaggerated reduction in crime.


In theory, incidents reported that were subsequently discovered to be false should have resulted in an equivalent number of “No Crimes” and an equal number of instances of “Wasting Police Time”. The FOI responses did not support this, however they did reflect a dramatic fall in reported acquisition crime, a pattern reflected across the forces.


Despite Home Office guidance that all offences of street crime such as Robbery (which was frequently the offence associated with such thefts) should be reported, it is evident from the dramatic decline in theft related offences that these guidelines were not being adhered to.


Dr Patrick produces FOI responses from forces that when examined show clear patterns of under reporting (and consequent crime reduction) of such offences following the introduction of the false reporting policies by forces. This would not be so significant if it were not for the fact that theft is one of the volume offences that have a major impact on the overall recorded crime numbers.


In the years that followed, the pattern started to emerge that forces had extended the policy to all acquisitive crime, and this shows up as a marked decline in recorded crime in the corresponding years. Dr Patrick went on to explore this extension of thought further by identifying the statistical variations in performance data which are linked to gaming practices. This hypothesis assumes that sudden and significantly large fluctuations in performance may be indicative of ‘gaming’.


In effect, the policy had such a dramatic effect, that it lowered recorded crime to the levels of the pre ethical recording standards of 1998 and prior. The policy introduced an uncontrolled element of discretion which led to, for want of a better word, cheating. Many thousands of true crimes were, by virtue of this process, allowed to slip the crime recording net and thus project the impression that crime had fallen drastically over that period.


The overall effect on total recorded crime, due to the dramatic reduction in volume crime, had a majorly distortive effect on the true picture of crime in England and Wales and has continued to so distort the picture since then.


Another source of evidence on the presence of ‘cuffing’ and other forms of ‘gaming’ was the Police Federation who, in response to complaints from their members, raised the issue during their national conference in 2007. This is referred to in greater detail in the next chapter. Chatterton (2008) also highlighted rank and file officers’ concerns about the perverse effects of Performance Management and outlined a number of examples of ‘gaming’ referred to by officers as ‘good housekeeping’ Individual officers also ‘went public’ on instructions to revert to an ‘evidential’ crime recording standard.


31


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122