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Crime Of The Century - A Chilling Look At Crime Statistics In The UK


Quick wins are achieved using one of the alternative outcomes. These outcomes were described as a ‘waste of time’; an indicator of the petty nature of the offence and evidence of the futility of investing resources into investigating them in the first place.


Another big contributor to sanction detections is cautions and final warnings, particularly for juveniles. None of these things involve charging or going to court so they are the cheap, quick options and that’s why they have lowered everything down. And the CPS are in on this as well. So you don’t have this big expensive, time consuming thing of actually getting people to court. There’s this whole rack of minor penalties that are meaningless.


High-yielding incidents


Why have our detection rates gone up in our force recently? I’ll tell you. What’s gone up by more than 50% or thereabouts? It’s public order and possession of cannabis. Now why is that? Is that because we’ve as a nation started smoking more dope? No I don’t think so. Is it because we’ve suddenly become a little bit more badly behaved? I don’t think so. It’s because they’re easily achieved detections.


The typical high-yielding incidents were described as offences perpetrated, in the vast majority of cases, by people who are not involved in a life of crime. Notable exceptions are sanction detections for burglary (which are typically achieved through TICs following DNA hits) where the offenders are most likely to have previous convictions and to be persistent offenders.


The high yielders were described as falling into several broad categories: • Violence against the person offences where the offence is one of assault without any injury, or an incident where an allegation of harassment had been made, or a less serious wounding;


• Robberies; and • Cannabis possession.


Violence against the person offences


Many of the offences falling into this category were described as minor incidents which are technically crimes but, where the circumstances are such that most police officers would previously have exercised their discretion and dealt with the matter informally, without invoking the criminal sanction.


People get done where it’s a technical assault - no injury and for harassment where they have made a silly comment about someone’s appearance. It was recognised that National Crime Recording Standards now require police officers and police staff to record such complaints as crimes and that once they have been entered onto the system the pressure is on to detect them. Most did not agree with the consequences of this change.


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