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Would you say crime is up or down over the last 10-15 years?

(9 Posts)
LeninGrad Mon 15-Jun-09 10:57:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LovelyTinOfSpam Mon 15-Jun-09 11:14:28

Haven't they made a lot of changes to the way things are reported and measured over the years though, resulting in the figures being a lot lower? I seem to remember reading about that.

I would also argue that much of our crime busting types, especially in London, are busy chasing teen gangs, international drug and people smuggling and large crime rings.

They seem to pay less attentiont to the low level stuff that goes to make peoples quality of life poor - tackling drunks/anti-social behaviour, car crime, vandalism and minor assualts/abuse etc.

So while people may be less likely to be say burgled, they may be more likely to have unpleasant experiences while out and about which feeds an overall feeling of anxiety and fear.

IMO grin

LeninGrad Mon 15-Jun-09 13:30:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LovelyTinOfSpam Mon 15-Jun-09 17:54:18

Terribly complex problem isn't it. Another thing I read said if they really wanted to reduce crime they would increase the services for the mentally ill, and take more care treating them, rather than just locking people with mental difficulties in prison which does no-one any good. Plus provide heroin on prescription which would stop a vast amount of the low level stuff. There was something else but I forget now...

I think the problem we have in this country is we are so middle of the road. We can't decide whether we are woolly liberals or hard line types, and so try and mish mash the two approaches to feeble effect. I think it would be better of we decided which way we were, and then did it whole-heartedly IYSWIM, that was there might be a effect.

SomeGuy Tue 16-Jun-09 21:15:53

Crime has increased 100-fold since 1900. Crime is very high. There are for instance more burglaries in a single London borough than the whole of Singapore.

The BCS excludes those most subject to crime, particularly victims of domestic violence, by limiting 'times victimised' to 5.

I don't trust it at all.

Here's commentary on last year's claims of --record tractor production-- massive falls in crime:

"Over the decade since that tough on crime supremo took over, police recorded crime is up 7% (1997-98 to 2007-08). And when you probe beneath the totals, crimes of violence turn out to be up much MUCH more. As the chart above shows, the increase in really bad stuff is nearly 70%. "


'The BCS is the only basis on which the government can claim that "crime is falling". The real recorded crime we all worry about- especially violent crime and anti-social behaviour- is rising.

So it's very interesting to see the government's dismissive reponse to a new international crime poll which doesn't support its own spin.

The European Crime and Safety Survey, published in Brussels yesterday, was a joint venture between the United Nations, the European Commission and the Gallup polling organisation. After quesioning 40,000 people across Europe, it concludes:

"Britain has one of the worst crime rates in Europe. It is the most burgled country in Europe, has the highest level of assaults and above average rates of car theft, robbery and pickpocketing. Only Ireland has a worse record. Estonia, Holland and Denmark make up the rest of the EU's five ''high-crime" nations. All had rates more than 30 per cent higher than the average."'

Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

It's a bit like those pesky GCSE results - soon there'll be a 110% pass rate.

Here's a different Guardian story also suggesting the BCS is bollocks used for government spinning exercises:

"According to a written Home Office statement to me last week, the BCS is 'considered the more reliable measure of violent crime, as it covers crimes that are not reported to the police', and its figures are not affected by changes in police recording methods. If we choose to believe the BCS, 'long-term trends show substantial declines in levels of violent crimes', with an 11 per cent fall last year.

This claim conceals some awkward facts. First, almost half the 2.4 million 'violent incidents' that the BCS estimates happened in Britain last year involved no injuries at all, and most of the rest caused only very minor ones. Just 2 per cent required a visit to hospital. Second, even the BCS accepts there have been 'statistically significant increases in stranger violence and in the proportion of offences receiving medical attention', and that when it comes to more serious assaults, police figures have always been much more accurate. The more serious the assault, the more reliable the police figures become: stabbings or beatings that leave their victim near to death have never been likely to pass unreported.

In 1980, the first full year of the last Tory government, police in England and Wales recorded 4,390 'woundings or other acts endangering life'. In 1997, the year of Blair's first victory, the figure was 12,531. In 2004-5 it reached 19,425, nearly four times the level 20 years earlier. Convictions rose, but they did not keep pace. In 1980, 1,277 people were found guilty of life-threatening attacks, 29 per cent of the recorded total. In 1997, 1,864 were convicted - 14.8 per cent of perpetrators. In 2004-5 the number convicted was just 1,897, despite the increase in crimes - a rate of only 9.7 per cent.

In other words, the chances of being convicted for a really violent assault are only one third of what they were in 1980 - something that may well help to explain why such crimes have become more widespread.

Robbery - a category that runs from mugging to bank raids - presents a similar picture. In 1980, the police recorded 15,800 crimes, with 3,600 convictions and cautions - a rate of 22.7 per cent. By 1997, offences were running at 63,072, with 6,426 convictions and cautions - 10.2 per cent. Under Labour, Blair has personally driven police 'street crime initiatives' to get the robbery figures down, and from a peak of more than 100,000 in 2002, recorded robberies fell in 2004-5 to 88,710. Yet the rate of convictions and cautions fell too, with the 7,932 total representing 8.9 per cent of offences.

Sex crime presents a still more dismal picture. The recorded figures for rapes against females in 1980, 1997 and 2004-5 were respectively 1,200, 6,281 and 12,867 - an almost elevenfold increase in 25 years. The corresponding conviction totals and percentage rates were 457, or 38 per cent; 576, or 9.2 per cent, and 704, just 5.5 per cent: the chance that the perpetrator of a recorded rape would ever be convicted was one seventh as great in 2005 as it was in 1980.

For other sexual assaults on women, recorded offences rose from 13,340 in 1987 (the 1980 figure is not comparable), to 18,674 in 1997, and to 26,709 in 2004. Here the total of convictions plus cautions actually fell - from 3,529 to 3,401 to 2,951, a decline in the conviction rate over just 18 years from 26.5 per cent to 11 per cent."

monkeytrousers Tue 16-Jun-09 21:47:43

Well in a Freakonomics way, it might be becasue the population is aging and there aren't as many youngun's about - hence the pensions crisis.

I say Freakonomics as it was calculated that a substantial drop in crime rates in the US corrolated very strongly with the moment aborion was legalised and the time any unwanted boys would have reached maturity (can't remember the decade off the top of my head)

monkeytrousers Tue 16-Jun-09 21:49:20

"Crime has increased 100-fold since 1900."

Yeah and so has the population.

monkeytrousers Tue 16-Jun-09 21:50:41

You can get those BCS direct you know SG. I do.

SomeGuy Tue 16-Jun-09 22:01:50

er, no the population hasn't increased 100 fold since 1900. Nothing like it. It has doubled.

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