…and add a politician
On and off for over a year now, The Slog has been interviewing local leaders, ordinary policemen, barristers, social workers and crime victims, while drilling down into UK crime statistics. This very brief resume represents the output of that process.I can’t bring to mind any set of figures quite so meaningless, bent, massaged and misleading as UK crime statistics. Target setting, promotion ambitions, time starvation, and a sense of utter hopelessness together mean that any system based on police reporting of crime is doomed to fail as an even vague measurement of what’s actually happening on the ground.
Way back in the 1950s, Soviet Five Year Plan reports were a standing joke in the USSR. The classic gag was of the conversation between a collective farmer and a commissar. The commissar asks where the new tractor is, and the farmer points to a rusty old wreck with saplings growing through it in the next door field. That’s not a new tractor, says the commissar. That’s funny, says the farmer, your report says it is.