Crime falls 10% despite police cuts
The government has reignited its war of words with the Police Federation by releasing new figures showing crime has fallen steeply in the past two years despite sharp reductions in police budgets.
My immediate thought is that if there are fewer coppers reporting crimes then reported crime will fall. But I doubt it\’s that simple.
If the crime statistics are now dominated by copper reported victimless crimes, i.e. the sort of crimes that reasonable people wouldn’t dob you in for (like most motoring offences for example), then less coppers will probably mean less crimes.
Few policehorses to call gay, fewer policeman to swear at…yes, I can see why crime has dropped.
It would be instructive to check the stats of the insurance companies and see if claims for stolen property or other felonious activities follow this apparent decrease in recorded crime.
Unless London’s changed since I left, I can see why less coppers might equal less recorded crime. The sheer time wasted doing so against the very rare occurrence of anything happening past the initial report (except for the inevitable ‘victim of crime’ counseling offer, turning up in the post) might give clue why.
Unless, of course, one turns up at one’s business premises to find the door hanging off the hinges & the place swarming with coppers armed with a search warrant for a different address entirely. Managing to intercept an officer, heading for his van, with one of our expensive power tools concealed under his coat, could actually imply less police, less crime.
There is almost no link between the crime rate and the number of police. Most crimes are small thefts and the police are incapable of finding thieves.
So, why do people report thefts? For one reason: they need a crime number for insurance. But, people don’t claim for very small thefts because they lose their no-claims bonus.
So, one hypothesis might be this: One of the areas that crime grew was in thefts of iPods and then iPhones. Someone leaves one on a bar, someone nicks it and fences it on eBay. But these have been falling in price over the years. You can get a HTC Wildfire for about £120.
So, as phones get cheaper, two things happen: 1) People aren’t going to report the theft (loss of no claims) and 2) Criminals aren’t going to steal them as they aren’t worth fencing.
In the absence of clear data, I would be tempted to go for the “Victimless Crimes” approach, specifically that if there are less coppers on the beat then all of those victimless crimes will go unreported.
It’s very simple:
“Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints”
Ergo, less cops = less criminals
“And all the sinners saints”
Ergo with the recent rise in atheism we should be surrounded by alot more virtuous people 🙂