» Thursday, April 27, 2006

Crime Statistics

Asked by the Sun if he would agree that the fact that violent crime, sex offences and drug offences had all risen in the last three months would suggest that Charles Clarke was not the right person to be Home Secretary, the PMOS said he noted that the journalist had conveniently forgotten what else the statistics had shown – that risk of being a victim of crime was the lowest since 1981; that total recorded crime was stable; that burglary was down 4%; that vehicle crime figures were stable; that robbery figures remained well below the numbers they were before we had brought in the Street Crime Initiative in 2001/2. Yes, of course there were areas where more work needed to be done. That was why we were continuing to work with the police. In addition, we recognised that there had been a 21% increase in the number of drug offences. However, that did not mean that drug crime was rising. What it meant was an increase in police activity in this area and more people being charged with drug offences.

Asked if he was implying that the rise in the crime figures meant that the Government’s programme to tackle crime was actually a success, the PMOS said he was not claiming that was necessarily the case with regard to robbery, for example. Clearly this was an issue which had to be addressed. However, it was the case in terms of drugs offences. Obviously we were not being complacent. It went without saying that there was more work to be done. However, it was important for people to present a balanced picture on this issue. Questioned as to whether Charles Clarke was the right person for the job, the PMOS said yes.

In answer to further questions about drug crime, the PMOS reiterated the point that drug crime itself was not rising. What was on the increase, however, was the number of people who were being prosecuted for drug offences. Asked to explain what drug crimes were, the PMOS said that he was referring to operations to target suppliers and those in possession of drugs.

Briefing took place at 7:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. So basically, the only success re: crime that this government has to report is in the area of victimless "crime" – ie; drugs offences. However, people who take drugs are not criminals, no matter how many times they are arrested. If we’re talking about drug abuse or addiction then it is a sickness in exactly the same way as alcoholism is considered an illness. If we’re talking about casual drug use how was this ever in reality a crime? After all, to have a drink or a smoke is not a crime. Yet. Effectively that’s all we’re talking. And no amount of ignorant bleating by the anti-drugs crowd ("all drug takers end up in fights") will ever make it so.

    Therefore, when the PMOS says "it is important to present a balanced view", he is absolutely correct. It is. Pity he can’t give one, on ANY subject.

    He goes on to say that he was referring to operations targeting supplies and those in possession. Nice balanced view! For how can suppliers be in any kind of majority statistic? Of course they aren’t; suppliers are in a tiny minority by their very nature, in the same way that there are millions of drinkers and only a relative handful of brewers. So what are we left with from the PMOS balanced view? The fact that, when it boils down to it, the crime successes the PMOS is talking about is the arrest of people in possession of drugs. Victimless crime. People committing offences against themselves, often because their lives have been made so dreary or depressing by the actions of the government themselves. That’s almost as bad as them claiming success for an increase in the number of speeding tickets issued. Utterly contemptible.

    Comment by SmokeNMirrors — 28 Apr 2006 on 2:28 am | Link

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