Sunday, 28 April 2013

Where did crime go?

News this week that I live in the most violent borough in Britain induced a slight frisson of unwarranted pride, I'm afraid. Unwarranted because I've lived here since 1995 without once having been the victim of crime, excepting being defrauded by my bank (which took a County Court summons to solve). Mine is typical of several wealthy inner London boroughs; three or four massive council estates separated by swathes of middle-class Victorian terraces, two or three town centres and a score or more tube, rail and DLR stations. The violence happens around the council estates and town centres late at night, when we gentrifiers are either abed or on our way home from the opera to our safe local station. The last burglary in my street was in 1997. Then there was the prolonged shouty incident of 2001, in which two black women spent twenty minutes verbally abusing eachother over a distance of fifty metres. Despite a keen middle-class audience peering from every window they declined to fight, however. Life in Britain's most dangerous borough is, er, safe, unworrying and comfortable. So where did all the crime go? Look at the graphics below;

Since the turn of the century, crime has plummeted everywhere. Andrew Rawnsley writes in the Observer today seeking the reasons why, and finding multiple credible answers but no single cause. And there is no correlation whatsoever between the number of police officers and levels of crime. Nor has it risen again since 2008, as predicted (wrongly) on this blog and elsewhere.

Are the buggers putting bromide in the tea or something?


Anonymous said...

Perhaps the stats lie Raedwald...

Perhaps it is in the interests of what looks like a period where the government (mainly Labour) were trying to justify, ID cards, street cameras and all the other police state malarky. The reality being that the crime rate in Lewisham probably remained much the same throughout that period, just massaged in a different way.

Now that all that is complete and responsibility has been passed to the EU, it is in the current government's interest in making sure that it is still feared by the citizens... Expect to see the crime figures rise again.

I spend quite a bit of time in your manor Raedwald, and I haven't noticed much crime, apart from the regular visits from Boris where he tells us that the local hospital is safe in his hands... (until lunchtime).

Mind you, if the government insists on removing every penny from people's pockets, expect to see people running barefoot in the streets and Labour personalities blaming Tory cuts, as they build their socialist nirvana. :)

The real problem of course, is that people have real lives, and they ain't all that long... Government is immortal and it generally lives in an imaginary world, full of ideals and theories. The two things are immutable.

A victim of a crime that resulted in no police action said...

Crime down? Maybe, but more like total inaction by the police. You report any crime and they'll send somebody round next Thursday week if you're lucky and then just possibly give you a crime number to stick on your notice board. So folks no longer bother to report petty crime unless violence is involved. Thus, no reports, no crimes, figures go through the floor. Simple really.

Anonymous said...

right_writes could be right - except in the case of homicide, where leaving the crime unreported implies stiffs lying in the streets. As this statistic has gone down too, it is perhaps more probable that it all has.
Equally likely is that the level of benefits sees the idle scum wondering if their time is better spent soliciting the benefits office rather than further impoverishing the rather sad looking geese struggling to lay the rather tarnished gilded eggs.

Anonymous said...

It looks like crime started lowering at about the 1997 mark.....maybe it will start getting higher soon. Crime is, after all, the mark of an active and growing economy. Oh, wait; It isn't growing yet... (!)
Maybe it is like the new-improved operation waiting times....getting lower and lower, with fewer operations being done. Or maybe it is because, once booked-in for an operation, the patient is removed from the waiting list....and doesn't appear there again even after the operation is cancelled time and time...again.
Car crime is lower....but wait....if someone is "collared" for breaking into a car but does not steal anything, they are frequently only prosecuted for "interfering with a motor vehicle", which is a minor social offence and not criminal.

Anonymous said...

This is a problem of recording crime, or "not recording crime" as the case maybe.

Crime, the very definition has been changed by the cultural Marxist social engineers of the EU and ACPO.

It is a crime to take your father away out of a care home.

Grooming young girls in care is nobodies fault and virtually a problem brought upon themselves according to most police services, natually no ethnic Pakistanis are ever to blame.

Now, it is not a crime to beat someone senseless in the street or to become so inebriated as to be unable to walk or stand up.

Serial burgling houses, is a social trespass but not a real crime and has gone to the bottom of the list.
Taking proscribed drugs is OK, growing weed and skunk is now seen as a vital social service.

Gang rule on the sink estates is seen as a necessary evil by the police service - "I mean come on mate - soneone has to keep them in check" - tell that to railway passengers on the concourse at Victoria station.

Verbally abusing, assaulting men and women of Christian, Jewish or those of alternative sexual tendencies - is encouraged in Tower Hamlets/East London/All of London and a necessity for public order.

Of vital strategic importance, these days, at the top of the police list of course - cyber hate crimes - beware the copper watching you on facebook and twitter.

Cultural Marxism, turns the world upside down.

anon 2 said...

Are the buggers putting bromide in the tea or something? More than likely -- or even the water.

Plus all the possibilities suggested above.

Anyway, since all the measurements are now meaningless and foreign, people like those 2 highly nigrastical ladies can't judge the space available to them.

Nick Drew said...

such a big topic

(a) do we believe the stats ? look at what happens to hospital stats - they hire specialist 'classifiers' to switch deaths into 'acceptable' categories, & it's only when an egregious case like Mid Staffs comes to light that anyone notices ... one has to believe Plod acts in a similar fashion

(b) non-reporting and re-classifying, as others have said:

think of the effect since banks were made the only entities that can report certain types of transaction fraud - it must have reduced reported fraud by an order of magnitude overnight

(c) the one stat I'd say is hard(est) to tamper with is homicide: and we know the data genuinely improve with ever-better life-saving techniques vis-a-vis gunshot and knife-wound treatments

(d) what's been put in the tea is the techno-soma of social meeja and online game-playing

one day soon, people will actually volunteer to be enrolled in the The Matrix, and crime figures will really plummet

Anonymous said...

Reading Hitchens in the 'Mail on Sunday' - he makes a valid point - all the figures start dropping around circa 1997 when the Red Tossers got into power - coincidence............I rather think not.

Anonymous said...

The way all the unreported sexual crimes are coming to the surface suggests that really crime is generally not recorded or acted upon.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Are these figures not for recorded crimes.

Would you bother, given that Plod is probably going to make more trouble for you than for the perps?

Unless you need a crime number for the insurance of course - but then they'll probably find a way to wriggle out of it too, so again would you bother?

Added to that, the people most affected - as you state - the ones least likely to want to draw official attention to themselves.

I think all that probably explains it. Actual crime hasn't fallen at all.

G. Tingey said...

Actually, the cause is very simple & has already been explained.
SOME so-called "right-wingers" refuse to believe it, however.
The cause is environmental, oddly enough, and has been seen across the developed world, with approx a 20-year time-lag between the cause being removed & the crime going down ....

Tetrethyl Lead in petrol ....
Wherever, whenever it was removed, sure as eggs, 20 years later, the crime level drops ... in individual US states (where it was done at different times, & ditto across Europe & places like Aus, NZ & elsewhere.
Because "teL" was spewed out as a aerosol, continuously, everyone inhaled it - and it rots the brain, especially the areas involved in decision-making & judgement.

Plenty of published material on the subject.

Oh, & bollocks to the "It's all a marxist fraud" brigade, as well, btw.
As said, hiding murders or GBH or serious robbery (or ANY) robbery is a little difficult.

Blue Eyes said...

I agree with ND, this is pretty complicated. Everyone has their pet theory. Is it lead in petrol? Abortion? Lies?

What is interesting is that this is not a UK-only phenomenon. The same thing has happened in the US (which debunks the Freakostatisticians' abortion theory) and in most other Western countries. So that is the whole liar politicians argument possibly debunked (unless all Western countries have simultaneously started this game).

All I know is my own personal experience which is that in the early 1990s I was a victim of crime several times, through "mugging" and bikes stolen etc.. It was de rigeur for people in inner London to put bars on their windows. London was scruffy.

These days most people I know wander about without a care in the world. My estate has cleaned itself up immeasurably according to people who have lived there for decades.

Nick Drew said...

but on the stats front, see this account of how violent crimes are being kept out of the courts:

Anonymous said...

Any explanation has to deal with the rapid rises before the peaks, as well as the falls, and explain why burglary offences peaked a few years before the others.

Could it be that those rapid increases didn't actually happen, which is why there wasn't such a sharp increase for homicide, which ,as people have pointed out, is much harder to lie about?


G. Tingey said...

Anon - no - that's why the tetraeythl explanation fits all the facts best.
Because its' amount in the environment was going up & up, & the effect is cumulative ....
Then, it was cut off, completely & sharply .....