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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Knife crime statistics up to Sept 2014 (official release Jan 2015)

KNIFE crime data is back in the news this week; annual figures up to September 2014 have been reported into the public domain. I've made a little time to update my look at the latest statistics release.

First, some initial interpretation of the recorded knife crime stats...

As per my previous assessments, the trend of selected offences committed with knives and other sharp instruments continues to drop, but only slightly; the figures Sept 2013 to Sept 2014 are down 2% on the previous year to 25,721 (knife crime in 2010 was reported as 32,890).

Statistically, is that assessment accurate? Well, there looks to have been a decent downward trend since 2010. A trend of this nature should be a good sign, although it's natural to query the coincidence of the data being downward since the general election in 2010; politicians are wanting to keep their quite comfortable jobs in this year's election and will be keen to demonstrate they've brought down crime figures.

So, to repeat, with an election looming, the topline of this knife crime report implies there has been a downward trend - but look more closely and we see police-recorded crime has not fallen. No change is reported for police recorded crime, with rape and sexual offences at highest levels since the early 2000s (maybe political and organisational reasons for the police trend here).

So, now I'm going to briefly consider how that data is reported this time compared to one of my previous assessments...

To show you how our public officials have a highly dubious record tackling crime and have had a poor grasp of crime figures in the past, let me shine a chink of a spotlight on what they seem to have been doing in the past couple of years with the crime figures:

Knife crime statistics April 2011 to March 2013
Why publish a couple of years data here in 2013- where's the meaningful, accurate data? Were officials being 'economical' with the figures prior to this point? Poor or changing systems of statistical management by civil servants and politicians in the past is my educated reflection.

Knife crime statistics April 2010 to Sept 2014 (GE = General Election in 2010)

Now (above), the latest crime report shows data stretching back to 2010 - but no earlier than that published here. It begs the question... why was there so much reticence to show a clear picture of past crime data? Poor counting of crime date and too many 'leaders' with their reputations, jobs and/or salaries at risk, I suggest. I make that allegation because people have been regularly dying from stabbings and other murders and killings - and still are - as a result of 'Whitehall fiddling with figures', an apparent mis-management and lack of accurate crime information which should have always been available to the public.

It is saddening how crime figures have been poorly tracked in the past - and it has undoubtedly been a tragic lapse... fatally so. My point continues to be that without decent statistical data measuring the crime problems, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to manage solutions to crime. Without reasonable data, it is also easy for all manner of careerist politicians, civil servants and police forces to avoid responsibility for their poor activity to prevent crime, especially saving people's lives. Blood on their hands, it seems.

Does this sound unlikely? All those people paid vast amounts more salary than the majority wouldn't have made such mistakes over so many years would they? I'm not going to go into this further at this point other than state just two examples - Hillsborough and MPs expenses scandal. Huge failures there, mirrored often throughout our public service systems, it seems.

NB: I'm doing this assessment late on a Saturday evening on my own, so no-one else is working with me to check my conclusions; this is because I do this in my free time, voluntarily, in support of knife crime victims, their friends and families, and also other victims and circles adversely affected by all forms of violence. You may notice I am highly sceptical of actions of public servants paid by taxpayers to solve these problems. I believe this approach is necessary, borne out by the too frequent poor running of government.

I'm always open to offers of assistance running this blog because my spare time is not huge. Tonight isn't too bad - I'm just finishing this listening to MTV and Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk to keep me going. Onwards...

Knife crime data source for this article:

Statistical bulletin: Crime in England and Wales, Year Ending September 2014 - Crime Offences involving knives and sharp instruments (released January 2015)

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