David Cameron blasted for using dodgy crime figures to mislead MPsDaily Mirror 15/7/10
This is a story that has been rumbling in the background for almost a year now. I have not specifically commented on it up to now because I really need to write a paper of about 20,000 words to explain why everyone is right but at the same time everyone has got certain things wrong. What has prompted me to comment now is that the government says it is going to conduct a review of the crime figures.
Where do I start? Probably best at the publication that is in dispute. This can be found here. This is a Home Office publication explaining the findings of the The British Crime Survey (BCS) and police recorded crime. Ironically, given the fact that it is being slammed by the new government, this is by far the best document of this nature that has ever been produced. For the first time the limitations of the statistics are accurately and comprehensively outlined. This is a grown up document for grown up people. The strength and weakness of the document is that it is researched and compiled by statisticians and quantitative social scientists. They are on firm ground when dealing with the BCS but they do not understand the subtleties of crime definitions and police recording practices of police recorded crime. Leading to the presentation of confusing police recorded crime statistics especially those relating to violence.
I will explain further in future blogs.