It looks as if Britain is suffering from the same plague of under-reported crime statistics as we've experienced so many times here in the USA. The Telegraph reports:
Almost a million crimes a year are disappearing from official figures as chief constables attempt to meet targets, a study by the police watchdog has disclosed.
Its report exposed “indefensible” failures by forces to record crime accurately, and said that in some areas up to a third of crimes are being struck out of official records.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary said violent crimes and sex attacks were particularly vulnerable to being deleted under “inexcusably poor” systems.
Although the report stopped short of accusing police of widespread “fiddling” it said there was an “undercurrent of pressure not to record a crime across some forces” and “wrongful pressure” by managers.
It means violent criminals and even rapists are not investigated, potentially allowing offenders to strike again.
In all, the report estimated 800,000 crimes reported by the public every year are wiped out of official figures.
Overall, almost a fifth of crimes failed to appear in the figures for England and Wales, the inspectorate concluded, but in some forces the proportion was as high as a third. Overall, police failed to record a quarter of rapes and a third of violent crimes across England and Wales.
There's more at the link.
Of course, we have precisely the same problem here. Many big-city police departments deliberately under-report crime, perhaps to placate local politicians who want to "look tough on crime" and therefore don't want the true extent of the problem to become known, or perhaps to meet incentives built into the police budget. Reports from Los Angeles, Milwaukee and New York illustrate the problem, but it's far more widespread than just those three cities.
A far more disturbing aspect of the problem (at least to me) is the deliberate downplaying of racial tension as a factor in many crimes. We've spoken of it here before in terms of flash mob attacks, most recently in Memphis. Here are a few worthwhile reports on the subject, listed in alphabetical order by headline. I strongly urge you to read them in full, and follow the links provided in the first one.
- Black mob violence and the media silence (a very long list of reports of racial attacks)
- Flash Mobs in Philadelphia: Sorry PC America, They are a Racial Thing
- Questions Arise Over Whether 'Flash Mob' Attacks in U.S. Cities Motivated by Race
- Why is the Media Whitewashing Black Flash-Mob Violence?
There's also the very important book 'White Girl Bleed A Lot', which is a searing examination of black-on-white racial violence in the USA. It's not politically correct, of course, which is why it's not much publicized; but its documentation of facts is unanswerable. It's a reality that makes personal security a much more complicated matter than merely defending oneself.
Our police forces are largely complicit in this under-reporting (or non-reporting) of aspects of crime (such as race) that are not considered 'politically correct'. Personally, I regard this as a gross betrayal of trust on their part. They are, in effect, lying by omission rather than commission. In doing so they are deliberately deceiving those who rely on them for accurate reporting of the crime threat in the cities, towns and suburbs where they live. However, they no longer answer to the people, but to entrenched political interests. We're all the poorer for that.
I suspect we're about to see the reality of racial tension in crime in and around Ferguson, MO when the grand jury verdict into the death of Michael Brown is announced. If so, remember the links above, and the reality of racial tensions in this country - and listen carefully to how the resulting crime situation in Ferguson is reported. See how many reports mention racism as a motivating factor for the criminals, rather than as an attempt to foster 'politically correct' racial 'guilt'. I suspect you'll find it eye-opening.