Police accused of fiddling crime figures, again

Date: 
Thursday, 12 December, 2013

In the latest hearing before the House of Commons Public Administration Committee Professor Mike Hough of Birkbeck, University of London and a member of the Crime Statistics Advisory Board (CSAB) said that some of the falls in police recorded crime levels was down to police misrecording crime data. According to The Daily Telegraph Professor Hough said:

'The police are overstating the rate of the decrease in the fall in crime. There are systemic reasons for thinking there is quite a lot of misinterpretation. I would suspect that outstrips deliberate, wilful dishonesty - but that is a guess.”

Professor Stephen Shute, chair of the CSAB, told MPs:

'There is a question about the extent to which police are manipulating the crime recording process either to inform external performance targets or to improve the way their are perceived in the locality or within the force. That may come about for a variety of reasons. It may not be due solely to dishonesty and deliberate misapplication of the counting rules. That may be part of it.'

Last month the Committee heard from police officers who said crime figures were regularly distorted.


Related items

Shooting the messenger (November 22, 2013)
Are the police too concerned with performance targets? (November 20, 2013)
Making sense of crime trends (January 25, 2013)