Police Federation calls for more thorough crime stats

23 April 2015

The latest national crime statistics for England and Wales are highly misleading to the public, the Police Federation has warned.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has today published the latest figures from the Crime Survey for England Wales(CSEW). The latest figures show that there has been a 7% decrease in crime related incidents, for the year ending December 2014 compared to the previous year.

This however, clashes with police recorded crime statistics, also released today, which report a 2% increase in crime for the year ending December 2014, when compared with the previous year. Welsh police records have reported a 4% increase of crime related incidents for the same period.

The crime survey statistics come from interviews with people in England and Wales about their experience of crime, this feedback then forms the official national statistics in England and Wales.

Steve White, chair, Police Federation of England and Wales, said the figures give a ‘false picture’ of policing because they do not take into account much of the work that police forces do. For example, policing work such as cyber-crime, counter-terrorism, child exploitation and the monitoring of sex offenders are not included in the overall stats for crime reporting.

More needs to be done to source the accurate statistics for crime in England and Wales and the public need to be aware of the issues in their local communities relating to this, he added.

Mr White said:

‘Official statistics showing crime rates to have fallen give an entirely false picture – not only do the stats not capture the full range of criminality but they only reflect a small proportion of things officers do.

‘For example: counter-terrorism, looking for missing persons, preventing child sexual exploitation and monitoring sex offenders are just four areas of work that the crime stats don’t cover but they are of vital importance to the public we serve.

‘Crime is changing and cyber-crime is just one example of this. Online crime is increasing and is severely under-reported and there are worrying trends in violence and sexual crime. More needs to be done to ensure a more accurate figure of overall crime reporting.’

‘Cuts have consequences. The under-reporting of crimes by the public and overstretched and under resourced police forces is just one example of this.’

Background

Since 2010 there has been a loss of 17,000 police officers, this leads to longer response times and a loss of public confidence in their local police force. This loss of trust means that many crimes are not reported.