More from the Petri Dish

Apparently shocking, SHOCKING news has been released in the place where Great Britain used to be that the .gov there has been manipulating crime statistics! From the Daily Mail:

Violent crime up 22% as Home Office admits police have been under-recording serious offences for ten years

Public trust in crime statistics has been dealt a devastating blow after ministers admitted the figures have been downplaying serious violence for up to a decade.

The Home Office admitted that as many as one in five of the worst attacks has been wrongly classified in published figures.

As many as 4,000 serious assaults each year were mistakenly recorded as minor incidents – and officials conceded they ‘simply do not know how far back it goes’.

So we should believe them when they say they’ve only been doing it for ten years, right?

Critics claimed the revelations were another serious blow to the credibility of Government crime figures following years of complaints of spin and statistical manipulation.

Claims I’ve made here dating back to at least 2004.

Here’s some of the BBC’s view of the story:

Police miscount serious violence

A number of police forces in England and Wales have been undercounting some of the most serious violent crimes, the government has admitted.

It means figures for serious violent crimes rose by 22% compared to last year – rather than showing a fall as previous figures appeared to indicate.

I’m curious as to what prompted the admission.

The mistake happened when some crimes classed as “grievous bodily harm with intent” were recorded as less serious.

Figures say overall crime is down, and ministers say these can be trusted.

And we should trust you . . . why?

A former Home Office crime consultant told the BBC the government had been “hiding behind” its changes in the crime counting rules.

Professor Marian Fitzgerald, a criminologist at the University of Kent’s Crime and Justice Centre, said the long-term trend of increasing violent crime was now “catching up” with the government.

Pesky facts have a way of doing that.

The Conservatives said the new figures “fatally undermined” government claims that violent crime was in decline.

Shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve said: “They betray a government that is completely out of touch with what is going on, on our streets and in our communities.”

Not “out of touch,” in denial.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith insisted all the crimes in question had been investigated by the police.

She told the BBC: “What the statisticians are clear about is that the increases in the most serious forms of violence have actually in terms of numbers been more than counteracted by the decreases in less serious violence.”

Which means a good chunk of Britain’s petty criminals have learned that violence pays. But Home Secretary Smith seems to believe this is a good thing.

Crimes of “grievous bodily harm with intent” committed between April and June this year were being mistakenly recorded as lesser crimes.

When the figures were recounted using the correct classification, the official total showed serious violent crime had risen 22%.

Previous measures under the old rules had shown decreases every quarter of up to 15%.

And didn’t that make their political masters look good? Except to the victims of these crimes who apparently voted them out of office.

But Professor Fitzgerald said that the government was aware of the long trend of serious violent crime which had been rising over “several decades”

She told the BBC: “It started to go up really quite steeply from the early 1990s.

The handgun ban was completed in 1996.

“The problem this government has got is that when it came to power it dismissed out of hand the trends in police recorded crime which were a fairly good measure of serious violence

“It preferred instead to rely on the British Crime Survey which is very poor at picking up violence.”

For good measure it has actually interfered with the police figures by keeping changing the ways in which they have been recorded.

(My emphasis)

“What’s catching up with them now is the fact the police figures are reflecting that long term trend increase in serious violence. The government are hiding behind changes in the counting rules to try to explain it away.”

I repeat: And we should trust them . . . why?

Again, this is another example of “Cognitive Dissonance” explained once succinctly by Steven Den Beste thusly:

When someone tries to use a strategy which is dictated by their ideology, and that strategy doesn’t seem to work, then they are caught in something of a cognitive bind. If they acknowledge the failure of the strategy, then they would be forced to question their ideology. If questioning the ideology is unthinkable, then the only possible conclusion is that the strategy failed because it wasn’t executed sufficiently well. They respond by turning up the power, rather than by considering alternatives. (This is sometimes referred to as “escalation of failure”.)

Crime could not be going up in the wonderful Utopia that Labor was building in the UK. Therefore the statistics had to be wrong, and the government would manipulate them however it was necessary to prove that said crime was declining.

When that didn’t work, “Do it again, only HARDER!” Escalation of failure.

You’ll note that Labor is no longer in power in Britain.

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