Most crimes–that’s right–most crimes are never reported. This is the major reason crime statistics are skewed to the light side. But there is another reason. The police often don’t record the crimes that are reported to them!
This failure was shown recently in the United Kingdom where a study by the police watchdog, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, says almost a million crimes a year are disappearing from official figures. The Telegraph says the report exposes “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.
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.
The reason for the failure in Britain is clear cut: the police fudge the numbers in order to make their statistics look better; fewer crimes, more prosecutions.
This is a common problem everywhere because, in most cases, the police are in a conflict of interest. They’re acting as supervisors of their own work. Human nature being what it is, they want to look good when they report to their political masters.
The politicians also want to look good so when the police hand them statistics showing what a good job the police are doing, they’re happy to hand this on to the public. In the end everyone looks good but crime continues apace.
All this matters to you the home owner because what it means is that there are more home invasions than are being reported. More in your city, more in your neighbourhood. More than you realize.
This is one reason to buy my book, Home Invasion Prevention (see the add on the right) and study what it recommends. If you follow what it tells you, you won’t be a victim either of a home invasion or biased statistics.