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 Lord Stevens admits police have been 'fiddling' crime figures for years

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Join date : 2012-05-29
Location : Manchester UK

PostSubject: Lord Stevens admits police have been 'fiddling' crime figures for years   Wed 08 Jan 2014, 09:52

Lord Stevens admits police have been 'fiddling' crime figures for years

One of Britain's most prominent policing figures, Lord Stevens, tells MPs there must be an urgent inquiry into the way police massage crime data

Lord Stevens was Metropolitan Police Commissioner from 2000 to 2005 

A former Scotland Yard commissioner has admitted the police regularly fiddle crime figures.

Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, who ran the Metropolitan Police for six years, said officers on the ground had warned him that massaging of crime statistics is the “biggest scandal coming our way”.

He called for an urgent investigation into the way every force in Britain records crime figures.

Giving evidence to the Commons' home affairs select committee, Lord Stevens said: “Ever since I’ve been in police service there has been a fiddling of figures. I remember being a detective constable where we used to write off crimes.”
Asked by Keith Vaz MP, the committee chairman, if it was still going on, Lord Stevens replied: “Of course it is. In certain forces.

“I was in a session with police sergeants nine months to a year ago in Cheshire talking about what their feelings were about the police service.
“All of them said the biggest scandal that is coming our way is recording of crime.”
Lord Stevens added: “I think every single force should be subject to an independent investigation - a focused, lasered investigation into crime figures - both detection and recording of crime.

“That should happen as a matterof urgency.”

Lord Stevens’ comments set the scene for a potentially bruising encounter between the current Met Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, and another committee of MPs on Wednesday morning.

Sir Bernard will appear before the Public Administration select committee which has previously heard evidence from the Commissioner’s own officers that crime figures are regularly massaged and crimes incorrectly recorded in order to meet performance targets.

Last November the same committee was told by serving and retired officers that official crime figures are skewed by the police - often at the instruction of senior officers - to make their performance appear far better than it is in reality.

Techniques included downgrading offences to less serious crimes or persuading victims not to make a complaint, while in some cases crimes were only recorded if they were solved. Other incidents were kept completely off the books if an offender could not be traced, the committee heard.

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