Monday 23rd April 2012
At every opportunity the SNP boast that Scotland has the lowest crime rate in 32 years.
Well, this week, that boast was blown out of the water, not by any political party, but by serving police officers at Strathclyde Police Force.
They accused the government of “hiding” the true extent of Scotland’s crime rate.
This is a truly worrying development.
Crime figures are used to direct resources.
And if they are not worth the paper they are written on then hard pressed communities who need support won’t get it.
What’s more, there is a real danger that if the figures on crime don’t match the reality of the situation, then ordinary working people will lose their confidence in the system.
This will lead to a scenario where the public stop reporting crimes.
The SNP have diminished a serious issue for party political advantage at the expense of the victims of crime.
They have been quick to dismiss the claims made by the police.
But when serving officers tell us there is a serious issue then we must listen.
We need swift action from Kenny MacAskill.
He must instigate a full and independent inquiry into how crime is recorded in Scotland.
It is only when we have an accurate picture of the crime rate in our communities that we can ensure the victims of crime get the support they need.