27th April, 2014
Crime at a record low?
In the last year, I have been contacted by a number of constituents who have raised serious concerns about the levels of crime in the area.
One said that in his area violent crime had shot up. Others have pointed to an increase in drunk and disorderly behaviour and the spates of vandalism.
It is accounts such as these that raise doubts in my mind about the continuous claims made by the Scottish Government that crime is at an all-time low.
My concerns have been reinforced by a number of stories in recent times that crime figures have been manipulated, coming from none another than serving police officers.
Just last week, for example, a national newspaper reported that figures were being kept lower by marking crimes as “incidents”. In 2013/14, 273,053, crimes were recorded north of the border, but over two million incidents were logged by the police.
If these stories are true, we would need a thorough investigation to find out the full scale of the problem.
Police Scotland’s role should always be to protect the public, not to act in the interests of a Scottish Government press release.
It is important to remember, that the police and the Scottish Government allocate resources on the basis of crime statistics.
If they are saying that crime is at a 40 year low, and this turns out not to be the case, it means that communities here in Inverclyde, that are experiencing high levels of crime, might not get the support they need.
I would keen to year views on this issue and whether or not you feel crime has gone up or down. So please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.