Police PR department explains how up is down when it comes to crime figures - Press Gazette

Police PR department explains how up is down when it comes to crime figures

Who says that the millions police forces spend on PR is a waste of money?

Axegrinder has been sent this hilarious press release sent out from North Yorkshire Police force’s answer to the Ministry of Truth.

Stop the presses, apparently crime has gone down in the county. Rejoice, you might think – until you get to the fifth par when you find out that crime has actually gone up. I’ve heard about dropped intros but this is ridiculous.

North Yorkshire Police is making great strides to clamp down on crime.

The force’s latest performance figures show a 6.6% reduction between April and June 2011 compared to the previous year.

This period – the first quarter of the current financial year – has seen 741 fewer crimes recorded than this time last year (10,401 against 11,150 crime). Detections have also increased by 3.7% to a total of 33.5%.

This significant impact is in direct response to a small but concerning increase in overall crime last year in North Yorkshire and the City of York.

Published today (Thursday 14 July 2011), the Home Office’s Annual Crime Statistics 2010/11 for England and Wales outlines a 0.6% increase in crime in the county. This equates to 267 more crimes in comparison to the previous year – from 42,196 to 42,464.

This increase was largely down to higher levels of crime in January, February and March 2011 compared to the previous year. North Yorkshire Police also saw a rise in reports of historical serious sexual offences which is a positive indicator in victim confidence in the police, as well as proactive police work to target drugs offences, most noticeably in Selby with the success of Operation Orate which saw a series of raids on cannabis farms and a 55% increase in offences in the district. In addition there were 137 separate fraud crimes committed by a company director from York.

However, the corresponding British Crime Survey figures that have also been released today are extremely positive for North Yorkshire Police, with only 6.4% of the public perceiving a high level of anti-social behaviour – the lowest level in England.

Public confidence in the force and local councils to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour has also increased by almost 6% over the past year, to a total of 55.9%.

The stand alone confidence measure in North Yorkshire Police has also increased to 61.5% from 57.9%.

Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick said: ‘This was the first year-on-year rise in recorded overall crime since 2003/04, and whilst this is ultimately a disappointing position, it must be taken within context of a long term reduction which has seen 20,000 fewer offences committed in North Yorkshire and the City of York over the last six years.

‘Despite the rise, it is important to emphasise that the North Yorkshire policing area remains the fourth safest and lowest crime area in England and Wales. The results of the British Crime Survey are also a welcome indication of the satisfaction people have in the service we deliver.”

Mr Madgwick added: “Nevertheless, we have taken some very firm action in response to the small spike in crime and I am very satisfied to report that it is now on a downward trend once more.

‘A particular success has been our dedicated burglary reduction campaign Operation Haven, which is having a great impact on reducing offences and promoting key crime prevention messages to members of our communities.

‘It is this type of proactive and intelligence-led policing activity, together with strong partnership working and engagement with the very people we serve, that will help to maintain the high quality of life in North Yorkshire and the City of York.”

Bill Baugh, Vice Chairman of North Yorkshire Police Authority, said: ‘The Authority looked at the full year’s data at its AGM in June and it was disappointing to see the slight rise at the end of the last financial year.  Crucially though, the more recent results have shown encouraging downward trends that we are more used to in recent years.

‘We are not complacent though and in those more challenging crime categories, particularly burglaries, violence and theft, the Police Authority has requested further analysis of the issues and tactics to be presented at the next Performance and Scrutiny Board meeting at the end of August so that we can be sure that the service is doing all that it can, on its own and with partners, to sustain the good results seen in the last three months for the rest of the year.”



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