Letter: Take me to the pub - it's safer than A&E

Well, it’s official, the Government is reducing reported crime statistics on three fronts.

beer

Firstly, they are closing many police stations making it harder to report crime and now rely on people ringing some obscure call centre with all the palaver that entails...

Have you been stabbed? Press 1. Are you dying? Press 2. Have you been burgled? Press 3 and we will give a crime number.

Any other callers press 4 and listen to     nice music and put your problem down to experience!

Secondly, they are closing many hospital accident and emergency departments so many more people die, broadly reducing the number of people able to report crime.

Thirdly, they are allowing the police to massage crime statistics so that they can announce with gusto that crime is falling.

I don’t believe actual crime is falling, and until we see a marked reduction in alcohol and illegal drugs abuse – the main drivers of crime – we will not see crime come down.

I appreciate that statistics can be made to show a variety of trends but the increased number of deaths in hospitals is so worrying that I have told the wife, “If I have a heart attack, don’t take me to hospital, take me to Wetherspoons”, as statistically, less people die of heart attacks in Wetherspoons than ever do in hospital!

Bob Mills, Shrewsbury

Comments for: "Letter: Take me to the pub - it's safer than A&E"

AC

"I don’t believe actual crime is falling"

Can you elaborate why you don't believe it? Have you conducted in-depth, exhaustive research into crime in the UK? Or is it just a feeling that you have?

eva land

He's got a point. For an assault we were originally persuaded to accept community resolution by the PC until we looked into exactly what that mean't and could see that in no way was this concept aimed at such a serious and premeditated offence in the particular situation we found ourselves in.

For the police, the amount of paper work involved is a disincentive so as with many measures to maintain the law, they will stretch the circumstances to fit which simultaneously reduces the actual crime figures.

Much the same with unemployment figures where all sorts of crafty ways have been instigated to give a false picture of how bad the situation really is.

Dom

There are a lot of academics out there, namely criminologists and statisticians who look at this stuff, but as learned experts rather than paranoid laymen. The concerns you highlight can be readily answered by consulting some of their literature.

DP

I don't know the current crime statistics or how crime is / should be reported but the interesting thing is when statistics is mentioned, the way information is presented can lead people to make assumptions based on who is informing us of the "facts".

As an example of the same information ?

The opposition will say = "25% of people are victims of crime"

The governing party will say "3 out of 4 of the population have not been victims of a criminal act"

twisting my melon

How can the closure of Police Stations make it harder to report crimes . Its not like people walk up to Police Stations and knock on the door . people have been reporting crimes by using telephones for years..

grumpy old man

Its not like people walk up to Police Stations and knock on the door"

Well actually people used to do just that! Have you tried ringing Telford Police Station at night? The last time I tried, I gave up after 20 mins.

twisting my melon

Ah yes , when the old fashioned Bobby would give you a ' clip round the ear ' and send you on your way..

grumpy old man

That's right, you're getting there, haven't you ever watched "Heartbeat"?

JOHN JONES

How true, had many of them clips when I was young.

Watchdog

It's very hard to imagine that in straitened economic times crime is falling. I can't believe that's actually the case and without going into really unhelpful and unwise detail, I will simply say that Dom's perspective is as complacent as it gets. Is he a politician, I wonder?

eva land

If the crime is not dealt with by the courts it is not addressed in the same way and quite frankly the crime for which we were asked to consider community resolution involved a youth who had a history of opportunistic burglary which is how he came to commit the assault because he was caught in the act.

Mike Williams

Sorry, but the police deal with crimes, the courts only with legal retribution. As they are not in the business of revenge, they can only hand down what they consider appropriate sentences - but please try to bear in mind these are human beings and as variable, and fallible, as the rest of us.

If the court fails to hand down a punishment you, the victim, feels appropriate, there will always be some residual resentment of this.

Regrettably, sentencing guidelines are often rather "woolly" and not based on the experiences of the common man, but those higher grade civil servants, who are all too often divorced from the "street scene" life you and I have to live with.