British Crime Statistics Are Falsified To Support False Claim That U.K. Gun Ban Is Lowering Crime.
British crime statistics show higher crime rates than U.S. crime statistics per capita in most categories of violent crime, but the murder rate and gun violence statistic have appeared mysteriously low in comparison. Often people will point to the slightly lower official British murder rate as proof of success of the gun ban in Britain (while ignoring the significantly higher violent crime rate overall).
If you forward the video clip below to 12:40, you can see marginally notable British Journalist Piers Morgan (who now works at CNN despite the fact that he was previously discredited in the U.K. for falsifying news) become irate when Larry Pratt, the head of Gun Owners of America, suggests that the official statistics from the British Home Office may not be entirely accurate:
However, it has been recognized in the U.K. for many years that the method of reporting crime is not scientific and that the official statistics are far from accurate. The statistics incomparable to that of U.S. crime statistics because what is begin reported and how it is being compiled are very dissimilar.
This is hardly a new issue, as warnings of faulty statistics and unscientific methods of compiling them have been reported in the news since before 2000 in Great Britain. The Independent claimed that proposals were being made at that time to change the official policies on how crime rates are recorded:
An estimated 1.4m crimes are going unrecorded by the police every year partly because officers bend the rules to exaggerate their success, government inspectors have discovered.
Police officers have been found grossly to misrepresent and massage crime statistics to improve their detection rates while downplaying the number of offenses committed.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found that 24 per cent of crimes reported to the police in 11 forces examined were not recorded as offenses. Some forces required hard evidence that there had been an offense before recording it as such. One force was found to have recorded only about half the crimes reported to it.
The Home Office announced proposals yesterday for a radical overhaul of how the police collect, record and publish crime statistics. One of the expected changes will be the future publication of detailed neighborhood crime statistics to allow citizens to find out the level of lawlessness in their local streets or villages.
The changes will certainly result in a huge rise in the published crime rate. Criminologists have always known that the official number of offenses recorded by the police is an underestimation of the real rate, but the report details widespread rule bending.
According to the Telegraph in 2008:
Data provided to The Sunday Telegraph by nearly every police force in England and Wales, under freedom of information laws, show that the number of firearms incidents dealt with by officers annually is 60 per cent higher than figures stated by the Home Office.
Last year 5,600 firearms offences were excluded from the official figures. It means that, whereas the Home Office said there were only 9,800 offences in 2007/8, the real total was around 15,400. The latest quarterly figures, due to be released on Thursday, will again exclude a significant number of incidents.
The explanation for the gulf is that the Government figures only include cases where guns are fired, used to “pistol whip” victims, or brandished as a threat.
Thousands of offences including gun-smuggling and illegal possession of a firearm – which normally carries a minimum five-year jail sentence – are omitted from the Home Office’s headline count, raising questions about the reliability of Government crime data.
Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said: “These alarming new figures not only highlight the appalling state of gun crime in this country, but also remind us just how poor the Government’s statistics actually are.
“Crime statistics must also be compiled and published independent of the Home Office, and crime mapping rolled out so that people can have confidence in what they are being told about the state of crime in this country.”
Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, said the figures revealed the extent to which gun crime is a “scar on society”.
“It is shocking that the Home Office is in denial about the extent of gun crime by refusing to include offenses where a gun is present but not brandished,” he said.
“This is another strong reason why the Home Office should not be in charge of collecting its own statistics, which should be put directly under the responsibility of the Office for National Statistics.
“Gun crime must be treated with the same seriousness and concern as knife crime. Both are a scar on our society.”
In all, there were at least 5,612 offenses excluded from the Home Office’s official gun crime total last year, according to figures supplied by police forces.
The true total number of excluded offenses will have been even higher, because two of the 43 forces in England and Wales, Thames Valley and Leicestershire, failed to hand over their data when asked to do so under the Freedom of Information Act, and a large urban force, Greater Manchester, provided incomplete statistics. Scotland records gun crime differently.
When the Home Office publishes its latest quarterly crime figures on Thursday, they will include a section on gun crime injuries and deaths, but the figures will again exclude a significant number of incidents.
The Sunday Telegraph‘s figures suggest that the Metropolitan Police’s official tally of 3,300 gun crimes in 2006/7, the most recent available, would have risen to around 5,000 if excluded categories had been counted. In 2007, Met officers dealt with 1,678 firearms incidents which were not included in the official tally. The Met’s figures show that offenses of firearms possession in the capital rose from 850 five years ago to 1,400 last year.