Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Crime Statistics

Criminologists love the crime stats, largely because they can be deconstructed into the utter tripe which is their essence. Police stats, insurance stats, survey stats...there are endless sources about the levels of crime and all are pretty lousy.

This situation was never helped by some odd police practices. One was for the CID to pop into their local prison with a sack of tobacco and a list of unsolved crimes and invite the incarcerees to confess. No charges followed, but it did wonders for the "solved" rate. And significantly altered the prison economy that week.
Criminal statistics. Handle with caution.


  1. There's a trade ongoing now in our local YoI. Been recognised for years.

    Somebody gets sent down. They get a set period. Their mates then get the conduct to admit other things that the mates have done, with the promise of some reward when he gets out. Convict gets a short period added to their sentence, mates avoid getting sent down and have the heat taken off them.

    Happens all the time, and makes a mockery of the stats

  2. It's appropriate for them to undergo on that stage.

  3. From Darrell Huff's "How to lie with statistics":

    "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" "45.6% of the time..."

    "Don't be a novelist, be a statistician; much more scope for the imagination."

    "I read your last survey, and just loved it - especially the happy ending."

    "Our records show that you would make a great random sample."

    "80% of known germs use people."

    "Don't jump! - it'll break your mother's heart, and ruin our employee satisfaction rating!"

    "If you don't come up with some impressive statistics, you'll be adding to the unemployment figures."


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