Massaging crime figures? Surely not

So there has been an uproar about the Met massaging the crime figures regarding sexual assaults and as a result those who should have gone away went on to commit further crimes.
Victims have stated that they were subjected to being persuaded to withdraw complaints and told that evidentially they had ‘consented’ and weren’t taken seriously.

Crim figures have always been a big political ‘hot potato’, and we have, as officers, been saying for years that it will come and bite us on the backside and how right we were.

I can think of numerous occasions when pressure has been placed on officers to crime an incident as something that is not a key crime, or if it ‘isn’t going anywhere’ to try and not crime it at all…. The main crimes that spring to mind are ‘Theft from motor vehicle’ which is massaged to a criminal damage’ if its something from the car, or ‘threats to kill’ which becomes a public order offence or similar, I do recollect a time that a male had held up a knife to another saying ‘I’m going to kill you’, he was disarmed by the other male and was arrested for ‘possession of off. weapon and public order- was that not an immediate threat and the person feared for their life? Don’t be daft…..
Another classic is a Robbery. How many times do officers get advised that it should be ‘common assault and theft’? Technicalities…..

It happens a lot and I don’t understand why. Well I do, it’s a political web of making the figures look good, but why do we do it? Why don’t we have transparency and actually show what we are having to really deal with.
Why are we having to justify to bosses that it should be crimed as the offence it really is?

In relation to sexual assaults, to persuade a victim that it isn’t going anywhere and try and get them to drop the complaint is so wrong. If it is proven that there was consent or the offence didn’t actually happen then H.O ‘no crime’ – but to not crime something because the figures would look bad is just awful.

This ‘policy’ had disastrous consequences. A woman who made rape allegations against Jean Say in November 2008 did not have her case investigated.
Say went on to murder his daughter Regina, aged 8, and son Rolls, aged 10, with a carving knife, with police having missed the chance to take him off the streets. He was later jailed for life.

In the case of John Worboys, the Met police it seems missed chances to stop a man who drugged, raped and sexually assaulted over 100 women. He was arrested and released after a woman came forward in July 2007 and officers allegedly chose to believe his account, not hers. The victim said she had been “lied to and laughed at” by officers. Worboys was given an indeterminate sentence in April 2009.

A detective from the Met was convicted last year of failing to investigate the alleged rapes and sexual assaults of 12 women by faking police reports, failing to pass on forensic evidence and not interviewing suspects.

Surely our job is to investigate any allegations- and if we do and find out it is a false allegation then we deal with it- if it is a genuine case then why on earth would officers fake police reports and not interview suspects? That is our job.
If officers are doing that kind of thing then they deserve disciplinary action.

In my career I have always tried to put myself in the victims, or victims families situation and see it from their point of view. I think ‘if I was them, what would I want this officer to do’ and I always come up with the same answer ‘the best that they can’.

Now massaging figures and falsifying reports are a bit different from each other- we are encouraged to crime things ‘differently’ as there is pressure from above, but not doing a thorough investigation or lying in reports is just totally wrong. Honesty and Integrity should be the first and foremost in our career and when things like this are brought in to the press it just gives the public further ammunition to berate the police to say that we are all corrupt and dishonest. We need to be open and honest and I think we should crime things accurately- perhaps then they would realise what are the true figures and just how little resources we have to deal, but massaging figures to say ‘look at us- our crime figures are the best’ is how it’s been and we have been saying this for years.

The incidents regarding sexual offences in the Met do not surprise me as there are a very small minority of officers who do not wish to deal with things thoroughly and will falsify reports, from house to house enquires to falsifying reports, giving false evidence etc. if that is the case then they should be dealt with. If you do not have the honesty and integrity required to be a police officer then you should not be one.

It happens in all walks of life, politicians lie, even judges lie it seems, but we are in the firing line so much and people have mistrust of police as ‘corrupt’ even though the majority of us working very hard to gain trust, so why are we giving people even more ammunition to mistrust us?

Just remember- its the minority who spoil it for the majority- and as long as you can have your honesty and integrity intact and do what you think is right and just that is all we can ask.

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