This is the official blog of Sgt Ellie Bloggs, a real live police sergeant on the front line of England. It's not the official opinion of my police force, but all the facts I recount are true, and are not secrets. If they don't want me blogging about it, they shouldn't do it. PS If you don't pay tax, you don't pay my salary.


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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crime Rates are like Climate Change

I have a confession: I don't believe in human-induced climate change.















I do think the world is warming up, the ice caps are melting, the weather is more erratic, etc etc. I'm just not sure it's got a great deal to do with us.

If you watch this instead of this of an evening, you will know that ice caps have melted and weather changed back and forth throughout history, long before cars and factories existed. I'm sure it will carry on doing so long after we're gone. There are things we do not control, thank goodness.

Some people's passions are roused at the mere mention of climate change. For others, it is crime rates.

Every few weeks I am subjected to an email or three from the Superintendent in Charge of Statistics. In it, I am told how BCS is up, detections are down, or vice versa. How successful our high visibility reassurance patrols have been in reducing vehicle crime by 4% in a year. How the PCSO that sits in the TV room for most of the shift is entirely responsible for the humungous 2% reduction in antisocial behaviour in his area.








It's not that I don't believe the figures - even though they are haphazardly chosen and fluctuate depending on what policy you use to calculate them. But I accept they probably reflect a rough truth.

I'm just not sure, once you've taken into account the economy, house prices, changes in local benefits, illegal drug prices, world events, politics and the weather, that the antics of the police have much to do with it.














The Superintendent in Charge of Statistics disagrees. In fact, he thinks the ice caps are all my fault.

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'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in all good bookstores and online.

28 Comments:

Blogger uniform said...

oooooooooooh , my two favourite things in one . havn't you watched the day after tomorow ? or crimewatch ? its great because all those Supts who never really were police can talk about crime .
Having said that i live on a hill and have lots of sanctioned detections , so im covered all ways round

25 March, 2008 20:25

 
Anonymous Old Codger said...

Correction, you do believe in climate change it is just that, like me, you have a strong suspicion that it is a natural phenomenon and has little to do with human endeavor. I suspect your opinions on the crime statistics are also largely correct.

25 March, 2008 20:27

 
Blogger TotallyUn-Pc said...

Uniform - I think that film is called "the crime after tomorrow"... and yes.... the culpret got away again! despite the rising tide!

25 March, 2008 23:09

 
Anonymous Etalon said...

Is this post what some people refer to as mission creep?

25 March, 2008 23:26

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blimey, how long ave you been moonlighting as Becky on Corrie.

26 March, 2008 01:49

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Global Warming Swindle

http://www.veoh.com/videos/v291101Y8Pqys52

26 March, 2008 05:35

 
Anonymous some bloke said...

I saw in the Telegraph that this years and the previous years crime stats cannot be compared because " the way of collating them has changed ".
They say this every year thus not even concealing their contempt for us.

26 March, 2008 05:42

 
Anonymous Inspector Gadget said...

There are so many BMW, Merc and Porsche 4X4's on the school run in Ruralshire that we have our own climate change going on.

The only people who can't seem to afford a decent 4x4 is the Constabulary! We still have clapped out Discos!

26 March, 2008 08:06

 
Blogger Boy said...

1) I am with you on the Climate change issue. However, I have no problem with the emphasis on going green, as it does make sense. However, having a budget almost entirely based on green is just bollocks, and an excuse to push through taxes.
2) I hate hate hate that we're a stats nation. It's rubbish. From my simple point of view, I see a few more police on the streets now than I used to, which I'm glad of. I still don't feel safe, which is bad (but more to do with the attitude of the nation and the way young'uns are dragged up than the number of police)

26 March, 2008 12:01

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our BCU have now taken to distorting our Crime Stats by delaying the recording and updating of crime.

First we had too many Formal Warnings for Cannabis, so they refused to crime any more until the next month.

Then our Detection target was reached, so they are refusing to update any more crimes as Detected and are 'banking' them until the new financial year.

So, are we being lied to about climate change? Probably.

Are we being lied about crime and detection rates? Definitely.

Will our area commander get his performance bonus? Of course.

26 March, 2008 13:21

 
Anonymous Dave H. said...

Please don’t cynically suggest a PCSO sitting in an office can’t affect the crime figures. What if they’d been causing the antisocial behaviour in the first place? It's difficult to untangle causes from associations.

As far as statistics go (BTW, a subject Jack Straw once gave a talk on but laughably never once managed to pronounce correctly), at least the results of the British CO2 Survey are reliable.

I prefer comments on police blogs to be mostly about (and preferably by) the police, but sod it, global warming does arouse a passion in me. Having given a student lecture on this many years ago, long before it was fashionable, it's bound to, as well as providing an excuse to use silly words like ‘anthropogenic’. This may be be my longest comment ever, but certainly it’ll be the Sad Gittest.

From memory (a phrase guaranteed to fatally undermine any argument) in 1983 there was 330ppm atmospheric CO2, measured at a remote island called Mauna Loa (chosen because it’s very remoteness ensured a representative air sample). Today, there's about 380ppm and all the data from the 19th century onwards indicate a steady upwards curve. Whilst I'd be be happy to bore the bum off anyone with talk of IR spectroscopy and black-body radiation in order to point out the implications of this, it can all be summed up by: nitrogen and oxygen together make up 99% of the atmosphere, but they don’t trap heat much; even though it’s just a trace at 0.038%, CO2 really does. Adding to it is unwise. That goes for other greenhouse gasses too.

Yes, A) the climate naturally fluctuates anyway and this in itself will affect CO2 levels and B) the IPCC, Greens etc. rely on apocalyptic prophecies to secure funding BUT fiddling with the composition of the earth's atmosphere will have unpredictable results, possibly neutral or benign, but possibly disastrous.

You can do some simple maths and work out the volume of the atmosphere (it really is just a thin shell surrounding the planet) and look at the figures for oil/gas/coal production to approximate how much CO2 we're putting into it. It’s easy to calculate we’re doing enough to skew things. If the climate does go pear-shaped, we'll look criminally selfish for ‘ignoring’ such a bleedin' obvious piece of basic science.

Still, I reckon the chances of Homo Stultus taking practical action to avoid the danger are not measured in ppm, rather sub-ppt. So, whatever your opinion, it’s all so much hot air anyway.

(I won’t be hurt if all this crap is deleted, but might magnanimously (alright, trollishly) point out that the Grauniad article you link to on the right says your book is like ‘Belle de Jour meets the Bill’. I can’t believe you seriously wanted anyone, ever, to read a remark like that. It somehow implies you’re doing a less glamorous job for less money. I’ll bet her customers were typically more grateful than yours, too).

26 March, 2008 13:31

 
Anonymous Dunploddin said...

For years as a middle ranking officer I argued that locally based police activity had little effect on overall crime rates which had much more to do with socio-economic factors than the presence or otherwise of bobbies on the beat. What police activity does quite effectively is temporarily to displace the crime or anti-social activity somewhere else, preferably the next Sub-Division or even better the next door Force, so it becomes their problem. They eventually respond with their own targetted initiatives and the problem shifts again, usually back to the original locus. So we all just end up chasing our tails because nobody can keep the momentum up for long.
This is nothing new. When I was a downy faced proby in the Met in the early 70s the Tactical Patrol Group (black glove cops with attitude) would descend on a Sub-Division for a week or two. They would hit the ground running, crack a few heads pretty much at random and cause general mayhem amongst the populace. The villains just moved their activities next door so our figures went down until the TPG were also moved next door to address their rising figures and so we got our villains back plus next doors.
Oh, I'm with you on the climate change thing too...

26 March, 2008 14:08

 
Blogger kingmagic said...

PC Bloggs...

I feel that I need to take umbrage with you over your simplification of two very important issues.

Global warming for one...I am sat here in my vest and night trollies and am sweating like a good un!

This has nothing to do with the fact that my thermostat is broken and I can't turn the heating down, no...it is the fault of the Police!

Same as my fridge is packing up too and turning into the abominable snowman on the inside...again the fault of the Police!

The crime stats for two...in this country are getting better but are inversely proportionate to the level of the receding ice shelf...which again is the fault of the Police!

It must be...because when ever anything happens, the media try and swing it round to apportion some sort of blame/responsibility on the Police!

It seems like all responsibility is being taken away from the scumbags and life is getting more difficult for the Police.

This was meant to be a short post but as I say I'm sweating and I've just got over man-flu!

26 March, 2008 20:58

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstly, it is a well known fact that 67.2 per cent of statistics are made up.
Secondly, global warming IS due directly to International Police (in)action in dealing with crime.
When the icesheet in Greenland retreated (due to the local PCSOs failing to attend the weekly community meetings) the remains of a Viking settlement were found suggesting that the icesheet was a lot smaller than it is now.
Thirdly, it has been reported that a huge ice shelf in the Antarctic is about to collapse due to global warming (where are the local Neighbourhood Officers when you want them?) and this is the worst it has been 'for 100 years'. So what was it like more than 100 years ago to cause it to collapse then?
Global warming is as big a myth as Government policies on the reduction of crime; the partnership between the judiciary and common sense and the intelligence of CPS.

26 March, 2008 21:50

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Dave H - thank you for informing us of the Guardian article linking this good lady with Belle de Jour - it now gives me the excuse to read that particular paper - I can always use it in lieu of Andrex after I've read it. However, at least Belle de Jour ensured the customer always came first - can that be said of WPC Bloggs?

26 March, 2008 21:55

 
Blogger staghounds said...

Of course the police have little3 to do with crime rates in aq catch and release system.

26 March, 2008 23:11

 
Anonymous Joe.P said...

I had always thought PCSOs were an utterly useless waste of money, but to be fair to them, since they were introduced the world has stopped warming up.

Nobel prizes all round.

27 March, 2008 02:11

 
Anonymous TheBinarySurfer said...

I suspect all the trolling on this (and other) police blogs means your collective profile has raised to the point where the attention seekers want a piece of the proverbial pie Ms Bloggs. So while it's a pain in the arse it must be an indicator of some form of success on the literary front?

Back on topic, one of my favourite all-time favourite quotes applies here regarding global warming, statistics, carbon levels and police figures all at once:

"There are 3 kinds of lies, lies, damn lies, and statistics."

Popuarly attributed to Mark Twain but actually said originally by Benjamin Disraeli(spelling?)...

27 March, 2008 12:52

 
Blogger Metcountymounty said...

not exactly on post, but certainly good news

http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30100-1310894,00.html

I sincerely hope that the two convicted of her murder are given seriously long (ie 30 year minimum) sentences but it will probably end up as half that. Hope not though.

I also very much doubt the following was in response to a 'knock, knock' joke -

"One of the investigating officers told how detectives were shocked when Harris and his mother laughed as he was questioned by police after being arrested over Sophie's murder"

27 March, 2008 16:04

 
Blogger blueknight said...

Rising sea levels will not be a problem. All we need to do is take all the ships and boats out of the water and the level will drop down again.
And if you want an equally unusual answer about the rising crime rate, you know who to vote for next time.

27 March, 2008 17:00

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

** Our Division is having a "big push" prior to the end of the financial/statistical year for us to get our "detections" in - crimes detected before April 1st. What they never seem to realise is that by pushing us more and more they are only stealing detections off next years stats!!!

** On Global warming - When the Romans invaded the UK many years ago ( AD 60ish at a guess) it was warm enough for them to grow grapes as far north as Lancashire !! I don't remember anything about the polar ice caps melting then....

28 March, 2008 00:38

 
Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

We've been warming since the ice age. Period. The earth was all covered with ice and most of it has melted, except for the poles which are farther away from the sun. The poles have been melting more slowly, but will continue to do so unless we do something out of a comic book and put giant reflectors on each pole to bounce the sun off of them. We could also use the solar energy, created from the reflectors, to take over the entire universe and force them to our will. I, personally would bounce the rays on top of countries wherein my most despised enemies reside. Nah ha ha haha.....

01 April, 2008 00:10

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss Carnivorous said...

I can't remember now, she looks filthy good! You can melt my polar caps anytime.

01 April, 2008 08:57

 
Blogger Miss Carnivorous said...

Yeow meow!!!

02 April, 2008 19:56

 
Anonymous Patrick M said...

The only things repsonsible for the rising CO2 rate on this planet are Michael Moore and Al Gore.

Climate change is new religion of this century and just like the witch hunts of old - if you're not 'green' you will be punished.

As far as stats go, I've never understood the fascination with numbers as compared to the hands on approach of any job.

I work nursing here in the US and we're not that far behind you all over there. Numbers mean everything, paperwork must be in tact and every i dotted...oh, the patient died? Well, that goes into next months report.....

10 April, 2008 10:14

 
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