Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Crime & Politics

The Guardian's editorial suggests that Labour should make a point of stressing that crime is down, with even the hard to fake murder rate down at a 20 year low.

There is a small problem with this approach though. The murder rate rose a fair bit between 1997 to 2000 and stayed at this new plateau and didn't fall sharply until the start of the recession, when it did indeed fall substantially. In other words in order to take the credit for the fall now then they have to take responsibility for the rise previously. Gordon Brown is not known for his enthusiasm to take responsibility.

Furthermore the drop in the murder rate seems to have begun with the recession, possibly because people are going out drinking less often and possibly because many immigrants (who are disproportionately young , male and from more violent countries) have left the country. and so claiming credit for it would be politically difficult- "We've made people too poor to go out" isn't an election winning theme.


JuliaM said...

""We've made people too poor to go out" isn't an election winning theme. "

Oh, I don't know. It has the advantage of being the truth, which makes a nice change... ;)

DJ said...

Hard to fake, but not impossible.

In the Great Republic, the feds count as murder any death by violent means, so if Mack and Stella get called to some guy with his head bashed in, that's one death. Here on Fantasy Island, we only count murders that are charged as murders, so if Phil the Psycho manages to plead it down to manslaughter/GBH with intent/drunk & disorderly, then that doesn't count.

That's just one scam, but I'm guessing there are a lot more.

Anonymous said...

There's also the issue of advances in medical treatment. If we weren't saving more stab-ees and shoot-ees now than 20 years ago, we'd need to be asking serious questions.

Anonymous said...

Dumb Jon - you probably ought to read the piece before commenting:

'The reduction in the homicide rate, which includes murder, manslaughter and infanticide, means the annual total of 648 is now close to the 1979 figure of 629.'

Ross said...

"There's also the issue of advances in medical treatment. "

Yes, although I wonder whether that makes criminals more willing to carry out assaults, in the expectation that it won't result in death.

"t has the advantage of being the truth"

Since when has truth been an advantage?