We seem to be in a position of confusion. We want to have crime figures reducing but we also want to know that people who have done things wrong are being dealt with. Today the NSPCC released figures about the number of child abuse cases and there was a huge amount of concern, shock, and discussion about the increase.
It is not a simple situation and we seem to have a split personality over things. There is a relentless pursuit of falling crime figures that seems to be hunted by the media. Any increase like the one highlighted today is weirdly seen as a bad thing. But how can it be a bad thing? Surely to have a more accurate picture of what is happening in communities is the best position to be in.
If we know we have a problem with child abuse, domestic abuse or cyber crime then we can start to do something about it. There is nothing to be gained by things happening out of public view, going on in the shadows because if that is taking place then how can it be tackled? If we think there is no crime taking place can that ignorance really be bliss? Will we see policing as successful when we have kidded ourselves that there is no crime taking place?
Let us all be realistic. Policing is successful when the picture of crime is fully understood by everyone and it can then really be addressed. Take for example cyber crime if people came forward to report what was happening then we can understand what is taking place. This means we can work with other agencies so they can recognise the problem and support finding solutions. We can work with the digital companies who can help find solutions in the technology. And we can make an accurate decision on where and how scarce resources are used.
Of course if we want to sit in blissful ignorance that is also possible. Simply don’t report crime, don’t tell people about problems in your community and don’t complain when criminals are running around unchecked. We know there are lies, damn lies and statistics, and we can make the figures say anything. Now is definitely the time for a huge amount of honesty.
Remember when you read the headlines and the stories about crime figures that when reports are increasing it isn’t a bad thing. It is merely giving us something to work on.